The judges, chaired by Baroness Lola Young, announced the shortlist of Man Bokker Prize 2017 comprising of six titles. Alongside Auster and Saunders, the 29-year-old British debut novelist Fiona Mozley has found a place in the final line-up, as did American first-timer Emily Fridlund.
George Saunders, Fiona Mozley and Emily Fridlund are nominated for their first novels, alongside new books from Ali Smith and Paul Auster.
An array of award-winning writers failed to make the cut, with former Booker winner Arundhati Roy missing out on a place, along with Sebastian Barry, Kamila Shamsie and Mike McCormack. British authors Zadie Smith and Jon McGregor also dropped out.
The 2017 Man Booker shortlist
4321 by Paul Auster (Faber & Faber)
History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid (Hamish Hamilton)
Elmet by Fiona Mozley (JM Originals, John Murray)
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders (Bloomsbury)
Autumn by Ali Smith (Hamish Hamilton)