Arundhati Roy on course for second Booker prize

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This year, she is on the longlist for this prize again, for her latest work The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.

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

Roy, who won the 1997 prize for her The God of Small Things, is now competing with four authors each from the United Kingdom and the U.S. along with two Irish and two Pakistani writers. The judges had called Roy's second novel a "rich and vital book", reported The Guardian.

Ms. Roy is joined by four previously shortlisted writers - Ali Smith (2001, Hotel World; 2005, The Accidental; and 2014, How to Be Both); Zadie Smith (2005, On Beauty), Sebastian Barry (2005, A Long Long Way Down; 2008, The Secret Scripture; and longlisted in 2011 for On Canaan's Side) and Mohsin Hamid (2007, The Reluctant Fundamentalist).

The list, a who's-who of contemporary literature, also includes previous Man Booker-winner Arundhati Roy for her sophomore novel "The Ministry of Utmost Happiness", Colson Whitehead for his Pulitzer Prize-winning "The Underground Railroad", George Saunders for "Lincoln in the Bardo", and Zadie Smith for "Swing Time".

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As reported by the Guardian, Saunders, Whitehead and Auster will be competing with two new names: Fiona Mozley, from the United Kingdom, and American Emily Fridlund, both picked for their debut novels, Elmet and History of Wolves respectively.

Three debut novels are also included, two by the youngest authors on the list.

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 United States authors in 2014.

The longlist - narrowed down from 144 entries - will be narrowed again to a final six on Wednesday September 13 before a victor is announced at a ceremony in central London on October 17. The victor of the £50,000 (approximately Rs 41 lakh) prize will be declared on October 17 in London's Guildhall.

Here is the full longlist for this year's Man Booker.

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