Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Entertaiment | By Lawrence Myers

Arundhati Roy's second novel out of Man Booker Prize 2017 race

Arundhati Roy's second novel out of Man Booker Prize 2017 race

The judges, headed up by Baroness Lola Young, said at a press conference that "the novels [chosen], each in their own way, challenge and subtly shift our preconceptions - about the nature of love, about the experience of time, about questions of identity and even death".

The £50,000 prize was opened up to USA writers three years ago, and was won last year by American novelist Paul Beatty for The Sellout.

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

Auster's "4321" offers four versions of one young man's life while fellow US author Emily Fridlund's debut novel "History of Wolves" is a coming-of-age tale of a teenage girl seeking a place to belong.

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Two first-time female authors feature on the 2017 Man Booker Prize fiction shortlist which comprises three women and three men including best-selling US writer Paul Auster.

The victor of the Man Booker Prize will be announced on October 17 in London's Guildhall.

The competition is judged by chair Baroness Lola Young, Lila Azam Zanganeh, Sarah Hall, Tom Phillips and Colin Thubron. The author had previously won the Booker prize in 1997 for her debut novel, The God of Small Things.

Earlier, his acclaimed novel, The Reluctant Fundamentalist, was also shortlisted for the prize in 2007. The shortlist was rounded out with UK/Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid's Exit West, in which refugees can use unusual black doors to escape to other parts of the world, and American debut novelist Emily Fridlund's History of Wolves, about an isolated 14-year-old growing up in a dying commune in the mid-west. The ceremony will be broadcast by the BBC.

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Other nominees for the £50,000 prize include Ali Smith's book Autumn - about a dying man "whose country seems to have changed after the Brexit vote".

First awarded in 1969, the victor of the Man Booker will receive £50,000, while the short-listed writers each receive £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book. The victor will receive a further £50,000 and can expect worldwide recognition. The majority of this year's shortlist is already available for readers in these formats.

From longlist stage onwards, the "Man Booker Dozen" receives widespread interest from the media, booksellers and the public, in the form of critical engagement, media coverage and significantly increased book sales.

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