British-Indian Chetna Maroo’s debut novel on Booker longlist

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London– British-Indian author Chetna Maroo’s debut novel ‘Western Lane’ is among 13 books longlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize.

The winner of the 50,000 pound prize will be announced at an event at Old Billingsgate, London, on November 26.

Set within the British-Gujarati community, Kenya-born Maroo’s “tender and moving” debut novel talks about grief, sisterhood, and a teenage girl’s struggle to transcend herself.

“Skilfully deploying the sport of squash as both context and metaphor, Western Lane is a deeply evocative debut about a family grappling with grief, conveyed through crystalline language which reverberates like the sound “of a ball hit clean and hard…with a close echo,” the judging panel of the 2023 Booker Prize said.

London-based Maroo’s stories have appeared in anthologies and have been published in the Paris Review, the Stinging Fly and the Dublin Review.

She was the recipient of the 2022 Plimpton Prize for Fiction, awarded annually since 1993 by the Paris Review to celebrate an outstanding piece of fiction by an emerging writer published in the magazine during the preceding year.

Before becoming a full-time writer, she worked as an accountant. Western Lane, which is longlisted for the Booker Prize 2023, is her first novel.

The 13 longlisted books explore universal and topical themes, from deeply moving personal dramas to tragi-comic family sagas; from the effects of climate change to the oppression of minorities; from scientific breakthroughs to competitive sport.

It features books from four continents, four Irish writers, four debut novelists, as well as 10 authors who are recognised by the Booker Prize for the first time.

Their selection was made from a total of 163 books, which were published between October 2022 and September 2023.

Following the longlist, the Booker shortlist with six authors will be announced on September 21 in London. (IANS)


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