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Andre Brink and Tan Twan Eng Longlisted for 2012 Man Booker Prize

Alert! Cape Town-based authors André Brink and Tan Twan Eng have been longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize, arguably the most respected prize in English literature.

PhilidaThe Garden of Evening MistsBrink, shortlisted twice previously (in 1976 for An Instant in the Wind and in 1978 for Rumours of Rain), is longlisted for his forthcoming novel Philida while Twan, longlisted in 2007 for his debut novel The Gift of Rain, is nominated for his second book, The Garden of Evening Mists.

Known as the “Man Booker Dozen”, this year’s list of 12 titles (versus last year’s 13) includes four debut novelists and controversially “snubs” the big guys – Martin Amis, Ian McEwan, Peter Carey, Zadie Smith – focusing on ‘”novels not novelists” and “texts not reputations”‘. According to chair of the judges Sir Peter Stothard, Editor of the Times Literary Supplement, while the panel “did not set out to reject the old guard [...] the new has come powering through.”

The shortlist of six will be announced at a press conference at the Man Group headquarters on 11 September 2012. Last year’s prize went to Julian Barnes for his “truly masterful novel” The Sense of an Ending. Congratulations and best of luck to Brink and Twan!

The Man Booker Dozen:

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Read The Guardian‘s take on this year’s longlist:

Man Booker prize judges focused on “novels not novelists” and “texts not reputations” today, to come up with a longlist that overlooks some of the biggest names in contemporary fiction, including Zadie Smith, Ian McEwan and Martin Amis.

Smith, with her first novel in seven years, NW, out in September, was widely expected to make the Booker longlist, as were a host of former winners including John Banville, Pat Barker and Howard Jacobson. Instead, four innovative debut writers were chosen by the judges: Sam Thompson for his first novel Communion Town, the story of a city, Rachel Joyce for The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, in which a man leaves home after setting out to post a letter, Jeet Thayil for his tale of opium addiction in Mumbai, Narcopolis, and Alison Moore for The Lighthouse, which sees a man set out to find himself on a German walking holiday.

The Telegraph provides a breakdown of the twelve novels:

Philida by André Brink (Harvill Secker)

André Brink is one of South Africa’s greatest novelists. Always overshadowed by JM Coetzee, he has been nominated twice before in 1975 and 1977. His recent memoir, A Fork in the Road, caused controversy for its harsh criticisms of the ANC. Philida, published here in September, is a historical novel set in South Africa about a slave woman’s relationship with her white master’s son.

The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng (Myrmidon Books)

The Malayasian writer Tan Twan Eng is an exception in what is generally an Anglo-centric list. His first novel, The Gift of Rain, was described in the Telegraph as an eccentric debut but was none the less longlisted for the Booker Prize. His second book, published by small press Myrmidon, is set in Malaya in 1949 and follows Yun Ling Teoh, a lawyer who has survived a Japanese prisoner of war camp.

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Press release:

The longlist, or ‘Man Booker Dozen’, for this year’s Man Booker Prize for Fiction is announced today, Wednesday 25 July 2012.

The 12 books were chosen by a panel of judges chaired by Sir Peter Stothard, Editor of the Times Literary Supplement. The longlisted books were selected from a total of 145 titles, 11 of which were called in by the judges.

The longlist is:

Author Title (Publisher)

Nicola Barker The Yips (Fourth Estate)
Ned Beauman The Teleportation Accident (Sceptre)
André Brink Philida (Harvill Secker)
Tan Twan Eng The Garden of Evening Mists (Myrmidon Books)
Michael Frayn Skios (Faber & Faber)
Rachel Joyce The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry (Doubleday)
Deborah Levy Swimming Home (And Other Stories)
Hilary Mantel Bring up the Bodies (Fourth Estate)
Alison Moore The Lighthouse (Salt)
Will Self Umbrella (Bloomsbury)
Jeet Thayil Narcopolis (Faber & Faber)
Sam Thompson Communion Town (Fourth Estate)

Peter Stothard, Chair of judges, comments:

“Goodness, madness and bewildering urban change are among the themes of this year’s longlist. In an extraordinary year for fiction the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ proves the grip that the novel has on our world. We did not set out to reject the old guard but, after a year of sustained critical argument by a demanding panel of judges, the new has come powering through.”

The 2012 longlist includes four debut novels, three small independent publishers and one previous winner. Of the 12 writers, seven are men and five women; nine are British, one Indian, one South African and one Malaysian. The eldest on the list is Andre Brink at 77 and the youngest is Ned Beauman at 27.

The shortlist of six authors will be announced at a press conference at the Man Group headquarters on Tuesday 11 September 2012. The winner of the 2012 prize will be announced at a dinner at London’s Guildhall on Tuesday 16 October, in a ceremony covered by the BBC. Each of the six shortlisted writers is awarded £2,500 and a specially commissioned beautifully handbound edition of his/her book. The winner receives a further £50,000.

Peter Stothard is joined on the 2012 Man Booker Prize for Fiction judging panel by: Dinah Birch, academic and literary critic; Amanda Foreman, historian, writer and broadcaster; Dan Stevens, actor and Bharat Tandon, academic, writer and reviewer.

2012 marks the 44th year of the prize, which began in 1969. A full history of the prize, including an interactive timeline, can be found on the Man Booker Prize website – – which has just been re-launched, allowing visitors to experience the prize across a variety of new platforms and formats.

News about the prize can also be found on Twitter @ManBookerPrize, which now boasts almost 15,000 followers.

For further information about the prize please visit or follow us on Twitter at


Book details

Image courtesy The Guardian


Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    July 26th, 2012 @09:04 #

    Bring it home, Tan and Andre!

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Helen</a>
    July 26th, 2012 @12:46 #

    Am so pleased for Andre and Tan. I haven't read any of these, so I can freely give myself over to national pride and personal delight. Tan is one of the politest people I know, and Andre's book features his cat Glinka (she's even smuggled onto the cover). So naturally, it MUST win.

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Liesl</a>
    July 26th, 2012 @14:30 #

    Excellent news! Holding thumbs...


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