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Author Niall Williams

Clare author misses out on Man Booker shortlist

CLARE-based writer Niall Williams has missed out on being shortlisted for the Man Booker prize. The Kilmihil resident was named on the longlist for the prestigious prize in July but was ruled out of the running when the final six were announced this week.

Mr Willians’ book History of the Rain is set in the village of Faha in West Clare, where young Ruth Swain lies bedridden in an attic room piled high with 3,958 books. The character tells the story of herself, her father and the family of English clergymen from which he came.

For the first time in its 46-year history, the £50,000 prize has been opened up to writers of any nationality, writing originally in English and published in the UK.

Unfortunately the prize will not be coming to Ireland as Cork-born author Joseph O’Neill also missed out on the short list.

Chair of the 2014 judges, AC Grayling, stated that reducing the 13 books on the long list by more than half was a difficult process.

‘We had a lengthy and intensive debate to whittle the list down to these six.  It is a strong, thought-provoking shortlist which we believe demonstrates the wonderful depth and range of contemporary fiction in English,” he said.

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