A DEBUT novel by a 29-year-old North Yorkshire author has made the Man Booker shortlist.

The six-strong list has been announced today and includes 29-year-old Fiona Mozley’s Elmet, which tells the story of a father and his two children who come into conflict with land owners after they build a home for themselves in a copse in South Yorkshire.

It is described as a "forceful first novel... timeless in its epic mixture of violence and love".

Miss Mozley, is studying for a PhD in medieval studies at York University and works in The Little Apple Bookshop on High Petergate at weekends.

The former Fulford School pupil studies at Cambridge University and was travelling from York to London when she got the idea for the book. She wrote the first chapter on the train.

Half the authors on the shortlist - including the bookies' favourite to win, George Saunders for Lincoln In The Bardo - are US authors.

Lincoln In The Bardo is about a single night in the life of Abraham Lincoln, when he lays to rest his son in a cemetery.

Judges dismissed controversy over the number of US names on the list, saying that the shortlist - recently opened up to US writers - was "not about the nationality of the authors" but "what is the best book".

The other two US authors are Paul Auster for 4321, set against the backdrop of the Vietnam War and civil rights movement, and Emily Fridlund for History Of Wolves, which explores "the effects of neglectful parenting" and the repercussions of childhood isolation and loneliness.

British-Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid completes the shortlist for Exit West, about the movement of large numbers of people across the globe in search of freedom.

The winner of the shortlist, which features three men and three women, will be announced on October 17.

The shortlist:

Paul Auster, 4321

Emily Fridlund, History Of Wolves

Mohsin Hamid, Exit West

Fiona Mozley, Elmet

George Saunders, Lincoln In The Bardo

Ali Smith, Autumn