Like the Turner Prize for visual art, the Man Booker, which was first awarded in 1969, is watched closely in Britain. Betting parlors like Ladbrokes set odds and accept bets on the shortlist and the winner.
Three widely discussed books on the 13-book longlist, announced July 27 — Colson Whitehead’s “The Underground Railroad,” which won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize in the United States, Arundhati Roy’s “The Ministry of Utmost Happiness” and Zadie Smith’s “Swing Time” — did not make the cut on Wednesday.
The authors on the shortlist are:
• Mr. Auster for “4 3 2 1,” which tells the story of a young American, Ferguson, across much of the 20th century, in four different versions. Events like the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement “reverberate around and through what’s happening in Ferguson’s life,” Ms. Young said, calling the novel “an ambitious, complex, epic narrative.”
• Ms. Fridlund for her debut novel, “History of Wolves,” about a wild adolescent, Linda, who lives on a commune in the Midwest and is changed by the arrival of a young family. “The novels plays with mystery and thriller genres and classic coming-of-age tales and at its heart is a deeply sophisticated, intelligent and realist version of these,” said Sarah Hall, a novelist on the 2017 judging panel.
• The Pakistani-British writer Mohsin Hamid for “Exit West,” about a couple uprooted by turmoil, in an unnamed city swollen by the arrival of refugees. “Rather than deploying a documentary of realist narrative, Hamid goes for the human element, the depiction of an emotional landscape,” Ms. Young said, calling the novel “a subtle, compact piece of writing.”
• The British writer Fiona Mozley for her debut novel, “Elmet,” about an English child’s struggle to survive and his memories of Daddy, a moody, bare-knuckle fighter who defies rural social norms. “The tale is told in vivid language whose poetry survives even its last dark catastrophe, with no punches pulled,” said one judge, the artist Tom Phillips.
• Mr. Saunders, a famed writer of short stories, for his first novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo,” which conjures the American president’s thoughts and feelings about the burial of his 11-year-old son, Willie, who died of typhoid fever in 1862. “At the book’s center remains the heartbreaking figure of Lincoln himself, visiting the graveyard in solitude, unaware of the spirits that…