Can Joshua Ferris become the first American to win the Man Booker Prize?
U.S writers dominated the talk after the announcement of the Man Booker Prize shortlist for 2014, with both Joshua Ferris and Karen Joy Fowler nominated for their novels To Rise Again at a Decent Hour and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves. It is the first year that American authors are eligible for the £50,000 prize, previously limited to novels by citizens of Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth.
Can Howard Jacobson win the Booker Prize for a second time? [Getty/Stuart WIlson]
The chair of the panel, AC Grayling, said: "As the Man Booker Prize expands its borders, these six exceptional books take the reader on journeys around the world, between the UK, New York, Thailand, Italy, Calcutta and times past, present and future.
"It is a strong, thought-provoking shortlist which we believe demonstrates the wonderful depth and range of contemporary fiction in English."
Elsewhere, former winner Howard Jacobson is vying to become the first man to win the prize twice, with his love story 'J', and Australia's Richard Flanagan is also nominated. Britons Neel Mukherjee and Ali Smith have also made the shortlist before.
The committee said 154 books had been entered for this year's prize, with the winner being announced in a glittery ceremony on October 14.
Two Brits, Mukherjee and Smith, lead the betting and are available at 2/1 and 3/1 respectively. Ferris is the 10/1 outsider for the prize.
The full list of books on the shortlist are:
Joshua Ferris (US) for To Rise Again at a Decent Hour (Viking); Richard Flanagan (Australia) for The Narrow Road to the Deep North (Chatto & Windus); Karen Joy Fowler (US) for We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Serpent's Tail); Howard Jacobson (UK) for J (Jonathan Cape); Neel Mukherjee (UK) for The Lives of Others (Chatto & Windus) and Ali Smith (UK) for How to be Both (Hamish Hamilton)