Man Booker Prize: Arundhati Roy comeback novel on longlist – BBC News

Image copyright Hamish Hamilton
Image caption The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is Roy’s first work of long-form fiction since 1997

Arundhati Roy’s long-awaited second novel has made the longlist for the Man Booker Prize – 20 years after winning the award with her first.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness is one of 13 novels longlisted for the 50,000 prize, which is now in its 49th year.

Two British Smiths, Ali and Zadie, also make the cut, as do first-time authors Emily Fridlund and Fiona Mozley.

The longlist includes four US writers, one year on from the prize going to its first American recipient.

They include veteran writer Paul Auster, recognised – at the age of 70 – for 4 3 2 1, his first novel in seven years.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Paul Auster was born in 1947 and lives in New York

American writers have been eligible for the prize since 2014, a move labelled “daft” by 2011 winner Julian Barnes.

Colson Whitehead, George Saunders and Fridlund make up the rest of the US contingent, while Mozley and Jon McGregor complete the quartet of UK contenders.

The longlist is completed by two Irish authors – Sebastian Barry and Mike McCormack – and two novelists who were born in Pakistan, Mohsin Hamid and Kamila Shamsie.

The list was chosen from 144 submissions published in the UK between 1 October 2016 and 30 September 2017.

2017 Man Booker Prize longlist

  • Paul Auster, 4 3 2 1
  • Sebastian Barry, Days Without End
  • Emily Fridlund, History of Wolves
  • Mohsin Hamid, Exit West
  • Mike McCormack, Solar Bones
  • Jon McGregor, Reservoir 13
  • Fiona Mozley, Elmet
  • Arundhati Roy, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness
  • George Saunders, Lincoln in the Bardo
  • Kamila Shamsie, Home Fire
  • Ali Smith, Autumn
  • Zadie Smith, Swing Time
  • Colson Whitehead, The Underground Railroad

Indian author Roy won the Booker in 1997 with her best-selling debut novel The God of Small Things.

Her second novel, published in June, is described by the Booker judges as “a rich and vital book [that] comes from the bowels of India”.

Barry’s longlisted book, Days Without End, saw the author become the first novelist to win the Costa Book of the Year prize twice.

Image copyright EPA/Getty Images
Image caption Ali Smith and Zadie Smith have been shortlisted for the Booker but have yet to win it

The 62-year-old has been shortlisted for the Booker before, as have Ali Smith, Zadie Smith and Mohsin Hamid.

Baroness Lola Young, chair of the 2017 judging panel, said the 13 books “showcased a diverse spectrum – not only of voices and literary styles but of protagonists too”.

This year’s list of contenders has a ratio of seven men to six women – the same gender split as last year’s longlist.

A six-strong shortlist will be announced on 13 September, ahead of the winning book being announced on 17 October.

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