Kiwi author makes Man Booker Prize shortlist

Eleanor Catton says she's not an easily intimidated person but the thought of 
meeting the Man Booker judging panel scares her. Photo / David White
Eleanor Catton says she's not an easily intimidated person but the thought of meeting the Man Booker judging panel scares her. Photo / David White

New Zealand author Eleanor Catton has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize - the youngest person ever to make the list.

Catton, 28, was nominated along with five other authors for her novel The Luminaries, about the goldrush in 1860s New Zealand.

Read the Herald's review of The Luminaries here.

This year's Man Booker Prize finalists make for an international read in itself.

Zimbabwe's NoViolet Bulawayo became the first black African woman to be shortlisted, for her tale of a 10-year-old girl who escapes poverty at home only to find new problems in the United States.

Bulawayo was nominated for her novel We Need New Names, which follows the girl's decision to leave a shanty town in Zimbabwe and move to live with an aunt in the United States.

The author, whose real name is Elizabeth Zandile Tshele, is also the first Zimbabwean to be shortlisted for the prestigious prize.

The winner is awarded US $78,500 and normally sees a significant boost in sales.

Irish writer Colm Toibin and British author Jim Crace were among the better-known nominees on the six-book shortlist for the 2013 prize.

Crace, who was also shortlisted in 1997, hopes to win with Harvest, about a village under mortal threat from outsiders.

Toibin tells the story of a woman trying to piece together the events that led to the death of her son in The Testament of Mary.

Jhumpa Lahiri is nominated for The Lowland, about two brothers growing up in Kolkata, while American-Japanese author and Buddhist priest Ruth Ozeki's A Tale for the Time Being is a sweep through the history of a Japanese family.

Last year's winner Hilary Mantel made history as the first British author to win the Booker twice.

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