Man Booker Prize Announces Shortlist

The shortlist for the 2012 Man Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious annual awards for literary fiction, was announced today.

The finalists include: Tan Twan Eng for The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books), Deborah Levy for Swimming Home (And Other Stories), Hilary Mantel for Bring up the Bodies (Fourth Estate), Alison Moore for The Lighthouse (Salt), Will Self for Umbrella (Bloomsbury), and Jeet Thayil for Narcopolis (Faber & Faber).

The six short-listed titles were culled from the original longlist of twelve, which were announced in July.

On the Man Booker website, Chair of Judges Peter Stothard said: “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.”

The Man Booker Prize is given annually for a work of fiction published in the previous year by a writer from the United Kingdom, British Commonwealth, or Republic of Ireland. The winner of the 2012 prize will be announced at an awards ceremony in London on October 16. Each of the six short-listed writers is awarded £2,500. The winner receives an additional £50,000.

Hilary Mantel’s Bring up the Bodies is the follow-up to Wolf Hall, the first in a trilogy, which took the prize in 2009. Ladbrokes, the British betting firm who has recently set its sights on literary awards, projects Mantel to win the prize again this year. 

In the video below, Mantel introduces Bring up the Bodies, which was published this past May.