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Tuesday, 24 September, 2002, 18:24 GMT 19:24 UK
Diversity of the Booker
William Trevor
William Trevor is already the favourite
The Booker shortlist for 2002 contained former nominees and a diverse range of books, with only one British-born author, three Canadian-based writers, an Australian and an Irish-born writer.


William Trevor - The Story of Lucy Gault

Born in Cork in 1928, Trevor spent his childhood in Ireland, but now lives in Devon.

Having published his first novel, A Standard of Behaviour, in 1958, and scoring his first critical hit with The Old Boys six years later, Trevor can be considered the veteran.

He has been twice shortlisted before, in 1976 with his novel The Children of Dynmouth, and in 1991 with Reading Turgenev.

As well as an honorary CBE, Trevor received the David Cohen British Literature Prize in 1999.

His novels, short stories and essays have been complemented by writing for the stage, radio and television.

Trevor has quickly come under the spotlight for his tale of a family forced to leave their home in rural Cork in the chaos of the 1920s.

The author's rumination on love and loss has been one of the most widely-written about books of the year.

Many readers are moved by his ability to paint a convincing picture of the unbearable tragedies that can befall ordinary people.


Tim Winton - Dirt Music

Winton is yet another critical success story for an Australian after Peter Carey's Booker triumph last year.

Tim Winton
Tim Winton will be hoping for another Australian success

Winton's last novel, The Riders, was shortlisted for the 1995 prize and he has 15 books under his belt.

Again the author is writing about a location near his birthplace, in this case the fictional fishing village of White Point, north of Perth, western Australia.

Its heroine is 40-year-old Georgie Jutland who finds herself frustrated, with a man she does not love and his two children.

Her life is turned upside down by the arrival of poacher and outcast Luther Fox.

Winton's writing career started in his teens with his acclaimed An Open Swimmer and has included novels, short stories, non-fiction and books for children.


Rohinton Mistry - Family Matters

Mistry's first novel, Such a Long Journey, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Governor General's Award in 1991.

Rohinton Mistry
Rohinton Mistry has a hat trick of nominations
His second novel, A Fine Balance, won the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Giller Prize.

Born in Bombay in 1952, Mistry has lived in Canada since 1975.

He spent ten years working in a bank, studying English and philosophy part-time at the University of Toronto before making his first foray into fiction.

Mistry's novel is a tale of a family in crisis, set in modern day Bombay.

The tale of religious difficulties and family conflict when the elderly Nariman goes to live with his daughter is Mistry's third novel and remarkably, his third Booker shortlisting.

As well as critical success, he has also been one of Oprah Winfrey's infamous book choices.


Carol Shields - Unless

The Chicago-born author's poignant tale is her second Booker nomination, after 1993's The Stone Diaries which went on to win the Pulitzer Prize.

Carol Shields
Shields has won the Pulitzer Prize
She is the author of seven other novels and two collections of short stories and won the Orange Prize for women's fiction in 1998 for Larry's Party.

Carol Shield's tenth book explores the bonds between mothers and daughters, as well as husbands and wives.

The eldest daughter of a smalltown family decides to become a baglady in Toronto, disrupting her mother's life and contentment.

The youngest of three children, Shields was born in 1935, and studied at the University of Exeter before marrying and moving to Canada.

A mother of five, Shields' academic career has included professorships at the University of Ottawa, the University of British Columbia, and the University of Manitoba, where she has taught for the last fifteen years.

Shields started as a poet, only publishing her first novel at the age of 40.


Sarah Waters - Fingersmith

Waters - who was born in Wales - was responsible for Tipping the Velvet, the lesbian Victorian love story currently being made into a BBC Two drama.

Sarah Waters
Waters wrote lesbian love story Tipping the Velvet
Fingersmith looks at the underbelly of Victorian society, a subject she has visited before.

It is the story of an orphan brought up in a family of petty scam merchants in 1860s London.

The heroine finds herself as a lady's maid to an orphan-heiress in a sprawling Gothic mansion.

Waters' work is likely to be in the spotlight again with the screening of Tipping the Velvet.

Andrew Davies, who specialises in adapting period dramas for television, is reported to have said the lavish production is "absolutely filthy".

Coverage of the 2002 Booker Prize from BBC News Online and BBCi Arts


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