Novelist Mohsin Hamid's 'Exit West' shortlisted for Man Booker Prize

Novelist Mohsin Hamid's 'Exit West' shortlisted for Man Booker Prize

Novelist Mohsin Hamid's 'Exit West' shortlisted for Man Booker Prize

Judges dismissed controversy over the number of United States names on the list, saying that the shortlist - recently opened up to USA writers - was "not about the nationality of the authors" but "what is the best book". British bookmakers Ladbrokes and William Hill have made Saunders the front-runner among the six titles vying for the 50,000-pound (around 55,000-euro) prize. Lincoln in the Bardo, the first full-length novel by Saunders - an acclaimed short story writer and Folio Prize victor - completes the list.

"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. It was published 20 years after her debut novel The God of Small Things, for which she had won the Man Booker Prize in 1997. The victor will be announced October 17, 2017. The novel is set in a Washington graveyard in 1862, where President Abraham Lincoln visits the body of his 11-year-old son.

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.

On the other hand, the other novels that have failed to make the cut, like "The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead or "Swing Time" by Zadie Smith were as compelling as the ones that are still in the race.

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Paul Auster, Emily Fridlund, Mohsin Hamid, Fiona Mozley, George Saunders and Ali Smith are today announced as the six shortlisted authors for the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction.

Founded in 1969 and originally open only to writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth, the Booker expanded in 2014 to include all English-language authors.

The change spurred fears among some British writers and publishers that it would bring US dominance to a prize whose previous winners include Salman Rushdie, Ben Okri, Margaret Atwood and Hilary Mantel. The previous Man Booker victor was Paul Beatty for The Sellout. "We make our judgment based not on anybody's nationality or their gender or anything else, other than what is written on those pages".

The 2017 victor will be announced on Tuesday 17 October in London's Guildhall, at a dinner that brings together the shortlisted authors and well-known figures from the literary world.

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