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Monday, 11 March, 2002, 15:00 GMT
Richest book prize announces finalists
Peter Carey
Carey's Booker-winner is the bookies' favourite
The shortlist for the world's largest literary prize, worth 100,000 euros (61,450), has been announced.

The contenders for the International Impac Dublin Literary Award 2002 include two Booker prize winners: Peter Carey's True History Of the Kelly Gang and Margaret Atwood's The Blind Assassin.

Carey's novel is the current favourite to win, according to bookmaker William Hill, who is giving it odds of 6/4.

Carlos Fuentes
Fuentes, born in 1928, is the oldest author on the list
The Blind Assassin is the second favourite at 3/1.

There are five other shortlisted novels.

The Last Samurai, which made the Orange prize shortlist in 2001, is a first novel by US author Helen DeWitt, who was born in Maryland but who studied classics and philosophy at Oxford.

The Keepers Of Truth by Michael Collins won the Kerry Ingredients Book of the Year Award for Best Irish Novel and was shortlisted for the 2000 Booker Prize.

Sexual

The Years With Laura Diaz is by veteran Mexican novelist Carlos Fuentes, a one-time diplomat who won the Cervantes Prize in 1987.

The frankly sexual Atomised, by Michel Houellebecq, caused controversy in his native France - but also won him the Prix Novembre. Houellebecq currently lives in Ireland.

Margaret Atwood
Atwood's novel won the 2001 Orange prize
Antoni Libera's Madame is a first novel from a literary critic, translator, and theatre director who lives in Warsaw, Poland.

The winner will be announced on 13 May in Dublin Castle, where the prize will also be awarded on 15 June at a dinner attended by the Irish president, Mary McAleese.

The shortlist was chosen by an international panel of writers including the UK's Michael Holroyd and Irish novelist Jennifer Johnston.

The panel was chaired by US historian Allen Weinstein.

Previous winners of the Impac prize include Remembering Babylon by David Malouf and, in 2001, No Great Mischief by Alistair Macleod.

See also:

07 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Atwood wins Booker Prize
18 Sep 01 | Arts
Miller's 'ingenious' novels
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