Sir Kazuo Ishiguro could win his second Booker Prize for fiction with his eighth novel, Klara And The Sun.
The Japanese-born British author, 66, previously won the award in 1989 with The Remains Of The Day and has been shortlisted on three other occasions.
Other authors on the 13-book longlist this year include the Pulitzer Prize-winning US novelist Richard Powers.
The Booker Prize is open to writers of any nationality, provided their book has been published in the UK.
British-Canadian author Rachel Cusk is also recognised in the longlist this year for her novel Second Place.
Set in the US in the near future and examining themes such as love and mortality, Sir Kazuo's novel is about the relationship between artificial friend Klara and sickly teenager Josie, who needs support to navigate her way through both adolescence and chronic illness.
As well as his win in 1989, Sir Kazuo was shortlisted in 2005 for Never Let Me Go, in 2000 for When We Were Orphans, and in 1986 for An Artist Of The Floating World.
He also received the Nobel Prize for literature in 2017.
The judging panel, which is chaired by historian Maya Jasanoff and features former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, said Sir Kazuo's latest novel Klara And The Sun offered a "genuinely innocent, ego-less perspective on the strange behaviour of humans obsessed and wounded by power, status and fear".
Sir Kazuo is among five of this year's longlisted novelists to have been recognised by the Booker Prize panel previously, along with Powers, Damon Galgut, Mary Lawson and Sunjeev Sahota.
Jasanoff said: "One thing that unites these books is their power to absorb the reader in an unusual story, and to do so in an artful, distinctive voice. Many of them consider how people grapple with the past - whether personal experiences of grief or dislocation or the historical legacies of enslavement, apartheid and civil war.
"Many examine intimate relationships placed under stress, and through them meditate on ideas of freedom and obligation, or on what makes us human."
She added: "It's particularly resonant during the pandemic to note that all of these books have important things to say about the nature of community, from the tiny and secluded to the unmeasurable expanse of cyberspace."
The shortlist of six books will be announced on 14 September, with those authors each receiving £2,500 and a specially bound edition of their book.
The winning novel receives £50,000 and will be announced on 3 November in an award ceremony held in partnership with the BBC.
Douglas Stuart's debut novel Shuggie Bain, about a boy growing up amid poverty and addiction in 1980s Glasgow, won the 2020 prize.
Booker Prize: The 2021 longlist
Anuk Arudpragasam - A Passage North (Sri Lankan)
Rachel Cusk - Second Place (British/Canadian)
Damon Galgut - The Promise (South African)
Nathan Harris - The Sweetness Of Water (American)
Kazuo Ishiguro - Klara And The Sun (British)
Karen Jennings - An Island (South African)
Mary Lawson - A Town Called Solace (Canadian)
Patricia Lockwood - No One is Talking About This (American)
Nadifa Mohamed - The Fortune Men (British/Somali)
Richard Powers - Bewilderment (American)
Sunjeev Sahota - China Room (British)
Maggie Shipstead - Great Circle (American)
Francis Spufford - Light Perpetual (British)