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Man Booker International finalists include three Americans

March 29, 2011 |  8:21 pm

AnntylerPhilproth_athome

The Man Booker International Prize announced 13 finalists for its 2011 prize late Tuesday afternoon. Three Americans novelists are in the running for the U.K-based award: Anne Tyler, Philip Roth and Marilynne Robinson.

Awarded every other year since it launched in 2005, the Man Booker International Prize is given to an author for his or her body of work, like the Nobel. It carries with it an award of more than $96,000.

For the first time, Chinese writers are a finalist for the U.K.-based award, which is given to authors who publish in English or whose work is widely available translated into English.  If applicable, the winning author can elect to have a $24,000 award presented to a translator with whom they've worked.

The complete list of finalists is:

Wang Anyi (China)
Juan Goytisolo (Spain)
James Kelman (UK)
John le Carré (UK)
Amin Maalouf (Lebanon)
David Malouf (Australia)
Dacia Maraini (Italy)
Rohinton Mistry (India/Canada)
Philip Pullman (UK)
Marilynne Robinson (USA)
Philip Roth (USA)
Su Tong (China)
Anne Tyler (USA)

Among the American contenders, Roth's has been recognized the most by prize committees: He has won two National Book Awards(for "Goodbye, Columbus" and "Sabbath's Theater"), two National Book Critics Circle Awards (for "The Counterlife" and "Patrimony") and also received the National Medal of Arts and, earlier this month, the National Medal of the Humanities.

All three Americans have been awarded the Pulitzer Prize for fiction -- Tyler for "Breathing Lessons," Roth for "American Pastoral" and Robinson for "Gilead." Robinson's "Gilead" also garnered her the National Book Critics Circle Award. Tyler has had the most success with Hollywood -- the film adaptation of her novel "The Accidental Tourist" was nominated for four Oscars in 1989, including best picture.

The Man Booker International Prize will be awarded at the Sydney Writers' Festival in Australia on May 18 and celebrated in London June 28.

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photos: Anne Tyler; credit: Random House. Philip Roth; credit: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

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