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Last Updated: Tuesday, 9 November, 2004, 20:03 GMT
Booker winner up for Whitbread
Alan Hollinghurst
Hollinghurst will start as early favourite
The shortlist for the Whitbread Book Awards includes 2004 Booker winner Alan Hollinghurst for The Line of Beauty.

He is up against literary stars such as previous Whitbread winner Kate Atkinson, and Orange Prize winner Andrea Levy in the novel category.

The Whitbread shortlist features 20 books in five categories including children's, poetry and biographies.

A winner is chosen in each category who then compete for the overall Whitbread book of the year title.

Category winners will earn 5,000 and be in with a chance of winning the overall prize of 25,000.

The first novel category features the much-touted Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clarke, which made the Booker longlist but not the shortlist.

Also competing in the category is Richard Collins for The Lands as viewed from the Sea, Susan Fletcher for Eve Green and Pano Karnezis' The Maze.

Susanna Clarke
Susanna Clarke was a surprise omission from the Booker shortlist
Louis de Bernieres' Birds Without Wings makes up the four-strong shortlist for novel of the year.

Scott Pack, product manager at Waterstones, believes Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell has the potential to repeat last year's contest when Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time was missed off the Booker shortlist but won the Whitbread.

People's choice

"Haddon's book was the 'people's choice' for the best book of 2003 as the public went on to buy over four times as many copies of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time than the Man Booker 2003 winner Vernon God Little," said Mr Pack.

"This year, we have another book that fits this profile in Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, which was also missed off the shortlist of the 2004 Man Booker Award but has already sold almost 60% more than Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty.

He added: "If Susanna Clarke goes on to win this year's Whitbread Book of the Year Award, it will be the second year that the Whitbread has championed the book that the public have been voting with their feet for."

All the authors featured in the children's category this year are women.

Among the books vying in the section are Meg Rosoff for How I Live Now and Annie Cassidy for Looking for JJ.

The biography category features a diverse range of subjects including Mary Queen of Scots by John Guy and poet Stephen Spender by John Sutherland.

Competing in the poetry category are Leonita Flynn, John Fuller, Matthew Hollis and Michael Symmons Roberts.

The winner of each category will be announced on 6 January and the book of the year on 25 January.

The shortlist in full:

Novel shortlist

Kate Atkinson - Case Histories
Louis de Bernieres - Birds Without Wings
Alan Hollinghurst - The Line of Beauty
Andrea Levy - Small Island

First novel shortlist

Susanna Clarke - Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Richard Collins - The Land as Viewed from the Sea
Susan Fletcher - Eve Green
Panos Karnezis - The Maze

Biography shortlist

John Guy - My Heart is my Own: The Life of Mary Queen of Scots
David McKie - Jabez: The Rise and Fall of a Victorian Rogue
John Sutherland - Stephen Spender
Jeremy Treglown - VS Pritchett: A Life

Poetry shortlist

Leontia Flynn - These Days
John Fuller - Ghosts
Matthew Hollis - Ground Water
Michael Symmons Roberts - Corpus

Children's book shortlist

Anne Cassidy - Looking for JJ
Geraldine McCaughrean - Not the End of the World
Meg Rosoff - How I Live Now
Ann Turnbull - No Shame, No Fear

Hollinghurst takes Booker Prize
19 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
Review: The Line of Beauty
14 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
Levy 'thrilled' by Orange award
09 Jun 04 |  Entertainment
Facing life as a Booker winner
20 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
The curious tale of author Haddon
07 Jan 04 |  Entertainment

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