Man Booker Prize 2012 Shortlist

Quiet on the blog front while life enters an extremely busy period here with La Rentrée and a working visit to London; I have a few summer reads still to review, so hope to add those as I find time.

Well the Bookies are favouring Hilary Mantel and Will Self, a couple of Scottish authors are bagging it for being “based on the conceit that upper-class Englishness is the cultural yardstick against which all literature must be measured”, but the reading public are generally enthusiastic and optimistic for a unique collection of literary fiction in the Man Booker Prize this year.

Speculation aside, the judges have concluded their re-reading and literary debate and announced this morning the following shortlist:

Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books)

Deborah Levy, Swimming Home (And Other Stories)

Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies (Fourth Estate)

Alison Moore, The Lighthouse (Salt)

Will Self, Umbrella (Bloomsbury)

Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis (Faber & Faber)

“After re-reading an extraordinary longlist of twelve, it was the pure power of prose that settled most debates. We 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.” Peter Stothard, Chair of Judges

The 2012 shortlist includes two debut novels, three small independent publishers, two former shortlisted authors and one previous winner. Of the six writers, four are British, one Indian and one Malaysian.

I have not yet read any of the list, but I now have Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home in my possession and plan to read it on the flight home tomorrow.

Watch this space!

24 thoughts on “Man Booker Prize 2012 Shortlist

    • Reading faster may not be the solution either, there will always be books we wish to read but never have time to indulge and with media and technology today we are so much more informed of choices, I go to the book store much less often now but have a greater awareness of what is available than ever before.


  1. Oh how to prioritize time……or is the problem really one of how to divide it up…a time to read, and time to write; a time to dream, and a time to be focused…….I want to do it all! x


  2. I think it’s time for me to (finally) read Hilary Mantel. I’m also particularly intrigued by ‘The Lighthouse’ and ‘Swimming Home,’ so I’ll be especially curious about your review(s).


  3. Well that’s a rich short list. I’m not yet familiar with these authors but can’t wait to read your review of Swimming Home. Some of my friends are afraid to read Man Prize winners because they say they are difficult. Not me. I love a challenge most of the time with those reads. Have a safe trip back. 🙂


    • I like to peruse the longlist, it’s true there is often much variation and not all of it easily digestible, but I think its always good to come across a new list of books we may not have heard about, in case there’s one in there for us.


      • Well there have been some that are on my TBR list and shelf like The Gathering, The Inheritance of Loss and Vernon Godlittle. I really liked The White Tiger. Brillant! However I agree with you that the long list contains some real gems too.


  4. I’m thinking about having a crack at reading the list prior to the final announcement- would love to have an informed opinion- it’s a mammoth task though!
    Swimming home sounds great!


  5. La Rentrée. Love it (il rientro, in Italian). I always thought it was funny before, and now I suffer it just as much as the Italians. Looks like I have lots of reading to do! Look forward to your review of ‘Swimming Home’.


  6. Pingback: Swimming Home « Word by Word

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  8. Pingback: Independent Publishers Abound in Man Booker 2012 Shortlist | The Independent Publishing Magazine

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