Tremaine Soca Warner
Fiction at its finest. This telling phrase encompasses the criteria of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction- an illustrious literary accolade which is awarded each year for the best orignal full-length novel written in English. Formerly known as the Booker-McConnell Prize, this award is presented to one novelist from the UK, the Commonwealth of Nations or the Republic of Ireland.
This year, the winner of the Man Booker Prize will be announced at a dinner at London’s Guildhall on October 16. The gifted novelist will be chosen from a shortlist of six authors made up of three men and three women. Also noteworthy, is that four novelists are British while the other two are Indian and Malaysian.
The list of this year’s nominees is as follows: Bring up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel, Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil, Swimming Home by Deborah Levy, The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng, The Lighthouse by Alison Moore & Umbrella by Will Self.
Each of the shortlisted writers will be awarded £2,500, while the winner will receive an additional £50,000 accompanied by exquisitely handbound copy of his or her novel. The individuals who make up the panel of judges were chosen from a wide range of literary disciplines including critics, authors, academics, historians and broadcasters.
The chair of judges, Peter Stothard, articulated his commendation at the exceptional quality of language and literary skill displayed by the novelists. On the Man Booker Prizes official Web site, he is quoted as having said that the body of judges was “exhilarated by the vigour and vividly defined values in the six books that we chose”. Although the literary battle appears to be a fierce one, several literary blogs and entertainment Web sites seem to believe that Hilary Mantel is the lead contender. Mantel, an English writer won the prestigious award in 2009 for her novel, Wolf Hall. Her fictional piece for 2012, Bring up the Bodies, which is a sequel to Wolf Hall, has had a lot of acclaim. The historical novel treats with the rise and fall of Thomas Cromwell, a dynamic minister in the court of King Henry VII.