A Western has made its way on to the Man Booker Prize shortlist for the first time – in what judges have hailed as a “readable” shortlist.
The latest novel from British author Alan Hollinghurst – who had been tipped as one of the favourites to win the £50,000 (€57,000) prize and won in 2004 for The Line of Beauty – has been omitted from the shortlist.
But two debut novelists have made this year’s list of six books, including a novel inspired by the murder of schoolboy Damilola Taylor.
Favourite to win this year is Julian Barnes, who has a fourth stab at success with The Sense Of An Ending.
The 65-year-old British author has been nominated for the Booker three times previously, but has never won.
The Western in the shortlist, The Sisters Brothers, is by the Canadian author Patrick deWitt, 36.
The “chilling” story of brothers Eli and Charlie details their violent and unsettling experiences in Gold Rush America in 1851, and is said to be reminiscent of films by the Coen Brothers.
:: The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
:: The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt
:: Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch
:: Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan
:: Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman
:: Snowdrops by AD Miller