The Man Booker Prize for Fiction is a highly prestigious literary award for the best novel of the year written by an author from a nation in the British commonwealth or from Ireland and Zimbabwe. 50,000 pounds is a lot of money so, of course, that’s a big part of the whole excitement surrounding the award. But the prize is also just so big-time that novelists count it a privilege to be featured on the longlist. Since it began in 1969, three Africans have won it. Nadine Gordimer and J. M. Coetzee who are both South African and Ben Okri who is Nigerian.
The 2012 shortlist is:
Tan Twan Eng, The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books)
Deborah Levy, Swimming Home (And Other Stories/Faber & Faber)
Hilary Mantel, Bring up the Bodies (Fourth Estate)
Alison Moore, The Lighthouse (Salt)
Will Self, Umbrella (Bloomsbury)
Jeet Thayil, Narcopolis (Faber & Faber)