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British-Indian Author Chetna Maroo’s Debut Novel ‘Western Lane’ Longlisted for the 2023 Booker Prize


Chetna Maroo, a talented British-Indian author, has made a remarkable debut in the literary world with her novel ‘Western Lane,’ which has been longlisted for the prestigious 2023 Booker Prize. Among thirteen exceptional works, ‘Western Lane’ stands out as a poignant exploration of grief, sisterhood, and a teenage girl’s struggle to transcend herself within the British-Gujarati community.

The Booker Prize, known for recognizing exceptional literary works, will award the winning author with a grand prize of £50,000. The eagerly awaited announcement will take place at a special event at Old Billingsgate, London, on November 26, drawing book enthusiasts and literary connoisseurs from across the globe.

Set within the British-Gujarati community, Kenya-born Maroo’s “tender and moving” debut novel talks about grief, sisterhood, and a teenage girl’s struggle to transcend herself.

The judging panel of the 2023 Booker Prize praised Maroo’s debut novel for its masterful use of squash, both as a context and a metaphor. ‘Western Lane’ presents a deeply evocative portrayal of a family grappling with grief, woven through crystalline language that echoes like the sound of a ball hitting clean and hard, leaving a lingering resonance.

Chetna Maroo, now based in London, has garnered attention with her captivating stories featured in renowned anthologies and esteemed literary journals like the Paris Review, the Stinging Fly, and the Dublin Review. Notably, she was honored with the 2022 Plimpton Prize for Fiction by the Paris Review, a prestigious recognition awarded annually to exceptional emerging writers published in the magazine.

Before embarking on her writing career, Maroo pursued a profession in accounting, a journey that eventually led her to discover her passion for storytelling. With ‘Western Lane,’ her debut novel, Chetna Maroo emerges as a promising new voice in the literary world, capturing the hearts of readers with her expressive prose and rich storytelling.

The 2023 Booker Prize longlist offers a diverse selection of thirteen captivating books, delving into universal and contemporary themes. From deeply moving personal dramas to tragi-comic family sagas, from climate change’s effects to the struggles of minorities, and from scientific breakthroughs to the world of competitive sports, the longlisted works promise an engaging and thought-provoking reading experience.

The esteemed judging panel meticulously selected these thirteen works from a pool of 163 books, all published between October 2022 and September 2023. The longlist marks an incredible achievement for the authors, including four Irish writers, four debut novelists, and ten authors recognized by the Booker Prize for the first time.

Next in the journey, the Booker Prize shortlist with six authors will be unveiled on September 21 in London, building anticipation and excitement among book enthusiasts eager to discover the finest literary talents of the year. As the literary world awaits the final verdict, Chetna Maroo’s ‘Western Lane’ shines brightly as a captivating contender for the coveted literary accolade.

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