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2 Canadians short-listed for Man Booker Prize

The selection of books shortlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize for Fiction on September 6, 2011 in London. GETTY IMAGES/Ben Pruchnie.

Two Canadians have made the shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, Britain’s most prestigious literary award.

Esi Edugyan and Patrick deWitt are in the running for the 50,000-pound prize (about $80,000).

Meanwhile, the finalists for the 2011 Toronto Book Awards were also announced Tuesday. It’s the 37th year the $15,000 prize has been handed out. The much larger Man Booker was first awarded in 2005.

James FitzGerald, What Disturbs Our Blood; James King, Étienne’s Alphabet; Rabindranath Maharaj, The Amazing Absorbing Boy; Nicholas Ruddock, The Parabolist; and Alissa York, Fauna, are the five finalists for the Toronto award.

“Congratulations to the five finalists of this year’s Toronto Book Awards,” Mayor Rob Ford said in a statement. “All of the authors have demonstrated their unique talent by telling stories about our great city.”

They will all read from their books at The Word On The Street on Sept. 25 at Queen’s Park, and the winners will be announced on Oct. 4.

Man Booker finalists Edugyan and deWitt are competing against four British novelists for the prize. The winner will be announced on Oct. 18.

Edugyan who is based in Victoria, is nominated for her second novel Half-Blood Blues, about black jazz musicians trying to survive in Europe during the Second World War.

deWitt, a Vancouver Island native, who now lives in the U.S., is also nominated for his second novel. The Sisters Brothers is a comical western set amid the 1850s California gold rush.

Last year, London author and columnist Howard Jacboson beat the odds-on favourite with his novel The Finkler Question.