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Winner of the Booker Prize for fiction set to be announced in London

From top, the books "Study for Obedience", "Western Lane", "This Other Eden", "If I Survive You", "Prophet Song" and "The Bee Sting" are displayed during a photocall for the Booker Prize 2023, in London, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023 ahead of the award ceremony on Nov. 26 in London. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung) From top, the books "Study for Obedience", "Western Lane", "This Other Eden", "If I Survive You", "Prophet Song" and "The Bee Sting" are displayed during a photocall for the Booker Prize 2023, in London, Thursday, Nov. 23, 2023 ahead of the award ceremony on Nov. 26 in London. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
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LONDON -

The winner of the prestigious Booker Prize for fiction will be announced on Sunday. If bookmakers are right, the victorious writer will be named Paul.

Three of the six books competing for the 50,000 pound (US$63,000) award are by authors of that name: American novelist Paul Harding's historical novel "This Other Eden," Irish writer Paul Lynch's dystopian story "Prophet Song" and his compatriot Paul Murray's tragicomic family saga "The Bee Sting."

The other finalists are Canadian author Sarah Bernstein's "Study for Obedience," U.S. writer Jonathan Escoffery's "If I Survive You" and British author Chetna Maroo's "Western Lane."

The winner will receive their trophy during a dinner ceremony in London. British bookmakers ranked Lynch as the favorite to win, followed by Harding and Murray, according to comparison website Oddspedia.

There have been two previous winners named Paul: Paul Scott in 1977 and Paul Beatty in 2016.

Founded in 1969, the Booker Prize is open to novels originally written in English from any country and published in the U.K. and Ireland. It has a reputation for transforming writers' careers. Previous winners include Ian McEwan, Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie and Hilary Mantel.

A judging panel headed by Canadian novelist Esi Edugyan chose this year's six finalists from 163 books entered for the prize.

Last year's winner was Shehan Karunatilaka for "The Seven Moons of Maali Almeida," a satirical "afterlife noir" set during Sri Lanka's brutal civil war.

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