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Sir Peter Stothard, Chair of judges and Editor of the Times Literary Supplement has announced the six titles on this year’s Man Booker Prize shortlist, which includes literary giants Hilary Mantel and Will Self. Mantel previously won the prize in 2009 for Wolf Hall, and this year her hopeful sequel is Bring Up the Bodies, which tells the story of Anne Boleyn’s downfall. Will Self’s Umbrella is about the encephalitis lethargica sleeping sickness epidemic and the race to bring its victims back to consciousness.
The shortlist also celebrates new writers. Jeet Thayil and Alison Moore’s debut novels, Narcopolis and The Lighthouse respectively, have made it onto the list, as well as those of three small publishers: And Other Stories, Myrmidon Books, and Salt Publishing. So, will one of the heavyweights win? Or will the winner surprise us all?
The finalists’ works has seriously impressed Stothard. He said, “We (the judges) loved the shock of language shown in so many different ways and were exhilarated by the vigour and vividly defined values in the six books that we chose—and in the visible confidence of the novel’s place in forming our words and ideas.”
The winner will be revealed on 16 October at Guildhall, London.
The 2012 Shortlist:
Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books)
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home (And Other Stories/Faber & Faber)
Hilary Mantel, Bring Up The Bodies (Fourth Estate)
Alison Moore, The Lighthouse (Salt)
Will Self, Umbrella (Bloomsbury)
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis (Faber & Faber)
We recently reviewed Alison Moore’s The Lighthouse. The author also had a go at the Litro Proust questionnaire.
Kimberley Chen is a London-based writer.