LONDON, Sept. 8 (UPI) -- Authors Julian Barnes, Zadie Smith, Kazuo Ishiguro and Ali Smith are on the shortlist to win Britain's Booker Prize, it was announced Thursday.
Whittling down the list of finalists was "an unusually difficult process this year," John Sutherland, who chairs the judging panel, told the BBC.
"This shortlist, we believe, witnesses to the remarkable quality of the current state of fiction," he said.
Bookmakers have chosen Barnes the favorite to win for his novel "Arthur and George," the BBC said.
The winner to be announced during a ceremony in London Oct. 10, and will receive about $92,000.