Four new novels have been included on the shortlist for this year's Booker Prize, with nominees including Diane Cook, Tsitsi Dangarembga, Avni Doshi, Maaza Mengiste, Douglas Stuart and Brandon Taylor - all of whom are based outside the UK.


As the UK's most prestigious literary award, the Booker Prize is open to any novel written in English by an author of any nationality.


The topics covered by the six nominees are wide-ranging, including stories about climate change, the hardship of life in Zimbabwe, dementia, and the women soldiers of 1935 Ethiopia.


Margaret Busby, chair of this year's judges, said: "The shortlist of six came together unexpectedly, voices and characters resonating with us all even when very different.


"We are delighted to help disseminate these chronicles of creative humanity to a global audience."


A surprising omission from the list is two-time winner Hilary Mantel has missed out. Mantel had been tipped for a record third win for The Mirror and the Light. Both previous titles in her trilogy about the life of Thomas Cromwell, Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, had won.


On that, judge, Lee Child, said: "We thought it was an absolutely wonderful novel, no question about it... but there were books that were better, that's all I can say personally."



The full 2020 Booker Prize shortlist is:


  • Diane Cook - The New Wilderness
  • Tsitsi Dangarembga - This Mournable Body
  • Avni Doshi - Burnt Sugar
  • Maaza Mengiste -The Shadow King
  • Douglas Stuart - Shuggie Bain
  • Brandon Taylor - Real Life


The winner will be announced on November 17.


Last year saw Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo share the £50,000 prize, breaking the Booker's own 1992 rule of awarding it to only one author.