Booker International prize finalists announced in South Africa

CAPE TOWN (AFP) - The finalists for the prestigious Man Booker International Prize were announced in Cape Town on Tuesday, with 10 authors from around the world contending for the 60,000 pound (nearly S$123,000) prize.

The prize is awarded every two years to an author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in English.

The Man Booker International Prize is significantly different from the annual Man Booker in that the judges consider a writer's body of work rather than a single novel.

The finalists are: Cesar Aira (Argentina), Hoda Barakat (Lebanon), Maryse Conde (Guadeloupe), Mia Couto (Mozambique), Amitav Ghosh (India), Fanny Howe (US), Ibrahim al-Koni (Libya), Leszlo Krasznahorkai (Hungary), Alain Mabanckou (Republic of Congo) and Marlene van Niekerk (South Africa).

"This is a most interesting and enlightening list of finalists. It brings attention to writers from far and wide, so many of whom are in translation," said Jonathan Taylor, chairman of the Booker Prize Foundation.

The list of finalists was announced at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, by writer and academic Professor Marina Warner, chair of the five-person judging panel.

"The judges have had an exhilarating experience reading for this prize. We have ranged across the world and entered the vision of writers who offer an extraordinary variety of experiences," she said.

"The novel today is in fine form."

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London on May 19.

Previous winners have been Lydia Davis (2013), Philip Roth (2011), Alice Munro (2009), Chinua Achebe (2007) and Ismail Kadare, who won the inagural prize in 2005.