Author Arundhati Roy’s novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness has been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year. The longlist, which was announced on Thursday, features 13 books that are published in the United Kingdom between October 1, 2016, and September 30, 2017.
A panel of five judges selected the 13 books from 144 submissions. The judges had called Roy’s second novel a “rich and vital book”, reported The Guardian. The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is about an Indian transgender woman. Episodes from modern Indian history like the 2002 Godhra train burning incident and the Kashmir unrest also feature in the novel. It was published 20 years after her debut novel The God of Small Things, for which she had won the Man Booker Prize in 1997.
The others who made it to this year’s longlist include Paul Auster for 4 3 2 1, Sebastian Barry for Days Without End, Mohsin Hamid for Exit West and Ali Smith for Autumn. This year’s list also has three debut novels.
The shortlist of six books will be announced on September 13. The six shortlisted authors each receive £2,500 (approximately Rs 2 lakh) and a specially bound edition of their book. The winner of the £50,000 (approximately Rs 41 lakh) prize will be declared on October 17 in London’s Guildhall.
In 2016, author Paul Beatty had won the Man Booker Prize – the first American to win it – for his satirical novel The Sellout. In 2015, Jamaican author Marlon James had won the prize for his A Brief History of Seven Killings.
The prize was instituted in 1969.