Indian-Origin Author Chetna Maroo’s Debut Novel Shortlisted For Booker Prize 2023

New Delhi: London-based author of Indian origin, Chetna Maroo’s debut novel ‘Western Lane’ has been shortlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize. Kenya-born Maroo’s novel set within the context of the British Gujarati milieu has been praised by the Booker judges for its use of the sport of squash as a metaphor for complex human emotions. It revolves around the story of an 11-year-old girl named Gopi and her bond with her family.

“Chetna Maroo’s deeply evocative debut of a family grappling with grief conveyed through crystalline language which reverberates like the sound of ‘a ball hit clean and hard with a close echo’. It is stunning and it stays with you,” said Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan, the chair of the Booker Prize 2023 judging panel, as she announced the shortlist on Thursday, news agency PTI reported.

With reference to her shortlisted work, Maroo said it would be fair to call it a “sports novel”.

“It’s also been called a coming-of-age novel, a domestic novel, a novel about grief, a novel about the immigrant experience. Recently a friend asked me if the book has something of the detective story about it, with Gopi trying to find her way, piecing together the clues of small gestures, actions and fragments of overheard conversations; she has little to go on and since she’s dealing with the mysteries of loss, there are no answers for her,” she said.

Sarah Bernstein’s ‘Study for Obedience’, ‘If I Survive You’ by Jonathan Escoffery, Paul Harding’s ‘The Other Eden’, Paul Lynch’s ‘Prophet Song’ and Paul Murray’s ‘The Bee Sting’ complete the shortlist of six that will compete for the 50,000-pounds prize to be unveiled on November 26 at an award ceremony in London, the report added.

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