The British novelist Hilary Mantel, one of the darlings of historical fiction, is in the running for a second Booker Prize, for the follow up to the novel that won her the first award.
The 12-strong longlist for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction included Bring up the Bodies, the sequel to 2009 winner Wolf Hall.
The 60-year-old Mantel, who worked in a hospital before becoming an author, was joined by high-profile authors including Will Self and Michael Frayn.
There was surprise at the omission of Zadie Smith, whose NW was tipped as a return to form. Other big names to miss out on recognition included Martin Amis, Rose Tremain, and past winners Ian McEwan, Pat Barker and John Banville.
Sir Peter Stothard, editor of the Times Literary Supplement, said: "We judge novels not novelists; texts not reputations and these are texts you can re-read." Four first-time novels made the list, including Alison Moore's The Lighthouse and Communion Town by Sam Thompson. Sir Peter said: "We did not set out to reject the old guard but, after a year of sustained critical argument by a demanding panel of judges, the new has come powering through." The youngest writer, with his second novel The Teleportation Accident, is 27-year-old Ned Beauman. The oldest is Frayn, who has 51 years on his fellow nominee. He has been longlisted for the prize twice before.
Tom Tivnan, features editor of The Bookseller, said: "It's a nice mix of young gunslingers and some of the old guard. It's a bit more literary than last year."
The list for the £50,000 prize was picked from 145 titles and the shortlisted works will be announced on 11 September.
Booker Prize: The longlist
The superstar writer...
Celebrated author and playwright Michael Frayn has been named on the longlist for his work Skios, a farce set on the Greek Island. At 78, he is the oldest of the nominated authors. Among his best-known works are the play about a play, Noises Off. He was first nominated for Headlong in 1999, which reached the shortlist, and he was longlisted two years later for Spies.
The serial nominee...
This is the third time Nicola Barker has been nominated to the Booker longlist. Clear: A Transparent Novel, published in 2004, failed to make it any further but the 838-page Darkmans, released three years later, reached the shortlist. The latest work from the 46-year-old author is set in 2006 and described by its publisher as the most "flamboyant" comic fiction set in Luton.
The new entry...
Ned Beauman was the youngest to make the list at 27, yet it is not his debut work. His first novel Boxer, Beetle won the UK Writers' Guild Award and the Goldberg Prize for Outstanding Debut Fiction. The author, who studied philosophy at Cambridge, followed it up with, a story set in 1930s' Germany, which follows Egon Loeser from Berlin to Los Angeles.
... and the rest
André Brink Phillida
Tan Twan Eng The Garden of Evening Mists
Rachel Joyce The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
Deborah Levy Swimming Home
Hilary Mantel Bring up the Bodies
Alison Moore The Lighthouse
Will Self Umbrella
Jeet Thayil Narcopolis
Sam Thompson Communion Town