LONDON: Fatima Bhutto, the niece of assassinated former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, has been nominated for UK’s Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction, the judges announced on Friday. Bhutto is among the 20 women long listed for the award, which was formerly known as the Orange prize and is open to all English-language novels written by women and published in the UK.
Bhutto is nominated for “The Shadow of the Crescent Moon”, her first attempt at fiction following a memoir of her family’s blood-soaked history. Bhutto is a fierce critic of her charismatic aunt, who served as the Prime Minister of Pakistan, claiming she was power hungry and “morally responsible” for the murder of her brother and Fatima’s father Murtaza Bhutto, in 1996. The winner of the prize will be announced at the Royal Festival Hall in London on June 4th and will receive £30,000 ($50,000, 36,500 euros) and a bronze statuette known as “Bessie”. Other nominees for the 19th annual award include Eleanor Catton, who penned “The Luminaries” which won the 2013 Booker Prize. Australia’s Hannah Kent has been nominated for “Burial Rites” and the Indian-American writer Jhumpa Lahiri has been nominated for her book “The Lowland”. Penguin Books UK’s managing director Helen Fraser chairs the five-woman judging panel, which will announce the short list on April 7. “This is a fantastic selection of books of the highest quality – intensely readable, gripping, intelligent and surprising – that you would want to press on your friends,” she said.
Former winners Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2007) of Nigeria and Suzanne Berne (1999) of the United States are also on the long list which contains six debut novels. The other long-listed authors are from Britain, Canada and Ireland among others. US writer AM Holmes won last year’s prize with “May We Be Forgiven”.