The Man Booker Prize 2012 shortlist was announced while I was still asleep. In the running for this year's juicy ₤50,000 prize are:
- Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books)
- Deborah Levy, Swimming Home (Faber & Faber)
- Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies (Fourth Estate)
- Alison Moore, The Lighthouse (Salt)
- Will Self, Umbrella (Bloomsbury)
- Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis (Faber & Faber)
The thing I like is that there are three women and three men. And although four are British, one is Malaysian and one Indian. Also, Tan Twan Eng is a first-dan aikido player, which makes me feel kindly disposed towards his book, which is published by a small press, as is Alison Moore's. (Small independent presses are, in my opinion, a Good Thing.)
Another interesting factoid, of the books I know something about, all are written by a man from the viewpoint of a woman, or by a woman from a man's perspective. Make of that what you will.
According to the Man Booker website, "The winner of the 2012 prize will be announced at a dinner at London’s Guildhall on Tuesday 16 October, in a ceremony covered by the BBC. Each of the six shortlisted writers is awarded £2,500 and a specially commissioned beautifully handbound edition of his/her book." I'd like one of those.
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