The Booker Prize is Britain's literary event of the year, guaranteed to boost sales of the chosen novel after the award announcement Oct. 16. The prize to the author is a check for 20,000 pounds (nearly $38,000), sponsored by Booker, an international food and agriculture business.

This year's finalists include: Beryl Bainbridge for "An Awfully Big Adventure"; A.S. Byatt, "Possession"; Penelope Fitzgerald, "The Gate of Angels"; John McGahern, "Amongst Women"; Brian Moore, "Lies of Silence"; and Mordecai Richler, "Solomon Gursky Was Here."