Australian authors Patrick White and Shirley Hazzard are in the running for a special one-off Man Booker Prize.
The pair are among six international authors who have made the shortlist for ‘The Lost Man Book Prize’ for novels published in 1970 which missed out on being considered for the prestigious literary award.
Two years after the inaugural Booker in 1969, organisers decided it should no longer be retrospective and that the prize for the best novel be awarded in the year of publication instead. The date of the prize was also moved from April to November.
As a result of the changes, books published in 1970 fell through the net and were never considered.
The Vivisector by White, who died in 1990, is now back in contention, as is Hazzard’s The Bay Of Noon.
The other titles to make the shortlist are The Birds On The Trees by Nina Bawden, Troubles by JG Farrell, Mary Renault’s Fire From Heaven and The Drivers Seat by Muriel Spark.
They beat such longlisted authors as Melvyn Bragg (A Place In England), Iris Murdoch (A Fairly Honourable Defeat), Ruth Rendell (A Guilty Thing Surprised) and Patrick O’Brian (Master And Commander).
A panel of three judges – journalist and critic Rachel Cooke, ITN newsreader Katie Derham and poet and novelist Tobias Hill – chose the shortlist.
But the winner of The Lost Man Booker Prize will be decided by the international reading public voting on the Man Booker Prize website.
The poll closes on April 23.
The winner will be announced on May 19.