The Yips by Nicola Barker (Fourth Estate)
The Teleportation Accidentby Ned Beauman
Philida by André Brink
The Garden of Evening Mistsby Tan Twan Eng
Skios by Michael Frayn
The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
I was just checking through my reading journal and it seems to be the first time that I have only read one title from the whole Booker longlist. However, a closer look at this list explains it quite easily; there are four brand new novelists here and three of the books are published by tiny publishing houses which probably did not have very much public exposure (up till now) Only one of the books was penned by the previous winner of the Booker, Hilary Mantel and that is the only book on this list that I read (and loved). However, there a few really great looking novels here so I think I better get reading.
For those of you who love some statistics “the 2012 longlist includes seven men and five women; nine are British, one Indian, one South African and one Malaysian. The eldest on the list is Michael Frayn at 78 and the youngest is Ned Beauman at 27”. Current favorite of bookies is Hilary Mantel followed by Will Smith.
The internet is already buzzing with comments about the omissions of some big names from the 2012 list: Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith, Martin Amis, Peter Carey, Pat Barker or John Banville all have new books out this year. However, at the same time there is also no lack of readers who are really thrilled with the fact that this year’s list will allow them to discover some new authors. One thing is very clear this year’s jury set very different criteria for the contenders for 2012 Man Booker Prize and I quote here the chair of judges Peter Stothard, editor of the Times Literary Supplement. “We were considering novels not novelists, texts not reputations”
What do you think of this approach? And which one of the longlisted books are you looking forward to reading?
This is the 44th Booker Prize, the shortlist will be announced on September 11th, the winner will be announced on October 16th