Exclusive Books has announced the shortlist for the 2012 Boeke Prize, an award which celebrates the year’s top must-reads and South Africa’s own tongue-in-cheek version of the prestigious Man Booker Prize.
This year’s list of six, two short of last year’s eight, features Corben Addison (Walk Across the Sun), Karen Thompson Walker (Age of Miracles), ML Stedman (The Light Between Oceans), Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya (The Watch), Gillian Flynn (Gone Girl) as well as 2012 Man Booker longlistee Rachel Joyce (The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry).
The Boeke Prize awards two prizes – the Judges’ Choice Award, won last year by Sarah Winman’s When God Was a Rabbit, and Reader’s Choice Award, won last year by Deon Meyer for his crime thriller, Thirteen Hours – both of which will be revealed in September this year.
This year’s Boeke Prize finalists are a prestigious selection of six titles that have been chosen from the past year’s ‘got to have’ titles. The judges have started the wonderful undertaking of reading the six books and sharing their opinions on what titles they feel deserves the winner’s title. Voting will commence at Exclusives.co.za soon.
This year’s finalists are:
• Walk Across The Sun by Corben Addison (New Title/Quercus, R199)
• Age Of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker (Simon & Schuster, R206)
• The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (Transworld Publishers, R221)
• The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (Transworld Publishers, R221)
• The Watch by Joydeep Roy-Bhattacharya (Random House, R221)
• Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, R211)
The Boeke Prize always creates talkability amongst South African publishers, book fans and Fanatics members. The titles are up for debate; which book will be selected as the got-to-have read of the year? The final verdict will be announced and one of the shortlisted books will carry the Boeke Prize 2012 title.
A panel of South African media judges will select their favourite read from the list of six titles. Each book is evaluated on their plot, gripping story lines, individuality and everything that makes a good book, awesome. The book with the most unpredictable, unique quality will make the cut.
The history to the Exclusive Books’ Boeke campaign is an unforgettable one. The Boeke Prize first began in 1995 as a tongue-in-cheek take on the celebrated British Man Booker Prize. The South African ‘Boeke’ celebrate top English fiction published in the preceding year, whereas the Man Booker Prize is an extremely prestigious competition for excellently-written works with well-executed themes, plots, and purposes. The books can provide for light, fun reading or can be appropriate additions to academic literature. The winning book can also be rather controversial having seen strict criteria being applied in the last few years. In all respects, the Booker Prize embodies the stiff British upper lip that is so revered in the UK, and the South African Boeke pokes fun at this, while at the same time still remaining a celebration of literature.
The Boeke 2012 titles were submitted by local publishers that currently have the largest word-of-mouth appeal. The list is narrowed down by Exclusive Books’ booksellers selected on demand in store, receiving a good amount of reviews and what is most talked about. At the end of the promotion there will be two winners announced: a Judge’s Choice and a Reader’s Choice, which will be revealed at the Boeke Prize 2012 awards event in September.
The Boeke promotion titles are for everyone that enjoys a good story. This year Boeke will, as always, be fun whilst we rejoice reading in South Africa.