English author Julian Barnes was one of six authors shortlisted for the coveted Man Booker Prize for Fiction on Tuesday, and he is the bookmakers' favourite to win the award when it is announced in October.
Barnes, nominated for "The Sense of an Ending," appears on the shortlist for the fourth time following "Flaubert's Parrot" (1984), "England, England" (1998) and "Arthur and George" (2005), but has never won.
His relationship with the Man Booker Prize, one of the world's most important awards for English language fiction, has not always been easy.
He once referred to it as "posh bingo" and berated judges for being "inflated by their brief celebrity."
Also on the shortlist this year are two first-time novelists -- Stephen Kelman ("Pigeon English") and A.D. Miller ("Snowdrops") -- and two Canadians -- Patrick deWitt ("The Sisters Brothers") and Esi Edugyan ("Half Blood Blues").
Rounding out the nominees is Carol Birch with "Jamrach's Menagerie."
The award, worth 50,000 pounds ($80,530) to the winner as well as the likelihood of a huge boost in sales of the winning book, will be handed out on Oct. 18. (Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)