Indian Origin Dubai-based author Avni Doshi shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize

Indian origin Dubai-based author Avni Doshi shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize for her debut novel ‘Burnt Sugar’. 

Six novels have been shortlisted for this year’s Booker Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards, the Booker Prizes panel announced on Tuesday.

Four of the six shortlisted books are from first-time writers, one of whom is Indian origin Dubai based Avni Doshi.

“We are delighted that Diane Cook, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Avni Doshi, Maaza Mengiste, Douglas Stuart and Brandon Taylor are today, Tuesday 15 September, announced as the six authors shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction,” official website of the Booker Prizes says.

“The shortlist was selected from 162 submitted books. Readers of the six chosen books will explore the tender story of a mother’s battle to save her daughter in a dystopian city made inhospitable by the climate crisis; witness a woman confronting the realities of life and morality in Zimbabwe as she descends into poverty; travel to India to unpick an unsettling mother-daughter relationship redefined by dementia; uncover the extraordinary tales of the African women who went to war during Italy’s 1935 invasion of Ethiopia; find humanity and humour in the harsh realities experienced by a marginalised family in 1980s Glasgow; and question what ‘real life’ is in a fresh take on the campus novel, which offers a nuanced account of racism and homophobia,” the website adds.

The 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK or Ireland between 1 October 2019 and 30 September 2020.

The 2020 shortlist is:

  1. Diane Cook (USA), The New Wilderness (Oneworld Publications)
  2. Tsitsi Dangarembga (Zimbabwe), This Mournable Body (Faber & Faber)
  3. Avni Doshi (USA), Burnt Sugar (Hamish Hamilton, Penguin Random House)
  4. Maaza Mengiste (Ethiopia/USA), The Shadow King (Canongate Books)
  5. Douglas Stuart (Scotland/USA), Shuggie Bain (Picador, Pan Macmillan)
  6. Brandon Taylor (USA), Real Life (Originals, Daunt Books Publishing)

The shortlist was selected by a panel of five judges: Margaret Busby (chair), editor, literary critic and former publisher; Lee Child, author; Sameer Rahim, author and critic; Lemn Sissay, writer and broadcaster; and Emily Wilson, classicist and translator.

The Booker Prize, designed “to promote the finest in fiction by rewarding the best novel of the year written in English and published in the United Kingdom,” has been awarded annually since 1969. The prize isn’t awarded to an author, but rather to a specific work of fiction. Each year, a group of judges is selected from a wide range of professions and disciplines, and previous judges have included “poets, politicians, journalists, broadcasters, and actors,” according to the Booker Prize website.

If Doshi becomes winner of this prize, she would be the sixth Indian to win this prize. V.S. Naipaul, In a Free State (1971), Salman Rushdie, Midnight’s Children (1981), Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things (1997), Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss (2006), Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger (2008) have been Indian origin winners of this prize. Among all the winners, Arundhati Roy is only winner who chose to work in India.

Liked it? Take a second to support The TMC Desk on Patreon!