The Booker Prize shortlist was announced today, and the best-known author among the candidates is Julian Barnes and his book The Sense of an Ending. Barnes (pictured) has made the shortlist three times before without winning, and is joined by only one other prior nominee, Carol Birch for Jamrach's Menagerie.
There are surprises. Alan Hollinghurst's highly-praised novel The Stranger's Child has missed out. Two debut novelists, Stephen Kelman and A.D. Miller, are included. Most of the publishers are second-tier affairs. Obviously, the shortlist announcement is going to lead to a lot of champagne-supping.
US rights to all but one title are already spoken for, and four of the five are already on the market in the US. The missing one is Barnes' book, though Knopf have it slated for a January 24 release.
The full list (with the winner to be named on October 18):
Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending (Jonathan Cape)
Carol Birch, Jamrach's Menagerie (Canongate)
Patrick deWitt, The Sisters Brothers (Granta)
Esi Edugyan, Half Blood Blues (Serpent’s Tail)
Stephen Kelman, Pigeon English (Bloomsbury)
A.D. Miller, Snowdrops (Atlantic)