Jim Crace still favourite to win Booker prize
Crace's final book, Harvest, leads pack that includes Colm Toibin, Eleanor Catton and Jhumpa Lahiri
JIM CRACE remains the bookies’ "marginal favourite" to win the 2013 Man Booker Prize which is announced tomorrow. The 67-year-old English writer has also been the sentimental favourite to win the prestigious award as he has said his nominated book, Harvest, will be his last.
The novel, which concerns the "fragile social eco-system of a remote English village", shows a "writer at his peak", according to The Independent’s Boyd Tonkin.
Crace, who was previously shortlisted for the prize in 1997, is up against another established writer, Colm Toibin. The Irish writer is shortlisted for The Testament of Mary, a novella about a mother whose son is brutally killed. The Independent points out that at just 104 pages Toibin’s book would be the briefest Booker winner yet if it were to take the prize.
The youngest writer on the shortlist is 27-year-old New Zealander Eleanor Catton who is nominated for her second novel, The Luminaries. A tale of "ghosts, murder, smuggling and conspiracy" set against a backdrop of a gold rush, it was described as "mesmerising" by The Guardian’s Lucy Scholes.
Also on the shortlist are the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction winner Jhumpa Lahiri (The Lowland) and Japanese-American writer Ruth Ozeki.
Ozeki, a practising Zen Buddhist priest, is nominated for her novel, A Tale for the Time Being, about a woman who is profoundly influenced by a diary she discovers inside a lunch box washed up on the shore.
The sixth and final author shortlisted is NoViolet Bulawayo. Her novel, We Need New Names, is centred on a group of children in Zimbabwe with unusual names.
Jonathan Ruppin, web editor for Foyles, told The Independent that either Harvest or The Luminaries would be a "thoroughly deserving winner". However, Crace’s book is probably the marginal favourite, he said, "if only because it's easier to imagine five people [the judges] concurring about Harvest than The Luminaries."
The winner of the 2013 Man Booker Prize will be announced on 15 October. ·