The Man Booker Fiction Prize is one of the most prestigious prizes in the literary world, awarded to the best original full-length, English novel written by a member of the Commonwealth, Ireland or Zimbabwe. Even making it onto the longlist ensures boosted sales for the author: to win the award automatically grants the winning author a great deal of prestige and nearly guaranteed bestseller status.
The judges’ selection includes two first time novelists - Stephen Kelman and A.D. Miller – while four of the books are from independent publishers. Of the six writers, two have enjoyed success with the prize in the past. Julian Barnes has been shortlisted three times for Arthur and George (2005), England, England (1998) and Flaubert’s Parrot (1984), while Carol Birch was longlisted in 2003 for Turn Again Home. Two Canadian writers feature on the shortlist - Patrick deWitt and Esi Edugyan – along with four British novelists.
The shortlist was announced by Chair of Judges, author and former Director-General of MI5 Dame Stella Rimington, at a press conference held at Man’s London headquarters on 6 September 2011.