The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the best book of the year. The winner of this year's Man Booker Prize will be announced on October 6. The winning author will receive £50,000 and can look forward to worldwide recognition. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, receives £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their own book. In the run up to the award, here is a sneak peek at the shortlisted authors...
Adam Foulds, The Quickening Maze
Adam Foulds, 34 is already a prize-winning novelist and poet. In 2008, he was named the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year for his first novel The Truth About These Strange Times. He was also awarded the Costa Poetry Prize for his narrative poem The Broken Word earlier this year. And now his second novel is shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
The Quickening Maze tells the story of the once famous and now floundering nature poet John Clare, who becomes a patient after years of struggling with alcohol and depression.
As Byatt, The Children's Book
AS Byatt is best known for her novel Possession, an academic whodunnit set in the Victorian era, which won the Booker Prize in 1990. She is best known for her novel Possession.
If she triumphs again AS Byatt will become the first woman to win the prize twice. The Children's Book is a meticulously researched historical novel, which charts the rise of fabianism, anarchism and feminism.
Jm Coetzee, Summertime
JM Coetzee began writing fiction in 1969 and his first novel Dusklands was published in 1974. He has won the Man Booker Prize twice, in 1983 and 1999 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2003.
Summertime is the third in a trilogy of fictionalised memoirs, that began with Boyhood and continued with Youth. It appears to tell the story of JM Coetzee's life in South Africa in the 1970's.
Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger
Sarah Waters has now been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize three times. She characterised her first three novels, Tipping the Velvet, Affinity and Fingersmith, as lesbian Victorian romps.
The Little Stranger charts the collapse of the upper classes in post-war Britain, exhausted by war and haunted by the rise of the working classes. The novel is set in 1948 in rural Warwickshire.
Simon Mawer, The Glass Room
The son of an RAF pilot, Simon Mawer was born in England and grew up in Cyprus and Malta. Although he had always wanted to be a writer, his first novel was not published until he was 40.
The Glass Room is about a spectacular modern house, built of glass and steel in Czechoslovakia in 1929. The novel follows the fortunes of those who live in the house during sixty years of Czechoslovakia's turbulent history - from the German occupation in 1939 through the post-war Communist period and beyond.
Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall
Although she has written 11 novels and a memoir, she has largely escaped the attention of literary award judges. Now, she is the bookmakers' favourite to win the Man Booker, for Wolf Hall.
Wolf Hall is a 650 page epic novel, set in one of the most eventful periods of English history, when Henry VIII divorces Katherine of Aragon, marries Anne Boleyn, breaks with Rome and sets up the Church of England.