Newcomer debuts beat out literary heavyweights in surprise Booker Prize shortlist

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The other two USA authors are Paul Auster for 4321, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and civil rights movement, and Emily Fridlund for History Of Wolves, which explores "the effects of neglectful parenting" and the repercussions of childhood isolation and loneliness.

Famous Pakistani English-language author Mohsin Hamid was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for his novel "Exit West" on Wednesday.

The competition is judged by chair Baroness Lola Young, Lila Azam Zanganeh, Sarah Hall, Tom Phillips and Colin Thubron. The shortlist was rounded out with UK/Pakistani writer Mohsin Hamid's Exit West, in which refugees can use unusual black doors to escape to other parts of the world, and American debut novelist Emily Fridlund's History of Wolves, about an isolated 14-year-old growing up in a dying commune in the mid-west. Lincoln in the Bardo is short story writer George Saunders's first full-length novel.

Last month, the longlist for the literary award was revealed, which included prominent writers like Kamila Shamsie and Arundhati Roy who were nominated for their works "Home Fire" and "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness", respectively. Hamid was previously shortlisted for the Booker for his novel The Reluctant Fundamentalist.

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Also left out were favourites such as Zadie Smith, Sebastian Barry and Colson Whitehead, whose speculative slavery narrative The Underground Railroad won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction earlier this year.

The victor of the 50,000-pound ($65,000) prize will be announced on October 17.

The shortlisted authors each will receive 2,500 pounds and a specially bound edition of their book. Hamid and Mozley came in second, at 4/1, according to the bookies, while Auster's 4321 was given odds of 5/1 and Fridlund and Smith both at 6/1.

"The list represents a celebration of exceptional literary talent, ranging from established novelists to debut writers, that we are honoured to support", said Luke Ellis, CEO of investment management firm Man Group and sponsors of the prize.


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