Crace, Catton favorites for fiction's Booker Prize


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LONDON (AP) - Britain's Jim Crace and New Zealand's Eleanor Catton are favorites to win Britain's prestigious Booker Prize for fiction, from six contenders who include the first female African finalist and a Zen Buddhist priest.

Bookmakers say Crace's village parable "Harvest" and Catton's gold-rush saga "The Luminaries" lead betting for the 50,000 pound ($80,000) award, followed by Colm Toibin's Bible-inspired "The Testament of Mary."

The other finalists are "The Lowland," by Jhumpa Lahiri; shantytown-set story "We Need New Names" by Zimbabwe's NoViolet Bulawayo; and Pacific-crossing tale "A Tale for the Time Being" by Canada's Ruth Ozeki, who is also a Buddhist priest.

The winner will be announced at London's medieval Guildhall on Tuesday.

The prize is officially named the Man Booker Prize after its sponsor, financial services firm Man Group PLC.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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