Mark Brown, arts correspondent
Only two authors on the list have been nominated for the prize before: Jim Crace is listed for his 11th novel Harvest, 16 years after he was shortlisted for Quarantine; and Colm Tóibín, shortlisted twice before, is in the running for The Testament of Mary, which came out last year.
Robert Macfarlane, this year's chair of judges, said: "This is surely the most diverse longlist in Man Booker history: wonderfully various in terms of geography, form, length and subject. These 13 outstanding novels range from the traditional to the experimental, from the first century AD to the present day, from 100 pages to 1,000, and from Shanghai to Hendon."
The 1,000-page book is one of the most intriguing on the list. The Kills, by Richard House – a writer and artist who teaches at the University of Birmingham – could be described as a political thriller but is much more than that, Macfarlane said. Strictly speaking, it is four books in one novel and comes with extra, digitally available film and audio content, although the Booker panel is judging only the words.
Three first-time novelists are on this year's list. NoViolet Bulawayo, who was born in Zimbabwe a year after it became independent and moved to the US at the age of 18, is on it for We Need New Names, which has been described a "visceral and bittersweet" portrayal of life in a Zimbabwean shantytown called Paradise. Eve Harris, published by the small Highlands publisher Sandstone, is longlisted for her yet-to-be-released book The Marrying of Chani Kaufman, set in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community of Hendon in London. And Donal Ryan makes the longlist for The Spinning Heart, a novel told from the points of view of 21 people struggling to get by in a rural Irish village.
Ryan is one of three Irish writers on the list, the others being Tóibín and Colum McCann, nominated for TransAtlantic, which spans 150 years.
The other nominated novels which have yet to be released are: The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, the youngest writer on the list at 27; The Lowland by Indian-American writer Jhumpa Lahiri; the second world war novel Unexploded by Alison MacLeod; and Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson.
The longlist is rounded out by the Malaysian writer Tash Aw, nominated for Five Star Billionaire, which charts life in the new China; and Ruth Ozeki, a Canadian-American writer and Zen Buddhist priest, for A Tale for the Time Being.
Other judges this year are the broadcaster Martha Kearney, the critic and biographer Robert Douglas-Fairhurst, the classicist and critic Natalie Haynes and the essayist and former literary editor of Scotland on Sunday Stuart Kelly. They will meet again in September to name a shortlist, with the £50,000 winner in what is the prize's 45th year being named on 15 October.
While at the: