Sarah Waters makes Booker prize shortlist

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Sarah Waters, who brought lesbian fiction to greater prominence with her novel Tipping The Velvet, is on the short list for this year’s Man Booker prize, it has been announced.

Waters, 40, has been nominated for her most recent work, The Night Watch, which explores the lives of several lesbian, gay and straight characters in 1940’s London.

It has been widely praised for its intertwining story lines, and its stunning recreation of the Blitz and life in the capital during the immediate post-war period.

The Welsh-born novelist is a former winner of the Stonewall Book Award and the Somerset Maugham Award, and her 2002 novel Fingersmith was also short listed for the Booker.

The Man Booker prize of £50,000 is one of the most prestigious fiction awards in the literary world, and is open to full-length novels written by a citizen of any Commonwealth country.

Waters studied for a PhD on lesbian and gay fiction at the University of London, research that inspired her to write Tipping The Velvet, published in 1998.

It was later adapted for BBC2 to universal critical acclaim, with even the tabloids taken with its frank portrayal of the lesbian underworld of Victorian Britain.

Fingersmith, published in 2002, centres on a family of thieves who ‘adopt’ a young heiress and attempt to defraud her of her fortune. It was also adapted, this time for BBC1, and starred Imelda Staunton.

Earlier this week, Waters was nominated in the Writer of the Year category at the Stonewall Awards.

The Booker prize winner will be announced on 10th October.

The Stonewall Awards, hosted by Sir Ian McKellen, will be held on 2nd November. The other nominees for Writer of the Year are Ali Smith, Jake Arnott, Alan Bennett and Carol Ann Duffy.