"I am absolutely delighted to be shortlisted for this award. It is a great and singular honour to be amongst the other authors on the list," said Kolkata-born Mukherjee in a statement.

Responding to this news, Penguin Random House's editor-in-chief, literary publishing, Meru Gokhale tweeted "This novel tells the story of three generations - prosperity, idealism, poverty, extremism, shocking family squabbles."

This was also the first time in the British prestigious literary award's 46-year history that it was opened to writers of any nationality, writing in English and having their work published in Britain.

It had hitherto been confined to writers from Commonwealth countries, Ireland, and Zimbabwe. Hence, two US authors Joshua Ferris, Karen Joy Fowler and Australia's Richard Flanagan have made it to the shortlist, along with British authors Howard Jacobson, Ali Smith and Neel Mukherjee. They make up the top six contenders for the award.
Ferris was nominated for his novel ‘To Rise Again at a Decent Hour’ and Fowler is shortlisted for her American family portrait ‘We Are Completely Beside Ourselves’.

Ali Smith has been shortlisted for the third time with her experimental novel ‘How to be Both’,  Jacobson is nominated for his book ‘J’, and Flanagan is nominated for his novel ‘The Narrow Road to the Deep North’ which centers on a British surgeon working in a Japanese prisoner of war camp on the Burma Death Railway.

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