The 12 books long listed for the 2012 Man Booker Prize were announced earlier today. As expected Hilary Mantel is on the list with Bring up the Bodies and there are a few familiar names. Michael Frayn, Will Self and Andre Brink (who has been shortlisted in previous year). But there were also a few unknowns for me among the other nominees.
Commenting on the fact that the longlist includes four debut novels, the chairman of the judging panel, said: “We did not set out to reject the old guard but, after a year of sustained critical argument by a demanding panel of judges, the new has come powering through.” Seems like the judges have worked hard to navigate a middle road between books that the literati consider ‘too popular to be classed as real literature’ and books that many readers would consider too esoteric to be enjoyable.
There’s a good overview of the list over on the Like Fire blogsite
Nicola Barker – The Yips (Fourth Estate)
Ned Beauman – The Teleportation Accident (Sceptre)
Andre Brink – Philida (Harvill Secker)
Tan Twan EngThe Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon)
Michael Frayn – Skios (Metropolitan Books)
Rachel Joyce – The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Doubleday)
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 and Faber)
Sam Thompson – Communion Town (Fourth Estate)
The shortlist will be announced on September 11. Already a number of groups are warming up their eyes ready for the challenge of reading all 12 nominees by then. If you’re up for the challenge, you could join one of them at http://mareemusings.blog.com/2012/07/20/mbpc2012/