Guy Dammann writing in the Guardian Tuesday March 25, 2008
Nicola Barker: in the running with Darkmans
Nicola Barker's inclusion will provide compensation for having been left off the shortlist for this year's Orange prize. Her 838-page epic novel Darkmans tells the story of Edward IV's court jester through the lens of a contemporary Ashford, Kent peopled with improbable, idiosyncratic characters.
Previous winners of the Ondaatje prize include Hisham Matar, James Meek and Rory Stuart.
The winner will be announced on April 28.
The full shortlist:
Darkmans by Nicola Barker (Fourth Estate)
Paradise with Serpents by Robert Carver (Harper Perennial)
The Whisperers by Orlando Figes (Allen Lane)
On Brick Lane by Rachel Lichtenstein (Hamish Hamilton)
Sea Holly by Robert Minhinnick (Seren)
The Discovery of France by Graham Robb (Picador)