WRITERS WILL SELF and Hilary Mantel have both made the shortlist for the Man Booker prize, announced this afternoon.
The six books on the shortlist for the £50,000 (€62,500 prize) include two debut novels, three from small independent publishers, two former shortlisted authors and one previous winner.
The shortlist is split evenly by gender. Four of the writers are British, one is Indian and one is Malaysian.
Mantel is the only previous winner of the award to make the shortlist, having won in 2009 for Wolf Hall.
Peter Stothard, the chair of the panel of judges and editor of the Times Literary Supplement, said that the “pure power of prose” had led the judges to decide on the final six.
“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,” he said.
No Irish authors made the longlist for the awards, announced in July. There was some surprise over the exclusion over potential favourites Zadie Smith and Ian McEwan, who both published highly-anticipated new books this year.
The panel of judges set that they had not intentionally set out to reject the old guard but that the new had come “powering through”.
All of the authors on the shortlist will receive £2,500 (€3,128), as well as increased sales. Last year’s winner, The Sense of An Ending by Julian Barnes, sold more than a quarter of a million print copies in the UK.
The prize will be presented on Tuesday 16 October.
Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
The Lighthouse by Alison Moore
Umbrella by Will Self
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng