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Tuesday, 18 September, 2001, 07:56 GMT 08:56 UK
Booker shortlist to be unveiled
Beryl Bainbridge
Beryl Bainbridge has been runner-up five times before
The six-strong shortlist for the Booker Prize - the literary world's most prestigious award - is announced on Tuesday afternoon.

Dame Beryl Bainbridge is currently the odds-on favourite to win, with bookmakers William Hill offering 3-1 on her novel According to Queeney.

Click here to see the Booker Prize long list

The prize, of 21,000, goes to the best full-length novel of the year written by a British, Commonwealth or Republic of Ireland novelist.

This year, for the first time, the "long list" of eligible novelists has been made public and includes Melvyn Bragg, Nick Hornby, Ian McEwan, Nadine Gordimer, VS Naipaul and Marina Warner.

Sales

Winning the prize can mean a major boost to book sales.

Booker Prize odds
3-1 Beryl Bainbridge (According To Queeney)
8-1 Peter Carey (True History Of The Kelly Gang)
9-1 Melvyn Bragg (Son Of War)
Nick Hornby (How To Be Good)
10-1 Ian McEwan (An Atonement)
Some recent winners, such as Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things, and Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient have gone on to sell more than one million copies after getting the prize.

Other winners in the 33-year history of the prize have included Kingsley Amis, Pat Barker, Anita Brookner, Roddy Doyle, Kazuo Ishiguro and Salman Rushdie.

Even the shortlisted losers stand to gain - they receive a cheque for 1,000 and a publicity boost for their book.

William Hill spokesman Graham Sharpe has spoken of why Beryl Bainbridge is seen as a clear favourite: "I like a trier and a stayer.

"If you persist you are going to win eventually.

"I think the Booker judges will have to think long and hard before they reject her this time."

Arundhati Roy
Arundhati Roy: Booker win boosted sales
The judging panel is chaired by former Conservative education secretary Lord Baker, and includes novelist and critic Philip Hensher, novelist and poet Michele Roberts, academic Professor Rory Watson and the literary editor of The Daily Telegraph, Kate Summerscale.

The winner of the prize will be announced at a dinner at London's Guild Hall on 17 October and will be televised by the BBC.

The Booker 2001 long list

Back to top

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

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