10/11/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Booker Shortlist: Salman Rushdie's The Enchantress Of Florence Left Off

Judges for the Man Booker prize for fiction sprang their customary surprise yesterday when they omitted Sir Salman Rushdie's latest novel, The Enchantress of Florence , from their shortlist - just weeks after the author's classic Midnight's Children was voted Best of the Booker in an online poll.

This year's shortlist for the £50,000 prize unusually includes two first-time novelists: Madras-born Aravind Adiga, 33, for The White Tiger , about the entrepreneurial successes of the son of a rickshaw puller; and Australian Steve Toltz, 36, for A Fraction of the Whole, a son's memoir about life with his paranoid father.

The list is completed by the more familiar names of Sebastian Barry ( The Secret Scripture ); Amitav Ghosh ( Sea of Poppies ); Linda Grant ( The Clothes on their Backs); and Philip Hensher ( The Northern Clemency ).

Another shock omission was Joseph O'Neill's post September 11 cricket novel Netherland , an early favourite, along with Sir Salman's work, from the longlist.

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