Anne Tyler named finalist for international book award

Baltimore novelist one of 13 nominated for Man Booker International Prize

March 30, 2011|By Chris Kaltenbach, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore novelist Anne Tyler has been named a finalist for the 2011 Man Booker International Prize, a biennial literary award that carries with it a cash prize of more than $96,000.

Tyler, 69, is one of 13 finalists for the prize, which is awarded every other year by the Australia-based Man Group. The prize of 60,000 British pounds is given for an author's body of work and continuing contributions to world fiction.

Others on this year's nominees' list include Americans Marilynne Robinson and Philip Roth. Three British authors are on the list (James Kelman, John le Carre and Philip Pullman), as well as two from China (Wang Anyi and Su Tong) and one each from Australia (David Malouf), Italy (Dacia Maraini), Lebanon (Amin Maalouf), Spain (Juan Goytisolo) and India (Rohinton Mistry, now living in Canada). Le Carre remains on the list, though he asked that his name be withdrawn.

Academic and rare-book dealer Rick Gekoski, who chairs the three-judge panel that will award the prize, called the nominees' list "diverse, fresh and thought-provoking, and serves to remind us anew of the importance of fiction in defining both ourselves and the world in which we live. Each of these writers is a delight, and any of them would make a worthy winner."

Albanian author Ismail Kadare won the inaugural International Prize in 2005, followed by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria) in 2007 and Alice Munro (Canada) in 2009.

The winner of this year's prize will be announced May 18 in Sydney, Australia.

The Man Group also sponsors the annual Man Booker Prize for Fiction, which is awarded annually for a specific work.

Tyler, who has lived in Maryland since 1963, was awarded a Pulitzer Prize in 1989 for her 11th novel, "Breathing Lessons." She has been a Pulitzer finalist for "Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant" (1983) and "The Accidental Tourist" (1985), which was later made into a movie starring William Hurt, Kathleen Turner and Geena Davis. Her first book, "If Morning Ever Comes," was published in 1964; her latest, "Noah's Compass," was released in January 2010. Many of her novels have been set in Baltimore.

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