Ian McEwan has emerged as the favourite to win this year's Man Booker prize for fiction after his novella On Chesil Beach was shortlisted.

The author won the prize in 1998 for the novel Amsterdam and his latest work is a 1960s love story set in a hotel on the Dorset coast.

One of McEwan's most famous books, Atonement, has been made into a film starring Keira Knightley and James McAvoy and will be released later this summer.

Howard Davies, chair of the Booker judges, said: "This year's longlist is very diverse, with four first-time novelists as well as some more familiar names.

"All the books chosen are well-crafted and will appeal to a wide readership."

The 'Man Booker Dozen' - which comprises 13 books - was whittled down from 110 entries.

Also included in the list is The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid, Gifted by Nikita Lalwani and The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng.

The judges for this year's prize comprised Howard Davies, the director of the London School of Economics; Wendy Cope, poet; Giles Foden, journalist and author of The Last King of Scotland; Ruth Scurr, a biographer and critic; and Imogen Stubbs, a writer.

Last year's winner was Kiran Desai for The Inheritance of Loss.

The Man Booker Dozen:

Nicola Barker - Darkmans
Edward Docx - Self Help
Tan Twan Eng - The Gift Of Rain
Anne Enright - The Gathering
Mohsin Hamid - The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Peter Ho Davies - The Welsh Girl
Lloyd Jones - Mister Pip
Nikita Lalwani - Gifted
Ian McEwan - On Chesil Beach
Catherine O'Flynn - What Was Lost
Michael Redhill - Consolation
Indra Sinha - Animal's People
AN Wilson - Winnie & Wolf

08/08/2007 11:56:25