The prize, awarded every two years, is given for a body of work. Unlike the Booker Prize, which goes for a specific book published in Britain, the international award can be given to any novelist who writes in English or is regularly translated into English.
Rick Gegoski, chairman of the judges, said he does not think Le Carre could be awarded the prize against his will. But he said the judges have not decided yet how to deal with his wish not to be considered.
Born David Cornwell, Le Carre published his first books in the early 1960s after working for British intelligence. His most recent book, "Our Kind of Traitor," was published in 2010.
Le Carre sent the judges a brief message saying he does not compete for literary awards.
The other writers on the shortlist are David Malouf of Australia; James Kelan and Philip Pullman of Britain; Wang Anyi and Su Tong of China; Juan Goytisolo of Spain; Amin Maalouf of Lebanon; Dacia Maraini of Italy; Rohinton Mistry of India and Canada; and Marilynne Robinson, Philip Roth and Anne Tyler of the United States.