The shortlists for the 2004 Whitbread Book Awards have been announced. One of the interesting things about this year’s contenders is that, for the first time, the best novel category sees a face-off between the year’s Booker Prize and Orange Prize winners (Alan Hollinghurst's The Line of Beauty and Andrea Levy’s Small Island respectively). See this link for more.
Not sure about the best novel contenders but am rooting for Susanna Clarke in the best first novel category.
List of previous Whitbread winners here: probably shouldn’t admit this, but the only ones I’ve read are Ishiguro’s An Artist of the Floating World (1986) Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses (1988) and The Moor’s Last Sigh (1995) and Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time (2003).