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Updated: Tue, 15 Oct 2013 16:08:57 GMT | By CBC News, cbc.ca

Canadians Eleanor Catton, Ruth Ozeki up for Booker Prize



American-born, Canadian writer Ruth Ozeki (© left)

American-born, Canadian writer Ruth Ozeki (left) and London, Ont.-born New Zealand author Eleanor Catton are among the six finalists for the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction. Man Booker Prize

Two Canadian authors are vying for the Man Booker Prize tonight, with one tipped by British bookmakers as a favourite for the prestigious literary honour.

Leading the betting by British bookies for the prize are British author Jim Crace and Canadian-born New Zealand writer Eleanor Catton (for the rural novel Harvest and the gold-rush saga The Luminaries, respectively).

The pair are also the oldest (Crace is 67) and youngest (London, Ont.-born Catton is 28) contenders among this year's finalists.

Also vying for the high-profile fiction-writing honour is Ruth Ozeki, an American-born Canadian author for her novel A Tale for the Time Being. Ozeki, who is based in Whaletown, B.C., is also a Zen Buddhist priest.

The winner will be announced Tuesday night at a ceremony at the medieval Guildhall in London. Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall, will be present to award the prize.

Rounding out this year's nominees are:

- Irish novelist Colm Toibin for the Bible-inspired The Testament of Mary.

- British-American writer Jhumpa Lahiri for the family saga The Lowland.

- Zimbabwe's NoViolet Bulawayo for the shantytown-set story We Need New Names.

Founded in 1969, the the £50,000 ($83,000 Cdn) award is officially known as the Man Booker Prize after its sponsor, financial services firm Man Group PLC. Considered one of the world's top literary honours for a single written work, the prize celebrates the fiction genre specifically and has until now been open only to writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth countries.

- Man Booker Prize opens eligibility to writers worldwide

However, organizers recently announced plans to widen the field and extend the eligibility to all English-language novels published in the U.K., regardless of the author's nationality, beginning with the 2014 edition.

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