Mister Pip in running for Booker Prize

New Zealand author Lloyd Jones' novel Mister Pip has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

He joins 12 other authors on the longlist, with the shortlist to be announced in September. Authors for the Stg50,000 ($NZ134,553) prize are selected from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth.

In June Jones was awarded the Commonwealth Writers Prize and last week won the Montana Medal for fiction

Mister Pip is, in brief, the story of a white teacher in Bougainville in the 1990s during the civil war who reads Dickens to his pupils.

Penguin publishing director Geoff Walker said the novel's inclusion on the list reinforced the view it was "the most important New Zealand novel for years".

The only New Zealand author to win the Booker was Keri Hulme with The Bone People in 1985.

The early favourite in Britain to take the prize is English author Ian McEwan with On Chesil Beach. McEwan won in 1998 with Amsterdam.

A six-strong shortlist will be unveiled in September and the winner will be announced in October.

- NZPA

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