NINE BRITS, A SOUTH African, a Malaysian and an Indian were given the nod by this year’s Man Booker International Prize judges but there was no place for Irish author John Banville.
The exclusion of the former winner has shocked some, as has the omission of other favourites Martin Amis, Zadie Smith and Ian McEwan.
But enough about who’s not in the running, one of these 12 books will be taking home the prestigious honour (and a cheque for £50,000) on 16 October:
- Nicola Barker, The Yips
- Ned Beauman, The Teleportation Accident
- André Brink, Philida
- Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists
- Michael Frayn, Skios
- Rachel Joyce, The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry
- Deborah Levy, Swimming Home
- Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies
- Alison Moore, The Lighthouse
- Will Self, Umbrella
- Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis
- Sam Thompson, Communion Town
According to the five-strong panel of judges, goodness, madness and bewildering urban change are among the themes of this year’s long list.
Chair Peter Stohard explained that the panel did not intentionally “set out to reject the old guard” but “the new came powering through” after a year of critical argument.
Debut novels were particularly welcomed with four making the list and of the 12 writers nominated, only one is a previous winner – Hilary Mantel. There was no age discrimination either, with the eldest nominee being Andre Brink at 77 and the youngest 27-year-old Ned Beauman.
One of the most-well established English-language literary prizes awarded today, the Man Booker is only open to entrants from the UK, Ireland or the Commonwealth.
Not only is the monetary prize generous, a win usually signals box office success. Last year’s winner, Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an Ending, became a bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic.