4 Indian-origin authors on UK literary prize long-list

London: Four Indian-origin authors including the Kolkata-born Neel Mukherjee, who lost out on this year's Booker Prize, have been long-listed for a prestigious British literary prize.

The three other Indian-origin authors on the list for the 2015 Folio Prize are the US-based Akhil Sharma for his book 'Family Life', Mumbai-based Jerry Pinto for 'Em and the Big Hoom' and Kashmiri journalist-author Mirza Waheed for 'The Book of Gold Leaves'.

Mukherjee has been nominated for his book 'The Lives of Others', a sweeping account of life in 1960s Calcutta (now Kolkata) that revolves around a man's extremist political activism during troubled times. He was also nominated for the prestigious 50,000 British pounds 'Man Booker' prize this year for the same book but eventually lost to Richard Flanagan.

The four Indian-origin authors will be battling it out with some literary heavyweights like Martin Amis for 'The Zone of Interest', and Margaret Atwood for her short story collection titled 'Stone Mattress'.

Pakistan-born Kamila Shamsie is in the running for her story of a Pashtun soldier in World War-I, 'A God in Every Stone'.

Open to English-language fiction from around the world, the Folio prize sets out to "identify works of fiction in which the story being told and the subjects being explored achieve their most perfect and thrilling expression".

The 235-members of the Folio Prize Academy, a mix of international critics and writers, nominated the titles for judges' consideration this year.

British author William Fiennes, who chairs this year's judging panel, called the list of nominations "both daunting and exhilarating".

"It's not just that the list has such range and richness. Reading the books, it's as if we're eavesdropping on a marvellous conversation about what a novel is and might be," he said.

Fiennes and his fellow judges, writers Rachel Cooke, Mohsin Hamid, AM Homes and Deborah Levy, will now select a shortlist of eight titles from the 80-strong long-list, which will be announced on February 9.

The winner will be announced in London on March 23.

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