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October 16: THE WINNER!
The winner of the 2012 Man Booker Prize is
Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel.

September 11, 2012 UPDATE:
The 2012 Shortlist has been announced (4:16 am PST):

August 11, 2012 UPDATE:
Walden Pond Books has U.K. editions of Man Booker Prize nominated titles not yet released in the U.S.
Call 510-832-4438 to reserve your copies.

2012 Man Booker Prize Shortlist Announcement:
11 September 2012 - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
The six books were chosen by a panel of judges chaired by Sir Peter Stothard, Editor of the Times Literary Supplement. The shortlisted books were selected from the longlist of 12 announced in July.
    The six books, selected from the longlist of 12, are:
  • Tan Twan Eng, THE GARDEN OF EVENING MISTS (U.S. paperback in stock)
  • Deborah Levy, SWIMMING HOME (U.K. paperback in stock)
  • Hilary Mantel, BRING UP THE BODIES (U.S. hardcover in stock)
  • Alison Moore, THE LIGHTHOUSE (U.K. paperback in stock)
  • Will Self, UMBRELLA (U.K. hardcover in stock)
  • Jeet Thayil, NARCOPOLIS (U.S. hardcover in stock)
Peter Stothard, Chair of judges, comments: "After re-reading an extraordinary longlist of twelve, it was the pure power of prose that settled most debates. 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."
The 2012 shortlist includes two debut novels, three small independent publishers, two former shortlisted authors and one previous winner. Of the six writers, three are men and three are women; four are British, one Indian and one Malaysian.

If you see a book listed here that you know you've just got to read immediately - call us at 510-832-4438 and we'll hold that title for you at the front counter or ship directly to your home.

The contents of this page are the property of Walden Pond Books.
Express your appreciation for this list by purchasing these titles
at Walden Pond Books or your local independent bookstore
(rather than corporate chain stores and online conglomerates).
(arranged in alphabetical order by author)

U.S. Paperback:
Malaya, 1951. Yun Ling Teoh, the scarred lone survivor of a brutal Japanese wartime camp, seeks solace and apprenticeship with the enigmatic Aritomo, exiled former gardener of the emperor of Japan. Despite her hatred of the Japanese, Yun Ling finds herself intimately drawn to the gardener and his art, while all around them a communist guerilla war rages. But who is Aritomo and how did he come to leave Japan? And is the real story of how Yun Ling managed to survive the war perhaps the darkest secret of all?
"The fictional garden cultivates formal harmony - but also undermines it. It unmasks sophisticated artistry as a partner of pain and lies. This duality invests the novel with a climate of doubt; a mood of tension and possibility. It's beauty never comes to rest." — The Independent, (U.K.).
"Tan writes with breath-catching poise and grace. This is a novel of linguistic refinement and searching intelligence. But for all its mission to 'capture stillness on paper', The Garden of Evening Mists also offers action-packed, end-of-empire storytelling. — The New York Times.
"A poetic, compassionate, sorrowful novel. Grace and empathy infuse this melancholy landscape of complex loyalties enfolded by brutal history, creating a novel of peculiar, mysterious, tragic beauty." — Kirkus Reviews *** starred review ***.
"As intricately designed as a Japanese garden, this deceptively quiet novel resonates with the power to inspire a variety of passionate emotions. A haunting novel certain to stay with the reader long after the book is closed." — Library Journal *** starred review ***.

(Faber & Faber)
U.K. Paperback:
SWIMMING HOME by Deborah Levy
"This is a subversive page-turner, a merciless gaze at the insidious harm that depression can have on apparently stable people. Set in a summer villa, the story is tautly structured, taking place over a single week in which a group of beautiful, flawed tourists in the French Riviera come loose at the seams.
"Anyone who’s been on a villa holiday will recognise the tensions that permeate Levy’s stealthily devastating book. Sex and violence are never far from the surface. Levy is a keenly attentive writer, alive to the hyperreal nature of things. Levy manipulates light and shadow with artfulness. She transfixes the reader. This is an intelligent, pulsating literary beast." — The Telegraph, (U.K.).
"An unnerving novel of anxiety and control. With her first novel in 15 years, Deborah Levy has taken worn structures and made something strange and new. The central characters are perfectly presented. The novel is intimate in detail, with repeated passages which gradually mesmerise the reader. Home is elusive, safety is unlikely, and the reader closes the book both satisfied and unnerved." — The Guardian, (U.K.).
"Levy's touch is gentle, often funny and always acute. The prose style is spare and fresh. Although a short work, it has an epic quality. This is a prizewinner!"— The Independent, (U.K.).

U.S. Hardcover:

BRING UP THE BODIES by Hilary Mantel
Thomas Cromwell, hatchetman to Henry VIII, has helped his king cast off his first wife in favor of Anne Boleyn and has maneuvered England into a schism with the Roman Catholic Church. But with Henry already wearying of his new queen, fresh schemes must be laid and new plots must be hatched.
"Wolf Hall would have dwarfed the competition any year. . . it wound up providing an experience of sheer bliss. It was a hard act to follow. But the follow-up is equally sublime. Knowledge of Wolf Hall is not a prerequisite to appreciating what Bring Up the Bodies describes, because Ms. Mantel sets up her new book so gracefully. Beautifully constructed . . . The wonder of Ms. Mantel's retelling is that she makes these events fresh and terrifying all over again." — Janet Maslin, The New York Times.
"Mantel knows what to select, how to make her scenes vivid, how to kindle her characters. She seems almost incapable of abstraction or fraudulence; she instinctively grabs for the reachably real. All is alive, silvery, alert, rapid with insight." — James Wood, The New Yorker.
"Seeing Cromwell manipulate and outsmart the nobles who look down on him, while moving between his well-managed domestic arrangements and the murky world of accusations and counteraccusations is pure pleasure." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.

U.K. Paperback:
THE LIGHTHOUSE by Alison Moore
An unsettling - and ultimately devastating - tale of a man and his memories on a walking holiday. As Futh contemplates his childhood; a complicated friendship with the son of a lonely neighbour; his parents' broken marriage and his own, events beyond Futh's knowledge or control transpire that will forever alter his (and the reader's) understanding of the world.
"The Lighthouse is a page-turner. Our sense of inevitable disaster becomes almost unbearable; it is accentuated by the fact that Futh himself is unaware and does not share our growing dread. We're immersed in a chilly, heart-wrenching story that seems to say that, for all our obsessions with old wounds and childhood hurts, the thing that damages us most of all is the thing of which we are unaware. The brutal ending continues to shock after several re-readings." — The Guardian, (U.K.).
"Alison Moore’s novel takes the tale of an ordinary, forgettable man, and shows how terrible things happen in the most unassuming surroundings. Moore delineates perfectly the desperation of unhappy relationships, their mute hostilities and sudden flares. A lighthouse, flashing on and off, now alarming, now accepting. It is this accumulation of the quotidian, in prose as tight as Magnus Mills’s, which lends Moore’s book its standout nature, and brings the novel to its ambiguous, thrilling end." — The Telegraph, (U.K.).
"Now here’s a book I really, really like, maybe the best on the longlist that I’ve read so far. I’m not even going to wait until the end of my discussion on this novel to say that I HIGHLY recommend it - it is so quiet and understated yet delivers a huge wallop. I can’t begin to say what an incredible book this is; I loved it so much I bought extra copies to share with friends and I’m adding it to the book group’s reading list this year. I got so lost in this book that any interruption was unwelcome; I read it in one sitting and sat thinking about it for hours afterwards." — The Year in Books.

U.S. Hardcover:
UMBRELLA by Will Self
Maverick psychiatrist Zack Busner arrives at Friern Hospital, a vast Victorian mental asylum in North London, under a professional and a marital cloud. He has every intention of avoiding controversy, but then he encounters Audrey Dearth - a socialist feminist who has been in a coma for decades. Zack wakes her up. Radical and uncompromising, Umbrella is a tour de force from one of England’s most acclaimed contemporary writers. A daring Joycean work of experimental fiction, the novel moves back and forth between Edwardian London and a suburban hospital in 1971, exposing the twentieth century's technological searchlight as refracted through the dark glass of a long term mental institution.
"The influence of Joyce’s Ulysses is everywhere, from a housekeeper's apron printed with pictures of Georgian Dublin to the seamless fragmentation of the prose. An era, a scene, a character’s age can all change in the course of a sentence. This fresh reminder of the potential of finding new selves - to be and to write with - is extraordinary." — The Telegraph, (U.K.).
"Will Self's sprawling new novel may well be his best. The antic gurgles of laughter you find in Self's earlier work are few and far between. In their place, though, is a sustained depth and seriousness, and an ambition of technique that I haven't seen in him before. Umbrella is, to use the literary critical term of art, kind of amazing. Read it. Then go and have a bit of a lie-down. It may not be his easiest, but I think this may be Will Self's best book." — The Guardian, (U.K.).

U.S. Hardcover:
NARCOPOLIS by Jeet Thayil
Beginning in 1970s Bombay (now Mumbai) and proceeding into the present, Jeet Thayil's luminous debut novel completely subverts and challenges the literary traditions for which the Indian novel is celebrated. This is a book about drugs, sex, death, perversion, addiction, love, and God. Charting the evolution of a great and broken metropolis, this is a fantastical portrait of a beautiful and damned generation in a nation about to sell its soul.
"An elegant tapestry of beautifully observed characters and their complex lives." — Publishers Weekly *** starred review ***.
"A former addict, Jeet Thayil spent decades in Mumbai's seedy, drug-ridden underworld. He draws from his life to populate his first novel with a cast of desperate, damaged and magnetic characters." — NPR Weekend Edition.
"Thayil's Bombay is a city of artists and gangsters, of excess and squalor, all the stranger when it is seen through a miasma of drugs. A first novel of splendid originality." — The Sunday Times, (U.K.).
"This is a compelling, often exhilarating debut. Thayil deftly weaves the various narrative threads, and his hypertrophied prose invites comparison with the greatest of all narco-novels: William Burroughs' Naked Lunch." — The Financial Times, (U.K.).
"Thayil is an accomplished poet and that sensibility serves him well. I wished that this book, like some long and delicious opium-induced daydream, would go on and on. An epic tragedy written with grace, passion and empathy... a blistering debut that can indeed stand proudly on the shelf next to Burroughs and De Quincey." — The Guardian, (U.K.).
"Outstanding! Thayil is a gifted poet and a man of courage." — The Independent, (U.K.).

The winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2012 will be revealed on Tuesday 16 October at a dinner at London's Guildhall and will be broadcast on the BBC Ten O'Clock News.

The winner of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction will receive £50,000 and can look forward to immensely increased sales and worldwide recognition prestige. Each of the six shortlisted authors, including the winner, will receive £2,500 and a designer bound edition of their shortlisted book.

Visit the Man Booker Prize web site for more news and information.
"Booker prize shortlist pits Mantel and Self against two debutants", The Guardian (U.K.)
"How to win the Booker prize – in charts", The Guardian (U.K.)




 Winning Novel

2012 Hilary Mantel

Bring Up the Bodies

2011 Julian Barnes

The Sense of an Ending

2010 Howard Jacobson

The Finkler Question

2009 Hilary Mantel

Wolf Hall

2008 Aravind Adiga

The White Tiger

2007 Anne Enright

The Gathering


Kiran Desai

The Inheritance of Loss

2005 John Banville

The Sea

2004 Alan Hollinghurst

The Line of Beauty

2003 DBC Pierre

Vernon God Little


Yann Martel

Life of Pi

2001 Peter Carey

True History of the Kelly Gang

2000 Margaret Atwood

The Blind Assassin

1999 J M Coetzee


1998 Ian McEwan



Arundhati Roy

The God of Small Things

1996 Graham Swift

Last Orders

1995 Pat Barker

The Ghost Road

1994 James Kelman

How Late It Was, How Late


Roddy Doyle

Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha

Michael Ondaatje
Barry Unsworth

The English Patient
Sacred Hunger

1991 Ben Okri

The Famished Road

1990 A S Byatt


1989 Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day

1988 Peter Carey

Oscar and Lucinda

1987 Penelope Lively

Moon Tiger

1986 Kingsley Amis

The Old Devils

1985 Keri Hulme

The Bone People

1984 Anita Brookner

Hotel du Lac

1983 J M Coetzee

Life & Times of Michael K

1982 Thomas Keneally

Schindler’s Ark


Salman Rushdie

Midnight’s Children

1980 William Golding

Rites of Passage

1979 Penelope Fitzgerald


1978 Iris Murdoch

The Sea

1977 Paul Scott

Staying On

1976 David Storey


1975 Ruth Prawer Jhabvala

Heat and Dust

Nadine Gordimer &
Stanley Middleton

The Conservationist &

1973 J G Farrell

The Siege of Krishnapur

1972 John Berger


1971 V S Naipaul

In a Free State

1970 Bernice Rubens

The Elected Member

1969 P H Newby

Something to Answer For

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