Mantel and Self make Booker shortlist
Past winner Hilary Mantel has again been shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, alongside first-time nominee Will Self.
Mantel, who won the literary award in 2009 with Wolf Hall, is the only novelist to have featured on the shortlist of six before and is included for her book Bring Up The Bodies, the sequel to Wolf Hall.
The nominees were announced by chair of the judging panel Sir Peter Stothard, editor of The Times Literary Supplement. The winner will be announced on October 16th at a ceremony in London’s Guildhall.
The shortlist is Tan Twan Eng's The Garden Of Evening Mists; Deborah Levy's Swimming Home; Hilary Mantel's Bring Up The Bodies; Alison Moore's The Lighthouse: Will Self's Umbrella and Jeet Thayil's Narcopolis.
Two of the books on the list are debut novels — Indian writer Thayil’s Narcopolis and Moore’s The Lighthouse.
The winner will receive a £50,000 prize, in addition to the £2,500 awarded to all shortlisted writers and, importantly, a huge boost in sales for their work.
Last year’s winner, The Sense Of An Ending by Julian Barnes, has sold more than 300,000 print editions in the UK.
Writers who were on the longlist of 12 but failed to make the final cut are Michael Frayn, Nicola Barker and Andre Brink.
Sir Peter said of the list: “After re-reading an extraordinary longlist of 12, it was the pure power of prose that settled most debates.
“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.”
Also among the figures on the judging panel are Downton Abbey actor Dan Stevens as well as historian and broadcaster Amanda Foreman.
Sir Peter added: “The judges agree that we have been very fortunate judges. This has been an exhilarating year for fiction. The strongest I would say for more than a decade."
“There are first novels from India and the East Midlands, small publishers from Newcastle, north Norfolk and High Wycombe alongside novels by Hilary Mantel and Will Self, two of the great established radicals of contemporary literature.”