Arundhati Roy just made it to the Man Booker Prize 2017 longlist

Arundhati Roy with a copy of her novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

Arundhati Roy with a copy of her novel The Ministry of Utmost Happiness

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.

On a longlist thronged with literary titans, whose combined trophy cabinet would include the Pulitzer, the Costa, the Baileys, the Folio, the Impac and the Goldsmiths prizes, Roy, the only author to have won the Booker before, is listed for her novel about an Indian transgender woman, which judges called a "rich and vital book", reports the Guardian. The victor of the Man Booker will be declared on 17 October.

Last year, Paul Beatty won the Booker for The Sellout, making him the first American to win the prestigious literary prize since it was opened up to U.S. authors in 2014.

The Man Booker Prize for Fiction, first awarded in 1969, is open to writers of any nationality, writing in English and published in the UK.

Literary critic Lola Young, chairwoman of the judging panel, said the list contained works of "huge energy, imagination and variety". Nevertheless we found there was a spirit common to all these novels: though their subject matter might be turbulent, their power and range were life-affirming - a tonic for our times. It is a third longlist appearance for Jon McGregor (2002, If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, 2006, So Many Ways To Begin). The latter two are new imprints and this is the first time they have had a title on the Man Booker Prize longlist.

The six finalists will be named September 13, and the victor of the 50,000-pound ($65,000) prize will be announced on October 17.

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.

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