British writer Alan Garner, 87, has become the oldest writer to be shortlisted for the prestigious Booker Prize.
His book Treacle Walker is up against five novels including Claire Keegan’s Small Things Like These, the shortest ever to make the cut, with 116 pages.
However, organisers said Treacle Walker is even shorter by word count.
NoViolet Bulawayo, Percival Everett, Elizabeth Strout and Shehan Karunatilaka are also nominated.
Zimbabwean author Bulawayo makes her second appearance on the shortlist with her book Glory.
Garner’s book, about an unlikely friendship between a healer and a young boy, took eight years to write.
On being the oldest ever to be recognised for the prize, he said that “age, in itself, is irrelevant. However, as with all skills, an apprenticeship has to be served with practice, and experience”.
The £50,000 prize winner will be announced on 17 October, Garner’s 88th birthday, at a ceremony at London’s Roundhouse venue.