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Last Updated: Thursday, 14 September 2006, 16:21 GMT 17:21 UK
Waters named on Booker shortlist
Sarah Waters
Waters was previously shortlisted for Fingersmith in 2002
Welsh novelist Sarah Waters is among the six writers shortlisted for this year's £50,000 Man Booker Prize.

Kiran Desai, Kate Grenville, M J Hyland, Hisham Matar and Edward St Aubyn are also up for the prize, due to be announced on 10 October.

But British author David Mitchell - the bookmakers' early favourite to win when the longlist was announced last month - is not included on the shortlist.

Waters, previously shortlisted in 2002, has been named 6/4 favourite to win.

Previous recipients Peter Carey, Nadine Gordimer and Barry Unsworth also failed to make it past the first round.

Each of the six shortlisted authors - selected from a longlist of 19 titles - receives £2,500.

"Each of these novels has what we as judges were most looking for," said academic Hermione Lee, chair of this year's judging panel.

BOOKER ODDS
Kate Grenville
6/4 Sarah Waters
4/1 Hisham Matar
4/1 Kiran Desai
11/2 Kate Grenville (above)
7/1 Edward St Aubyn
4/1 M J Hyland
Source: Ladbrokes

This was "a distinctive original voice, an audacious imagination that takes readers to undiscovered countries of the mind, a strong power of story-telling and a historical truthfulness.

"Each of these novels creates a world you inhabit without question or distrust while you are reading, and a mood, an atmosphere, which lasts long after the reading is over," added Ms Lee.

Last year's Man Booker Prize went to The Sea by Irish author John Banville.

Of this year's shortlisted authors, only Sarah Waters has been nominated before.

Surprise

But Kiran Desai is the daughter of Indian novelist Anita Desai - previously shortlisted on three occasions.

Hisham Matar is the only first-time novelist to make the cut. His novel, In the Country of Men, tells the story of a young boy growing up in Libya under Colonel Gaddafi.

Book chain Waterstone's expressed surprise that Mitchell did not make the final list with his rites-of-passage novel Black Swan Green.

"His writing has truly evolved and a place on the shortlist would have been well deserved," said spokesman Rodney Troubridge.

He added that the company was "thrilled" that Waters was included and "particularly excited" by Hisham Matar's nomination.

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The full shortlist is as follows:

  • Kiran Desai, The Inheritance of Loss (Hamish Hamilton)
  • Kate Grenville, The Secret River (Canongate)
  • M J Hyland, Carry Me Down (Canongate)
  • Hisham Matar, In the Country of Men (Viking)
  • Edward St Aubyn, Mother's Milk (Picador)
  • Sarah Waters, The Night Watch (Virago)




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