Six authors vie for Booker prize 2019, Atwood in the lead

The winner of this year’s Booker Prize is to be named later, with the six contenders led by Margaret Atwood for her follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale.

Atwood’s The Testaments is the bookmakers’ favourite to scoop the prestigious literary award.

The other nominees are Lucy Ellmann, Bernardine Evaristo, Chigozie Obioma, Sir Salman Rushdie and Elif Shafak.

The winner will receive £50,000 at a ceremony at London’s Guildhall, which will be live on the BBC from 21:30 BST.

Both Atwood and Rushdie have won the coveted prize before, in 2000 and 1981 respectively.

Atwood also made the shortlist with The Handmaid’s Tale in 1986. The Testaments, which is set 15 years after the end of that novel, was published in September and sold more than 100,000 copies in the UK in its first week, making it the fastest-selling hardback novel for four years.

Belfast-born author Anna Burns won last year’s prize with her coming-of-age story Milkman.