The winner of the storied Booker Prize will be announced on Monday, with Mumbai-born Salman Rushdie's tragicomic novel Quichotte in the shortlist.
This year, he is shortlisted alongside another former winner, Margaret Atwood, besides Lucy Ellmann, Bernardine Evaristo, Chigozie Obioma, and Elif Shafak.
"Like all great literature, these books teem with life, with a profound and celebratory humanity," said Peter Florence, founder and director of the Hay Festival and Chair of the Booker Prize judging panel this year.
The shortlist was selected from 151 submitted books published in the UK or Ireland between October 2018 and September 2019.
"A picaresque tour-de-force of contemporary America, with all its alarms and craziness. Rushdie conjures a celebration of storytelling and language that will delight lovers of Cervantes, lovers of daytime television and lovers of life," was the comment of a five-member judging panel in reference to Rushdie's latest work, which is inspired by the classic Don Quixote by 16th century Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes.
Canadian author Margaret Atwood is shortlisted for The Testaments, which the judges describe as "terrifying and exhilarating".
Lucy Ellmann is shortlisted for Ducks, Newburyport, Bernardine Evaristo for Girl, Woman, Other, Chigozie Obioma for An Orchestra of Minorities, and Elif Shafak for 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World.
The judging panel said this year's shortlist offers an insight into different worlds from the dystopian setting of Gilead, the monologue of an Ohio housewife and the tragicomic tale of a travelling salesman in America; to mostly female, mostly Black, British lives across generations, the trials of a young Nigerian man on a quest to improve his prospects and true allegiances within the brothels of Istanbul.
-Inputs from PTI