Man Booker Prize 2012: The Nominees

The Man Booker Prize recognizes the best novel of the year written by a resident of the UK, Ireland, or the Commonwealth.  The shortlist of nominees for this year's Prize was announced today!  The winner will be announced October 16.  Which one is your favorite?



Garden Of Evening Mists The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng

The judges said: "In some of the most poised, precise prose offered to us this year, it's the story of a Japanese garden created in honour of a Japanese victim of war and is sternly paced to match its subject. One of us likened its beauty to that of slowly clashing icebergs. And we all admired the serenity of the gardener, the former servant of the emperor, who is one of the most memorable characters in all the 30,000 pages or so we read this year."


Swimming Home by Deborah Levy

The judges said: "It seems simple enough: a holiday villa in France, a pool, Bohemian families at play and the young intruder who comes to stay. But this is much more than a story of a snake in the grass. Inconvenient truth is etched into Levy' s idyll in subtle, obliquely outlined ways. Some of them gently literary, others acid and raw. There is a technical artistry, glowing prose, an intimate exposure of loss and a little Gatsby too."

**This title is not yet available in the United States, but hopefully it will be soon!


Bring up the Bodies Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel


The judges said: "There's been discussion about the pros and cons of Mantel advancing in the prize again so soon. The judges this year noted her even greater mastery of method now, her powerful realism in the separation of past and present and the vivid depiction of English character and landscape."


The Lighthouse by Alison Moore

The judges said: "A bleak inner landscape, written with a temperature control set very low and an acute sense of smell."

**This title is also unfortunately not yet available in the U.S. 




Umbrella by Will Self

The judges said: "This novel is both moving and draining. The judges placed Umbrella on the shortlist with the conviction that those who stick with it will find it much less difficult than it first seems."

**This title is scheduled to be published in the U.S. in January



Narcopolis Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil

The judges said: "Bombay is the first and last word of this first novel, an urban history written by a former drug addict through the changing composition of opiates and the changing characters of their users. Poetry is not often a stepping stone to the novel, but we very much admired his perfumed prose from the drug dens and back streets of India's most concentrated conurbation."


Reference: "Man Booker 2012: Shortlist at a Glance" at