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Arundhati Roy on course for second Booker prize

27 Juillet 2017

While no Australians feature, it does include the long-awaited second novel by Arundhati Roy, who won 20 years ago with The God of Small Things, Colson Whitehead, this year's Pulitzer Prize victor, and the acclaimed Lincoln in the Bardo, the first novel by the writer who dazzled this year's Sydney Writers' Festival, George Saunders.

Arundhati Roy's long-awaited second novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, has her back in contention for a Booker prize. The victor of the Man Booker will be declared on 17 October.

The longlist also includes Mohsin Hamid for his new novel Exit West, a love story set in a world where refugees use wormholes to travel from city to city.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is one of 13 novels longlisted for the £50,000 prize, which is now in its 49th year. First-time authors Emily Fridlund and Fiona Mozley also made the cut this year.

Last year's victor, "The Sellout" by American author Paul Beatty, has now sold more than 360,000 physical copies, with sales in the week after the prize announcement jumping by 658%. They are joined by the Impac Dublin award-winning author Jon McGregor and his novel Reservoir 13, about the life of a Peak District village after a 13-year-old girl goes missing on holiday, and Kamila Shamsie's Home Fire, a modern retelling of Sophocles's tragedy Antigone that opens in an interrogation room in Heathrow airport.

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This year's longlist is very diverse.

The 13 books were chosen out of 144 novels on the basis of depicting "huge energy, imagination and variety, " literary critic and chairwoman of the judging panel, Lola Young was reported as saying by The Indian Express.

Now, the judges of the prize will re-read these 13 novels and shortlist six, which will be announced on 13 September.

Founded in 1969 only for authors from Britain, Ireland and the commonwealth, the Man Booker Prize was expanded to include all English novels in 2014 and is now in its 49th year.

Arundhati Roy on course for second Booker prize