Coetzee’s The Schooldays of Jesus is on a 13-book longlist announced overnight which also includes US Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout’s My Name is Lucy Barton.
The Schooldays of Jesus, due to be published in Australia in October, is the sequel to The Childhood of Jesus, which tells the story of a small boy named David alone on a boat trip to a new country who is looked after by a man named Simón.
Coetzee, who was born in South Africa, is Professor of Literature at Adelaide University and has previously won the Booker Prize twice – in 1983 with Life & Times of Michael K and then again in 1999 with Disgrace – as well as being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2003.
There are four first-time novelists on the 2016 Booker Prize list - David Means, Wyl Menmuir, Otessa Moshfegh and Virginia Reeves – alongside established authors such as AK Kennedy and Deborah Levy. (See the full list here.)
Previously open to writers from Britain, Ireland and the Commonwealth, the Booker expanded in 2014 to include all English-language authors. Despite fears of US dominance, there has not yet been an American winner, although there are five authors on this year’s longlist.
The 2015 Booker Prize was won by Jamaican author Marlon James for A Brief History of Seven Killings, his 686-page fictionalised account of the attempted murder of reggae singer Bob Marley in 1976.
Six finalists will be announced on September 13 and the winner of the STG50,000 ($A87,504) prize will be named on October 25.