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Rushdie, Roy in race for The Best of the Booker

India-born authors Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy would be among those vying for the The Best of the Booker, a one-off award to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the prestigious literary prize.

books Updated: Feb 21, 2008 18:22 IST

India-born authors Salman Rushdie and Arundhati Roy would be among those vying for the The Best of the Booker, a one-off award to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the prestigious literary prize.

The Best of the Booker will honour the finest novel to have won the The Man Booker Prize for Fiction since it was first awarded on April 22, 1969, the organisers announced today.

In all, 41 novels will be eligible for the award, including Rushdie's Midnight Children, Roy's God of Small Things and Kiran Desai's The Inheritance of Loss.

This is the second time that a celebratory award has been created by the Man Booker prize organisers. In 1993 - the 25th anniversary - Rushdie won the 'Booker of Bookers' for Midnight's Children.

The Best of the Booker will, for the first time, invite the public to help decide which novel deserves to take this prestigious one-off award. The public will choose from a shortlist of six novels to be selected by a panel of judges chaired by novelist and critic Victoria Glendinning.

The two other judges on the panel are writer and broadcaster Mariella Frostrup and John Mullan, Professor of English at University College London.

Their shortlist will be announced in May, and public voting will then begin here on the Man Booker Prize website.