The Man Booker Prize represents the one of the world's most lucrative and widely celebrated awards for literary fiction. Worth about $80,000, it will be awarded at a gala ceremony in London on Oct. 16. Here's a look at the nominees for the prestigious accolade.
Favourite to win is Hilary Mantel and her novel, 'Bring Up the Bodies', a sequel to 'Wolf Hall,' which was a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic and won the 2009 Man Booker Prize. If she does win, she'll become the first Brit to have claimed the award twice. Just behind Mantel lies mercurial and prolific author Will Self, who - after releasing over a dozen novels - has achieved his first nomination. Critics, according to the L.A Times, have called his book 'Umbrella' "moving and draining," whilst insisting that "those who stick with it will find it much less difficult than it first seems," which seems a strange conclusion for a book that could yet be judged the best of the year. Third of the supposed 'front three' in line to win is Jeet Thayil. The Indian-born author, who was raised in Hong Kong, India and the U.S., is a musician and poet. His first novel, 'Narcopolis,' is set in and around a 1970s opium den.
Elsewhere; author Tan Twan Eng makes the list with 'The Garden of Evening Mists', Alison Moore's debut novel, 'The Lighthouse' is recognised and Deborah Levy rounds up the hopefuls looking to take home the Man Booker this Autumn with 'Swimming Home'.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.