The Man Booker prize nominees include past winner, Hilary Mantel, who is being tipped as favourite to pick up the prize, but who else is in the running to pick up the prestigious literary gong?
Sky News holds Mantel as favourite to win, which would make her the first Brit to claim the award twice, but novelist Will Self – a first time nominee – is set to challenge her for this year’s title. Judges described Self’s novel as both "moving and draining," whilst insisting that "those who stick with it will find it much less difficult than it first seems,” which seems a strange conclusion for a book that could be judged the best of the year. Covering an entire century, Umbrella is Self’s 9th full-length novel, and the multi talented star will be hoping he can beat the odds by winning the top prize. Mantel, 60, won the 50k prize in 2009 for Wolf Hall: the first book in her fictional trilogy about Thomas Cromwell. Bring Up The Bodies – Wolf Hall’s sequel – could land her an unprecedented second Booker Prize.
Sir Peter Stothard, chair of the judges and editor of the Times Literary Supplement, said: “This has been an exhilarating year for fiction, the strongest, I would say, for more than a decade.” Stothard also spoke on Mantel’s chances of a second win: “It of course drew us into a critical comparison with its predecessor,” he explained. “The judges this year noted her even greater mastery of method now. Her powerful realism in the separation of past and present, and the vivid depiction of English character and landscape.”
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.