Page last updated at 17:13 GMT, Tuesday, 29 July 2008 18:13 UK

Rushdie tipped for 2008 Booker

Salman Rushdie
Rushdie has won three Booker prizes - all for Midnight's Children

Author Sir Salman Rushdie has emerged as the frontrunner to win the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, adding to his three existing Booker awards.

The 61-year-old, who first won with Midnight's Children in 1981, is in the running for this year's prize with The Enchantress of Florence.

He faces competition from 13 other writers including Aravind Adiga, Joseph O'Neill, Linda Grant and Tom Rob Smith.

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

The award, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary, is given to the best novel of the past year by an author from the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth.

Sir Salman's latest tells the story of a woman attempting to command her own destiny in a man's world.

It explores the differences between East and West, using the settings of Renaissance Italy and the ancient Mughal Empire.

Earlier this month, Sir Salman's Midnight's Children won the Best of the Booker prize, voted for by the public.

The same novel also won the Booker of Bookers in 1993.

Interesting Mix

Booker Prize Odds
4/1 Salman Rushdie The Enchantress of Florence
5/1 Aravind Adiga The White Tiger
6/1 Joseph O'Neill Netherland
6/1 Linda Grant The Clothes on Their Backs
10/1 Tom Rob Smith Child 44
10/1 Amitav Ghosh Sea of Poppies
12/1 Sebastian Barry The Secret Scripture
12/1 John Berger From A to X
12/1 Michelle de Krester The Lost Dog
12/1 Gaynor Arnold Girl in a Blue Dress
14/1 Mohammed Hanif A Case of Exploding Mangoes
14/1 Philip Hensher The Northern Clemency
16/1 Steve Toltz A Fraction of the Whole
Source: Ladbrokes

Hot on Sir Salman's heels this year is the debut novel by Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger.

Adiga, Time magazine's Asia correspondent, exposes the underbelly of India's new Tiger economy using a series of letters sent by her main character, Balram, to the Chinese prime minister.

Joseph O'Neill's post-9/11 novel Netherland, is a story about dreams, love and friendship through the eyes of one man's love for the game of cricket.

The Clothes On Their Backs - a story about survival and how garments inform who we are by Orange prize-winner Linda Grant - also makes it into the longlist.

Alongside it is Tom Rob Smith's Child 44, a critically-acclaimed detective thriller set in Soviet Russia.

Also in the running are Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh and The Secret Scripture by the previously-shortlisted Irish writer Sebastian Barry.

The longlist was chosen from 112 entries; 103 were submitted by publishers and nine were called in by the judges.

According to the chair of the panel Michael Portillo: "The judges are pleased with the geographical balance of the longlist with writers from Pakistan, India, Australia, Ireland and the UK."

"We also are happy with the interesting mix of books - five first novels and two novels by former winners, " the former MP added.


SEE ALSO
Midnight's Children - in 67 words
10 Jul 08 |  Magazine
Rushdie tipped for Booker treble
12 May 08 |  Entertainment
Best Booker winner to be chosen
21 Feb 08 |  Entertainment
'I tried not to imagine winning'
17 Oct 07 |  Entertainment
Booker winner's tragic tale
17 Oct 07 |  Entertainment

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