The Man Booker Prize for fiction longlist was announced today and seven of the 13 authors are women hooray!
It comes after Hilary Mantel made history in 2012 when she won the prize for the second time with Bring up the Bodies, as the first woman and the first British author to win the prize twice.
Up this year for the £50,000 prize is Eleanor Catton, who at 27 years-old is the youngest on the list, NoViolet Bulawayo, who was born in Zimbabwe a year after it became independent and moved to the US at the age of 18, and Eve Harris for her yet-to-be-released book set in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Hendon in London.
Robert Macfarlane, who heads the judging panel this year said, This is surely the most diverse longlist in Man Booker history: wonderfully various in terms of geography, form, length and subject. These 13 outstanding novels range from the traditional to the experimental, from the first century AD to the present day, from 100 pages to 1,000 and from Shanghai to Hendon.
Other judges are broadcaster Martha Kearney; critic, academic and prize-winning biographer, Robert Douglas-Fairhurst; broadcaster, classicist and critic, Natalie Haynes and Stuart Kelly, essayist and former literary editor of Scotland on Sunday.
The longlist will be cut down to six in September and the eventual winner, announced in October, will receive £50,000 with runners-up bagging £2,500 each.
The full 2013 longlist is:
Tash Aw Five Star Billionaire
NoViolet Bulawayo We Need New Names
Eleanor Catton The Luminaries
Jim Crace Harvest
Eve Harris The Marrying of Chani Kaufman
Richard House The Kills
Jhumpa Lahiri The Lowland
Alison MacLeod Unexploded
Colum McCann TransAtlantic
Charlotte Mendelson Almost English
Ruth Ozeki A Tale for the Time Being
Donal Ryan The Spinning Heart
Colm Tóibín The Testament of Mary