Colm Tóibín’s “The Testament of Mary” among six chosen for the Man Booker Shortlist.
The Enniscorthy, County Wexford native has now been shortlisted for the prestigious prize three times. He was previously shortlisted in 1999 with “The Blackwater Lightship” and in 2004 with “The Master.”
“The Testament of Mary” presents the mother of Christ as a solitary older woman trying to understand the events in the New Testament of the Bible and the foundation of Christianity.
The six novels to make the shortlist are:
We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (Chatto & Windus)
The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton (Granta)
The Harvest by Jim Crace (Picador)
The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri (Bloomsbury)
A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (Canongate)
The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín (Penguin)
The six books on the list could not be more diverse. There are examples from novelists from New Zealand, England, Canada, Ireland and Zimbabwe – each with its own highly distinctive taste. They range in size from the 832 pages of Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries to the 104-page The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín. The times represented stretch from the biblical Middle East (Tóibín) to contemporary Zimbabwe (NoViolet Bulawayo) by way of 19th-century New Zealand (Catton), 1960s India (Jumpha Lahiri), 18th-century rural England (Crace) and modern Tokyo (Ruth Ozeki).
The oldest author on the list, Jim Crace, is 67, the youngest Eleanor Catton, is 28. Colm Tóibín has written more than 15 books, The Luminaries is only Catton's second.