Two Canadian authors are in the running for the 2011 Man Booker Prize, one of the world’s most prestigious prizes for a work of fiction.

Esi Edugyan of Victoria is nominated for her second novel, Half Blood Blues, while Patrick deWitt, who formerly lived on Vancouver Island, made the list for The Sisters Brothers.

There are six finalists for the £50,000 prize, among them veteran British author and previous nominee Julian Barnes.

The full list:

  • The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes.
  • Jamrach’s Menagerie by Carol Birch.
  • The Sisters Brothers by Patrick deWitt.
  • Half Blood Blues by Esi Edugyan.
  • Pigeon English by Stephen Kelman.
  • Snowdrops by A.D. Miller.

DeWitt, who now lives in the U.S., writes about two cowboy assassins tasked with tracking down a gold prospector with a secret in The Sisters Brothers.

His first novel, Ablutions, was published in 2009. He also wrote the screenplay for Terri, a feature film directed by Azazel Jacobs and starring John C. Reilly that will have its world premiere in January at the Sundance Film Festival.


Patrick deWitt made the short list for the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Sisters Brothers. (House of Anansi/Canadian Press)

Edugyan, born in Calgary and a writing teacher at the University of Victoria, tells the story of a brilliant jazz musician who faces racial barriers in 1940s Paris in Half Blood Blues.

Her debut novel, written when she was 25, The Second Life of Samuel Tyne, was published internationally.

Barnes has been shortlisted three times before — for Arthur & George in 2005, England, England in 1998 and Flaubert's Parrot in 1984 — without winning.

Kelman's Pigeon English and Miller's Snowdrops are debut novels. Both are British writers.

The winner will be named Oct. 18 in London.