London, Sept 10 : Indian writer Aravind Adiga is bookies' favourite to take this year's 50,000 pounds Man Booker Prize.
Former TIME magazine correspondent Adiga has been nominated for his book 'The White Tiger,' which tracks the ambitions and divided loyalties of the son of a rickshaw puller from an Indian village, reports the Mirror.
Another Indian writer on the shortlist of six is Kolkata-born Amitav Ghosh with 'Sea of Poppies', a story set on an old slave ship before the Opium Wars.
Publishers, bookmakers and booksellers were divided over the likely winner.
Ladbrokes installed Adiga as the 15-8 favourite with Toltz as the 7-1 outsider, while William Hill's list was topped by Barry at 2-1, with Toltz its second joint favourite at 3-1.
However, there was no place for Sir Salman Rushdie, who had been widely tipped to win the prestigious award once again.
The second debut novelist on the shortlist this year is a former private investigator from Australia, Steve Toltz, and his book of familial adventure 'A Fraction of the Whole'. Linda Grant's 'The Clothes on Their Backs', a book about the psychology of clothes, has been nominated.
Irish writer Sebastian Barry, whose 'The Secret Scripture' depicts the shocking story of a woman growing up in Sligo in the 1930s, has also been short-listed.
British novelist Philip Hensher uses the 1984 backdrop of the miners' strike to follow the lives of two families and a changing social landscape in the north of England over 20 years in his book 'The Northern Clemency'.
The winner will be announced on October 14.
The Booker Prize 2008 short listed novels are:
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
The Secret Scripture by Sebastian Barry
Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh
The Clothes on Their Backs by Linda Grant
The Northern Clemency by Philip Hensher
A Fraction of the Whole by Steve Toltz