Mehta’s Mumbai up for Guardian award


Suketu Mehta’s book praising and lamenting Mumbai has been short-listed for this year’s Guardian First Book Award.

The list is dominated by non-fiction and includes Reza Islan’s No god but God: The Origins, Evolution and Future of Islam. Mehta’s book, Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, has already won the Kiriyama prize for new Pacific rim literature.

The award, worth 10,000 pounds, is one of the major events in Britain’s literary circuit and drives sales of the books short-listed. The winner will be announced in December. Other non-fiction books in the shortlist are: The Farm, by Richard Benson and Stuart: A Life Backwards, by Alexander Masters.

The fiction title is Sightseeing by Rattawut Lapcharoensap, a collection of short stories set in and around Thai tourism.

The chief judge, Claire Armistead, the Guardian’s literary editor, said: “After the boom in first novels that we have seen since the turn of the millennium, this seems to be non-fiction’s year, with a hugely impressive line-up of contenders for the prize.”

The Guardian First Book Award recognises and rewards new writing across fiction and non-fiction.

The award, for first-time authors, is open to books from genres including fiction, poetry, biography, memoir, history, politics, science and current affairs.