Booker Shortlist Mixes McEwan, New Names
New Zealander given top odds for leading literary gong
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2007 2:43 PM CDT
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(Newser) – A diverse group of novels has been selected for the shortlist for this year's Man Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious literary awards in the English language. The six novels in the running cover wide terrain, from civil war in Papua New Guinea to environmental disaster in India to a disastrous wedding night in 1960s Britain, the Guardian reports.

Ian McEwan is the only nominee who has won the Booker before, but this year's On Chesil Beach is considered a lesser effort, and victory is far from assured. Booker bookies have given the shortest odds to Mr. Pip, New Zealand author Lloyd Jones' story of teaching Dickens in the midst of civil war in the South Pacific.