The winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize award will be announced on Tuesday, October 16 at London’s Guildhall. Each of the shortlisted writers will receive a £2,500 cash award and the final winner will receive a further £50,000.
Man Booker Prize award is the annual award for contemporary fiction in English language, by a writer from the Commonwealth Nations and Ireland.
The selected books for 2012 Booker Prize award are:
The 2012 shortlist includes two debut novels (including Narcopolis), two former shortlisted authors and one previous winner (Hilary Mantel). English novelist Mantel won the Booker Prize in 2009 for her book Wolf Hall. Her 2012 shortlist Bring up the Bodies is a sequel to the previous novel and has been widely acclaimed since its release in May 2012.
Narcopolis, published by UK’s Faber & Faber in 2012 is Jeet Thayil’s debut novel. Thayil, 53, is a poet, novelist and musician from Kerala, South India.
In addition to being an author, he has worked as a journalist in Mumbai, Bangalore and in New York. In his literary works, Thayil explores issues such as love and sex, pain and pleasures of alcohol in a candid manner.
The book, Narcopolis, is set in old Bombay of the 1970s and spans across three decades. It brings alive the vivid character of Bombay city and its people which include poets, eunuchs, the businessmen and the Bombay underworld. It also alludes to Maoist China and makes for a “gripping and electrifying prose”.
If he wins, Thayil will become the fourth Indian author to win the Booker Prize. Previously, Aravind Adiga had won the Booker Prize in 2008 for his novel The White Tiger and Kiran Desai in 2006 for her novel The Inheritance of Loss. Arundhati Roy gave India its first Booker Prize in 1997 with her novel The God of Small Things.
The panel of experts judging the 44th Booker Prize shortlist include Sir Peter Stothard, editor of the Times Literary Supplement; literary critic Dinah Birch; historian and writer Amanda Foreman; actor Dan Stevens and academic, writer and reviewer Bharat Tandon.
"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," Stothard, chair of judges, said of the shortlist.
Narcopolis, Faber and Faber, London, 2012, ISBN 978-0-571-27576-2