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Jewish writers on top of fiction list

    Charlotte Mendelson’s novel, Almost English, and Eve Harris’s The Marrying of Chani Kaufman have both been longlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2013.

    The two Jewish writers are among 13 authors of books nominated for the English-language fiction’s premier £50,000 prize.

    Mendelson’s novel’s protagonist is a Hungarian Londoner, 19-year-old Marina, and it describes the resentment she feels towards her family’s “strange” Hungarian culture and her experience as an outsider in Combe Abbey, a traditional English public school. Marina’s mother Laura wrestles with dark secrets which come to the fore with the reappearance of man from her past.

    Mendelson’s previous novels are Love in Idleness, Daughters of Jerusalem — for which she won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award — and When We Were Bad. Almost English will be published next month.

    Also about to be published, Harris’s novel, The Marrying of Chani Kaufman, portrays 19-year-old Chani’s marriage to a man who is a stranger to her. Set within a strictly Orthodox community, it relates the attempts of a rabbi’s wife to help Chani understand what it means to be a Jewish wife.

    The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize 2013 will be announced on September 10 and the winner on October 15.

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