September 10, 2013
By Michael Merschel
The Dallas Morning News
A writer with strong Texas ties has been nominated for one of the world’s great literary honors.
As reported by The Associated Press, Zimbabwe’s NoViolet Bulawayo, who earned degrees at Texas A&M-Commerce and Southern Methodist University, is among six finalists for the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction.
Her novel, We Need New Names, is joined by Pulitzer Prize-winner Jhumpa Lahiri’s Indian-American family saga The Lowland, Irish novelist Colm Toibin’s Bible-inspired The Testament of Mary, New Zealand-based Eleanor Catton’s The Luminaries; Harvest by Britain’s Jim Crace; and A Tale for the Time Being by Canada’s Ruth Ozeki.
Bulawayo, a fellow at Stanford University in California, is the first writer from Zimbabwe to be a Booker finalist and the only debut novelist on the list. The 50,000-pound ($78,000) prize will be announced at a ceremony in London on Oct. 15. . .
The Booker, which brings a huge publicity and sales boost for winners, is closely followed by readers, booksellers and literary gamblers, and the diversity of the list makes this year’s contest especially unpredictable. Crace and Toibin are both previous Booker finalists. The other four writers — all women — are first-time nominees.
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For more alumni news, see the SMU Magazine.
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