Birmingham author Catherine O'Flynn failed to make it to the Man Booker Prize for Fiction shortlist with her novel What Was Lost.
No debut novels have made it into the final running for the coveted #50,000 prize, while Ian McEwan’s book On Chesil Beach and Mr Pip by New Zealand-born author Lloyd Jones were immediately installed as the bookies’ favourites.
On Chesil Beach has sparked controversy because of its short length, while the author has won the Booker Prize before for the novel Amsterdam.
The six shortlisted books chosen from a long list of 13 are:
Darkmans - Nicola Barker
The Gathering - Anne Enright
The Reluctant Fundamentalist - Mohsin Hamid
Mr Pip - Lloyd Jones
On Chesil Beach - Ian McEwan
Animal’s People - Indra Sinha
The final prize will be announced on October 16.
On Chesil Beach is set on the Dorset coast in the 1960s and features a couple anxious about their forthcoming wedding night. It is described as a "subtle exploration of the sexual politics of a bygone age".
Asked about whether it mattered that McEwan’s book was more of a novella than a novel, chair of the judges Howard Davies, director of the London School of Economics and Political Science, said: "We don’t think it’s at all slight in terms of its emotional steps. It’s a very tight and very taut novel."
The judges said it had been difficult narrowing an original 110 novels down. Many of the names on the list are not known to general readers.
Mr Davies said that selecting the shortlist from an "exciting long list" had been a tough challenge.
Pakistani Mohsin Hamid is the youngest author on the shortlist at only 35.