Debut British novelist on Man Booker shortlist

Ali Smith

The Man Booker Prize announced its 2017 shortlist of six novels on September 13.

Mozley and Fridlund's works will face off against 4 3 2 1, an 866-page epic by American author Paul Auster which traces the four parallel lives of a boy growing up in the United States; Exit West by Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid, a magical realist take on the refugee crisis; the ghostly Lincoln In The Bardo, a novelistic debut by American short story master George Saunders; and British author Ali Smith's post-Brexit novel Autumn.

The other two United States authors are Paul Auster for 4321, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and civil rights movement, and Emily Fridlund for History Of Wolves, which explores "the effects of neglectful parenting" and the repercussions of childhood isolation and loneliness. Roy has previously won the award in 1997 for debut novel, The God of Small Things.

Half the authors on the shortlist - including the bookies' favourite to win, George Saunders for Lincoln In The Bardo - are United States authors. Meanwhile, English writer Fiona Mozley, 29, is the youngest nominee with her first book, "Elmet", a novel that was only published this month.

"With six unique and intrepid books that collectively push against the borders of convention, this year's shortlist both acknowledges established authors and introduces new voices to the literary stage", said Young.

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The shortlist for the £50,000 literary prize was chosen by a panel of judges that included literary critic Lila Azam Zanganeh, Man Booker Prize shortlisted novelist Sarah Hall, artist Tom Phillips, travel writer Colin Thubron and was chaired by Baroness Lola Young.

"Playful, sincere, unsettling, fierce: Here is a group of novels grown from tradition but also radical and contemporary", she added.

Earlier, his acclaimed novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, was also shortlisted for the prize in 2007 and even got made into a feature film by Indian director Mira Nair.

U.S. author Paul Beatty won in 2016 was for his novel "The Sellout".

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