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!