Indian-origin author Avni Doshi among six on Booker Prize 2020 list

By The SATimes News Service

LondonUS-born Dubai-based author Avni Doshi is among six authors shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize for her debut novel “Burnt Sugar.”

The shortlist was unveiled virtually in London on Tuesday after judges re-evaluated the 13 longlisted novels published in the UK or Ireland between October 2019 and September 2020 to whittle down the shortlist for the GBP 50,000 literary prize in November.

“This utterly compelling read examines a complex and unusual mother-daughter relationship with honest, unflinching realism – sometimes emotionally wrenching but also cathartic, written with poignancy and memorability,” the judges said of Avni Doshi’s entry.

Avni Doshi, born in the US and now living in Dubai, has previously spoken about the long journey to her first novel, which was released in India last year as ‘Girl in White Cotton’ and for its UK release in July.

The rest of the shortlist includes Diane Cook for “The New Wilderness”, Zimbabwean writer Tsitsi Dangarembga for the third novel in her trilogy – ‘This Mournable Body’, Maaza Mengiste for “The Shadow King”, Douglas Stuart for “Shuggie Bain” and Brandon Taylor for “Real Life.”

The organizers said that readers of the chosen books will travel to India to unpick an unsettling mother-daughter relationship redefined by dementia with Avni Doshi’s entry; explore the tender story of a mother’s battle to save her daughter in a dystopian city made inhospitable by the climate crisis; witness a woman confronting the realities of life and morality in Zimbabwe as she descends into poverty.

Gaby Wood, Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation, said: “Every year, judging the Booker Prize is an act of discovery. What’s out there, how can we widen the net, how do these books seem when compared to one another, how do they fare when re-read? These are questions judges always ask themselves, and each other.”

The Booker Prize for Fiction is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland. The shortlist of six books will be announced on September 15, with each shortlisted author receiving 2,500 pounds and a specially bound edition of their book at the prize ceremony scheduled for November. (PTI)

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