Man Booker Prize 2012 shortlist announced

Two Asian authors have been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012.

Tan Twan Eng and Jeet Thayil are two of the six shortlisted authors in contention for the Man Booker Prize 2012, it is announced (11 September 2012) alongside Deborah Levy, Hilary Mantel, Alison Moore and Will Self.

The judges praised the powerful language and artistry displayed in the six books, whose common themes include old age, memory and loss.

The shortlist includes the following titles:

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)

At the time of the longlist announcement Chair of judges Sir Peter Stothard commented ‘the new has come powering through’. This remains true of the shortlist, which includes two first novels, from Indian author Jeet Thayil and East Midlands-based Alison Moore, and three small publishers from Newcastle-upon-Tyne (Myrmidon Books), North Norfolk (Salt Publishing) and High Wycombe (And Other Stories).

Of the six authors, two have previously been linked to the prize. Hilary Mantel won the prize in 2009 with Wolf Hall, the first of her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, and was longlisted in 2005 for Beyond Black. Malaysian author Tan Twan Eng was longlisted for the prize in 2007 with his debut novel, The Gift of Rain. Four novelists, including Will Self, a radical of contemporary literature, appear on the list for the first time.

The shortlist was announced by Sir Peter Stothard, Chair of judges and Editor of the Times Literary Supplement, at a press conference held at the Man Group’s London headquarters.

Stothard was joined at the press conference by the four other members of the 2012 Man Booker Prize judging panel: Dinah Birch, academic and literary critic; Amanda Foreman, historian, writer and broadcaster; Dan Stevens, actor; and Bharat Tandon, academic, writer and reviewer.

This year’s winner will be announced on Tuesday 16 October 2012, at a dinner at London’s Guildhall, where the announcement of the winner will be televised by the BBC. Each shortlisted author will receive £2,500 and a specially commissioned handbound edition of their book. The winner will receive a further £50,000. The winner may also expect a significant increase in sales of their book: Julian Barnes’ The Sense of An Ending (Jonathan Cape, Random House), which won the 2011 prize, has now sold over 300,000 in the UK in print copies alone.

Ahead of the announcement, there will be a number of public events with the shortlisted authors including, for the first time this year, Man Booker Live: a collaboration between the Man Booker Prize and Picturehouse Entertainment to broadcast ‘Prize Readings’, an evening with the 2012 shortlisted authors at the Royal Festival Hall at London’s Southbank Centre on Monday 15 October. Cinemas across the UK will screen the event, chaired by former judge and BBC Radio 4 presenter James Naughtie, the night before the winner ceremony. Other events include a panel discussion at The Times Cheltenham Literary Festival on Saturday 13 October and an audience with the winner at the Apple store, Covent Garden, on Thursday 18 October.

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