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Booker Prize 2012 Longlist Semi-Finalists

The longlist has been announced for this year’s Man Booker Prize. The judges managed to whittle a list of 145 novels down to just 12 titles for the longlist (a task I find simultaneously enviable and overwhelming to contemplate). There was much triumph of new and fresh this year, with four debut novelists making the list – Sam Thompson for Communion Town , Rachel Joyce for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Jeet Thayil for Narcopolis, and Alison Moore for The Lighthouse (not yet available).

Chair of judges Peter Stothard told the Guardian it had been an extraordinary year for fiction. “Goodness, madness and bewildering urban change are among the themes of this year’s longlist,” he said.

The shortlist of six finalists will be announced on September 11th. The winner, announced in October, will be awarded £50,000 (about US $77,000).

Here is the 2012 Booker Prize Longlist:

The Yips by Nicola Barker;

The Teleportation Accident by Ned Beauman;

Philida by André Brink ;

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng;

Skios by Michael Frayn;

The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce;

Swimming Home by Deborah Levy;

Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel;

The Lighthouse by Alison Moore;(not yet available)

Umbrella by Will Self; (not yet available)

Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil;

Communion Town by Sam Thompson.

Coincidentally, I just last finished reading The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes, which was the 2011 victor. It is a mysterious, introspective, thoughtful book, much of which takes place through the memories, ruminations and speculation of the main character and narrator. I enjoyed it and fnd my mind is still chewing it over today, which is a good sign. One item of note, though – the Booker Prize is for an English language full-length novel, and at about 160 pages, The Sense of an Ending was such a quick read I feel as though it barely qualified. Still, it packs a lot into those pages. Well worth a read.

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