Australian author Carey shortlisted for Booker Prize record

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Peter Carey could scoop the Booker Prize for a record third time after the Australian author was named on the shortlist Tuesday for one of the world's most prestigious literary awards.

His novel "Parrot and Olivier in America" is among six books nominated for the prize, with South Africa's Damon Galgut, Ireland's Emma Donoghue and three British authors providing the competition.

"It's been a great privilege and an exciting challenge for us to reduce our longlist of 13 to this shortlist of six outstandingly good novels," said Andrew Motion, Britain's former poet laureate who chairs the judges.

"In doing so, we feel sure we've chosen books which demonstrate a rich variety of styles and themes -- while in every case providing deep individual pleasures."

Carey is one of only two authors to have won the prize twice: in 1988 for "Oscar and Lucinda" and 2001 for "True History of the Kelly Gang".

This year's winner will be announced on October 12 at the Guildhall in London.

One of the most prestigious awards in English language literature, the annual Booker Prize goes to the best work of fiction by an author from the Commonwealth, the Republic of Ireland or Zimbabwe.

Contenders must have been published in the past year and originally written in English.

The prize comes with a winner's cheque for 50,000 pounds (77,000 dollars, 60,000 euros) and all but guarantees worldwide readership and an upsurge in book sales.

Last year's winner was British author Hilary Mantel's "Wolf Hall", a historical novel about English king Henry VIII's advisor Thomas Cromwell. It has since sold more than half a million copies in Britain alone.

Previous winners of the Booker Prize include Salman Rushdie, Kazuo Ishiguro, J. M. Coetzee, Iris Murdoch, William Golding, V. S. Naipaul, Thomas Keneally and Kingsley Amis.

Booker Prize shortlist:

Howard Jacobson -- "The Finkler Question"

© 2010 AFP

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