4 African authors among Man Booker International finalists

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Posted: Mar 24, 2015 11:32 AM
4 African authors among Man Booker International finalists

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The "Memoirs of a Porcupine," the "Confessions of the Lioness" and the lessons from the Sahara desert are just some of the titles and themes explored by the four authors from Africa who are among 10 finalists for the Man Booker International Prize.

The finalists for the prestigious literary award were announced on Tuesday by the chair of judges, Marina Warner, in South Africa at the University of Cape Town. The African writers are Mia Couto of Mozambique, Marlene van Niekerk of South Africa, Ibrahim al-Koni of Libya and Alain Mabanckou of the Republic of Congo.

The Man Booker International Prize recognizes achievement in fiction, considering a body of a work over a writer's career. The winner will join the ranks of authors such as American novelist Philip Roth, Canadian writer Alice Munro and the late Chinua Achebe, the Nigerian author sometimes referred to as the father of African fiction.

"We have ranged across the world and entered the vision of writers who offer an extraordinary variety of experiences," said Warner.

The prize winner will be announced in London on May 19. The winner receives 60,000 pounds, or nearly $90,000.

Other finalists are Cesar Aira of Argentina, Maryse Conde of Guadeloupe, Amitav Ghosh of India, Fanny Howe of the United States of America, Laszlo Krasznahorkai of Hungary and Hoda Barakat of Lebanon.

"This is a most interesting and enlightening list of finalists," said Jonathan Taylor, chairman of the Booker Prize Foundation. "It brings attention to writers from far and wide, so many of whom are in translation. As a result, our reading lists will surely be hugely expanded."

While the Man Booker International prize recognizes a body of work, the separate Man Booker Prize is awarded for a standout work of fiction each year.