Avni Doshi reveals excitement at making Booker Prize shortlist

Winner to be announced on Thursday night

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Dubai-based author Avni Doshi says it is an honour to be shortlisted for Britain’s Booker Prize, which will be announced on Thursday night.

Her novel, Burnt Sugar, explores the complex relationship between an ageing mother and her daughter in contemporary India.

Doshi, who is from the US, wrote on Twitter it had been a “wild ride” after being shortlisted for one of the literary world’s most prestigious awards.

The winner will be announced from 7pm UK time (11pm UAE time).

The ceremony, available to listeners and viewers around the world online, will feature virtual appearances from former US president Barack Obama and the Duchess of Cornwall.

The Booker’s traditional black-tie dinner ceremony at London’s medieval Guildhall was scrapped because of the pandemic.

The winner will receive £50,000 ($66,000) and a huge amount of international publicity.

The award also sparks debate about the state of the literary scene.

Last year, judges were criticised for awarding the Booker to Margaret Atwood and Bernadine Evaristo.

Some critics argued that Ms Evaristo, the first black woman to win the award, should not have had to share it.

Bookmakers are backing Scotland's Douglas Stuart, author of 1980s Glasgow-set novel Shuggie Bain, for this year's prize.

This year's finalists include fellow Americans Diane Cook (The New Wilderness) and Brandon Taylor (Real Life).

Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga (This Mournable Body) and Ethiopian-American Maaza Mengiste (The Shadow King) are also vying for the prize.

Five of the six books competing for the prize are by American or US-based authors.

The Booker began including authors from outside the UK, Ireland and the Commonwealth in 2013.

Who is on the 2020 Booker Prize shortlist?

Diane Cook (New Wilderness)

Tsitsi Dangarembga (This Mournable Body)

Avni Doshi (Burnt Sugar)

Maaza Mengiste (The Shadow King)

Douglas Stuart (Shuggie Bain)

Brandon Taylor (Real Life)