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Wednesday, 15 August, 2001, 12:54 GMT 13:54 UK
Bainbridge is Booker favourite
Beryl Bainbridge
Beryl Bainbridge has been runner-up five times before
Novelist Beryl Bainbridge is the bookmakers' favourite for the prestigious Booker Prize for literature as a "long-list" of books for the award is made public for the first time.

Bainbridge's novel According to Queeney is the 6-1 favourite for the prize, for which she has been runner-up on five previous occasions.

Click here to see the long list in full

Also on the 24-strong list are books by Melvyn Bragg (Son of War), Nick Hornby (How to be Good), V.S. Naipaul (Half a Life), Peter Carey (True History of the Kelly Gang) and James Kelman (Translated Accounts).

The judging panel, headed by former Conservative minister Kenneth Baker, chose the books from a submission of 119 novels. The winner will collect 21,000 in prize money.

The Booker Prize is not only among the most prestigious literary awards, it also greatly boosts sales of books shortlisted.

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe said of Bainbridge: "I like a trier and a stayer. If you persist you are going to win eventually.

"Every decent actor gets an Oscar in the end. I think the Booker judges will have to think long and hard before they reject her this time."

Canadian author Margaret Atwood won the prize last year for her novel The Blind Assassin.

Australian Peter Carey, a previous winner, and Jane Urquhart have odds of 10-1, while Ian McEwan and James Kelman, who have also won the award, are at 12-1.

Kenneth Baker said in a statement: "There has always been speculation about the Booker Prize long list so I am very glad my fellow judges have agreed to supply an official long-list for the first time.

"We hope the list will highlight the wide range, depth and quality of the books submitted."

The initial 24 will be cut down to a shortlist of six that is to be announced on 18 September.

The overall winner will be announced at a ceremony on 17 October.

The Booker 2001 long list

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Beryl Bainbridge - According to Queeney
Derek Beaven - If the Invader Comes
Melvyn Bragg - A Son of War
Peter Carey - True History of the Kelly Gang
Ciaran Carson - Shamrock Tea
Stevie Davies - The Element of Water
Nadine Gordimer - The Pickup
Patricia Grace - Dogside Story
Abdulrazak Gurnah - By the Sea
Nick Hornby - How to be Good
Zvi Jagendorf - Wolfy and the Strudelbakers
James Kelman - Translated Accounts
Ian McEwan - An Atonement
Eion McNamee - The Blue Tango
Andrew Miller - Oxygen
David Mitchell - Number 9 Dream
Ferdinand Mount - Fairness
V. S. Naipaul - Half a Life
Philip Pullman - The Amber Spyglass Rachel Seiffert - The Dark Room
Ali Smith - Hotel World
Manil Suri - The Death of Vishnu
Jane Urquhart - The Stone Carvers
Marina Warner - The Leto Bundle

See also:

07 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Atwood wins Booker Prize
06 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Booker Prize 2000: The Reviews
20 Mar 01 | TV and Radio
BBC wins back Booker
15 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Lord Baker chairs Booker panel
07 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Booker Prize 2000: Margaret Atwood
02 Mar 99 | Entertainment
Bainbridge wins book award
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