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Last Updated: Thursday, 6 September 2007, 16:47 GMT 17:47 UK
McEwan named on Booker shortlist
Ian McEwan
This is the fourth time Ian McEwan has been shortlisted
Author Ian McEwan has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, nine years after winning the prestigious literary award.

The novelist, who won with Amsterdam in 1998 and has been nominated twice more in the past, is in the running this year with On Chesil Beach.

He will face competition from Lloyd Jones, Nicola Barker, Mohsin Hamid, Anne Enright and Indra Sinha - all of whom are newcomers to the shortlist.

The winner of the 50,000 prize will be named at London's Guildhall in October.

The award is given for the best novel of the past year by an author from the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth.

BOOKER PRIZE ODDS
Lloyd Jones
2/1: Lloyd Jones (above) - Mister Pip
5/2: Ian McEwan - On Chesil Beach
4/1: Nicola Barker - Darkmans
5/1: Mohsin Hamid - The Reluctant Fundamentalist
8/1: Anne Enright - The Gathering
8/1: Indra Sinha - Animal's People
Source: William Hill

McEwan's latest novel is a tragic love story about a couple's wedding night, set in the 1960s.

It has sparked debate in the literary world because at less than 200 pages, it is considered by many to be a novella - which would make it ineligible for the Booker.

After starting as the outsider when the longlist was announced last month, New Zealander Lloyd Jones has now overtaken McEwan as favourite with bookmakers William Hill.

His book Mister Pip, which won the Commonwealth Writers' Prize Overall Best Book Award 2007, is about a girl on a war-torn Pacific island who becomes fixated with the writing of Charles Dickens.

Nicola Barker's Darkmans is shortlisted three years after she reached the longlist with Clear: A Transparent Novel.

Mohsin Hamid's The Reluctant Fundamentalist tells the story of a Pakistani man in the US who is radicalised after 9/11.

Indra Sinha, who set up a clinic in 1996 to help survivors of the 1984 Bhopal gas disaster in India is nominated for his fictionalised story of one victim.

'Tough challenge'

And Anne Enright's The Gathering is about a large Irish family coping with the suicide of one of its members.

Howard Davies, chair of the judging panel, said: "Selecting a shortlist this year from what was widely seen as an exciting longlist was a tough challenge.

"We hope the choices we have made after passionate and careful consideration will attract wide interest."

Last year's victor was The Inheritance of Loss by Kiran Desai.


SEE ALSO
At-a-glance: Booker shortlist 2007
06 Sep 07 |  Entertainment
McEwan battles Booker newcomers
07 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Booker judges back Rushdie honour
29 Jun 07 |  Entertainment
Kiran Desai claims Booker title
10 Oct 06 |  Entertainment

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