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EDITIONS
Tuesday, 22 October, 2002, 21:59 GMT 22:59 UK
Booker Prize: 2002 contenders
Irish-born William Trevor
None of the novelists were born in England
This year's Booker nominees were a more varied group than ever boasting a fascinating diversity of styles.

Critic Peter Kemp discusses the twists and turns of the novels on the shortlist.


Yann Martel
Martel has had a flurry of good reviews
Yann Martel
Life of Pi

Martel's surreal tale was a surprise forerunner, coming out of nowhere to win the prize.

Mr Kemp said: "It's written with tremendous verve and vigour, really short, fast, vivid, colourful sentences."



Rohinton Mistry
Mistry has a hat-trick of nominations
Rohinton Mistry
Family matters

Mistry has already been nominated for his two previous novels.

"In Mistry's novels Bombay is a metropolis in which terrible things can happen to people. It's sinister, dark and damaging."



Carole Shields
Shields is absent through illness
Carole Shields
Unless

Shields has been criticised for being a "small scale" novelist, but her "extraordinary tales of ordinary life" have won over many readers.

"She is really trying to use the Jane Austen sort of novel, the novel that concentrates upon one or two families in a small community. She is trying to take that kind of blueprint and apply it to contemporary Canadian life."



William Trevor
Trevor is the veteran of the party
William Trevor
The Story of Lucy Gault

Trevor was probably the most established of the candidates, and his prose among the best regarded.

"He often writes about things going wrong about disappointment, about regret, about the ways in which people keep their lives going even though these lives have not moved in the way they really wanted to."



Sarah Waters
Waters has found notoriety through Tipping the Velvet
Sarah Waters
Fingersmith

Waters' Tipping the Velvet has won her notoriety after its television adaptation, but it is Fingersmith that has brought recognition.

"At the centre of this book you have a lesbian love story, as you did in each of her two previous novels, but she wants to surround that with a lot of Victorian low-life experience."



Tim Winton
Winton is yet another talented Australian
Tim Winton
Dirt Music

Winton has written short stories, non-fiction and books for children as well as his novels, which are full of the most vivid description of locations and people.

"You feel that these are people who just seem like minute dots against this vast canvas. He is also very Australian in that there is a sense of how almost anything could happen."



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


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