Irish author Colm Tóibín has been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize for his novel The Testament of Mary.

The book tells the story of the Mother of God in her own words in a voice, described by the Man Booker committee, as both tender and filled with rage.

This is Mr Tóibín's third time to be shortlisted. His most recent nomination was in 2004 for The Master.

Another former nominee on this year's shortlist is British writer Jim Crace, while the four other authors on the list are female.

The youngest author, Eleanor Catton, is 27.

The shortlisted books are set in New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Calcutta, rural England, Japan and the Holy Land.

Chairman of the judging panel Robert McFarlane said the shortlisted novels were world spanning in their concerns and ambitious in their techniques.

Congratulating Mr Tóibín, Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, Jimmy Deenihan, said: "The shortlist is again eloquent in its testimony to the enduring strength and quality of Irish writing.

"Our writers continue to be pre-eminent globally in their field and universally popular. Indeed, in a changing world, quality Irish writing is a constant.

"I wish those on the shortlist every success in the final selection."

The winner will be announced on 15 October.

Man Booker Shortlist 2013

We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo.

The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton

Harvest by Jim Crace

The Lowland by Jhumpa Lahiri

A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki

The Testament of Mary by Colm Tóibín