Last updateTue, 17 Mar 2015 2pm

#BESSIE: Fatima Bhutto and Jhumpa Lahiri nominated for Women's Fiction Prize

Fatima Bhutto, the niece of assassinated Pakistani former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, and Booker-nominated Indian-American author Jhumpa Lahiri have been nominated for the 2014 Bailey's Women’s Prize for Fiction, judges announced Friday.

Bhutto and Lahiri are among 20 women on the long list for the award, which was formerly known as the Orange prize and is open to English-language novels from anywhere in the world.

Ms Bhutto is nominated for 'The Shadow of the Crescent Moon', her first attempt at fiction following several fact-based books, including a memoir of her family’s blood-soaked history.

Bhutto is a fierce critic of her charismatic aunt, who twice served as prime minister, claiming she was power hungry and “morally responsible” for the murder of her brother, Fatima’s father Murtaza Bhutto, in 1996.

London-born Lahiri is nominated for her critically acclaimed second novel 'The Lowland' which was shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize.

The winner of the prize, which will be announced at the Royal Festival Hall in central London on June 4, receives £30,000 and a bronze known as a “Bessie”.

Other nominees for the 19th annual award include 'The Luminaries' by New Zealand author Eleanor Catton, which won the 2013 Booker Prize.

Penguin Books UK’s managing director Helen Fraser chairs the five-woman judging panel, which will announce the short list on April 7.

“This is a fantastic selection of books of the highest quality — intensely readable, gripping, intelligent and surprising — that you would want to press on your friends,” she said.

Former winners Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2007) of Nigeria and Suzanne Berne (1999) of the United States are on the long list, which also contains six debut novels.

US writer A. M. Holmes won last year’s prize with 'May We Be Forgiven'.



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