News Brief

An Australian Jewish author is in contention for a prestigious literary prize.

“A Fraction of the Whole,” by Sydney-born Steve Toltz, 36, is on the long list of 13 novels for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. The 650-page novel tells the story of a father and son on their journey through Australia to Paris and on to Thailand. After graduating from college, Toltz lived in Canada and traveled through Europe. He told the Australian Jewish News this week his “background as Jewish, as an Australian, as a middle-class person in an affluent Western nation all bore some influence on the novel.” “I had about 10 rejections (from Australian agents and publishers) before it was accepted,” Toltz told the Australian newspaper. “You’d think the jokes would be too Australian, but it’s had a strong reaction overseas.” Linda Grant, the British Jewish author of “The Clothes on Their Backs,” also was selected for the long list. The short list will be announced Sept. 9. The winner of the Booker Prize will be announced Oct. 14.

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