Picture: Nick Drnaso/tumblr

London - A work exploring the modern complexities of "fake news" has become the first graphic novel longlisted for the annual Man Booker Prize for fiction.

US author Nick Drnaso's dystopian "Sabrina" joins 12 other works by six British, two US, two Canadian and two Irish writers.

Chosen from 171 submissions, the longlisted books include "Warlight" by Canadian Michael Ondaatje, who was recently awarded a Golden Man Booker for the best work of fiction from 50 years of the prize for his work "The English Patient."

"Some of those we have chosen for this longlist feel urgent and topical, others might have been admired and enjoyed in any year," said Kwame Anthony Appiah, the chair of the judges.

"All of these books - which take in slavery, ecology, missing persons, inner-city violence, young love, prisons, trauma, race - capture something about a world on the brink," Appiah said.

The judges said "Sabrina" makes demands on the reader "in precisely the way all good fiction does."

"Given the changing shape of fiction, it was only a matter of time before a graphic novel was included on the Man Booker longlist," they said.

Drnaso, 29 is a Chicago-based cartoonist and illustrator.

Picture: Nick Drnaso/tumblr

The judges praised his use of images "to express an idea about what's invisible - an idea about uncertainty, and the different kinds of holes that missing people leave in our lives."

His publishers promoted "Sabrina" as "a landmark graphic novel about a missing woman, a viral video and the horrors of fake news."

The six shortlisted works are scheduled to be announced on September 20.