Oh what a difference a year makes! We’re all focused with laser like intensity on the new crop of hopefuls that have emerged to fight it out for this year’s Man Booker Award. We’re busy debating who will make the shortlist cut. We’re itching to celebrate/complain about who gets crowned the winner. But whatever became of the class of 2012?
Below we take a quick look at what last year’s finalists have been up to since the announcement of Hilary Mantel’s history making victory.
Hilary Mantel: After winning the Man Booker Prize, the Specsavers National Book Awards, The Costa Book Awards, and the David Cohen Prize (geez Hilary, give some else a turn, eh?) Mantel began work on the third novel in her Thomas Cromwell trilogy, The Mirror and the Light. She’s also working on a non-fiction book about the life of the Polish playwright Stanisława Przybyszewska (1901-1935) titled The Woman Who Died of Robespierre. In her spare time (?!) she writes essays for New York Review of Books and The Guardian.
Will Self: The only human being ever to be nominated for the Bad Sex in Fiction award THREE times (2002: Dorian, 2004: Mr. Mutki, 2006: The Book of Dave) and later end up shortlisted for the Man Booker Award (Umbrella), Self recently found himself at the center of a controversy when he inexplicably backed out of negotiations to become Radio 4’s first ever writer-in-residence. Rumor has it that he was angry that word of his negotiations with the station had leaked to the press prior to the details of the arrangement being finalized. Self is currently busy penning the second novel in his planned Umbrella trilogy which is tentatively titled Shark.
Tan Twan Eng: Eng’s The Garden of Evening Mists may have lost the Man Booker, but it later went on to take home both the Man Asian Literary Prize and the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction (marking the first time ever that a foreign author took home the £25,000 purse). His next planned appearance is the Cape Town Literary Festival in September with Claire Robertson, Kamila Shamsie, and Henrietta Rose-Innes. It’s unclear if he’s started working on his third novel just yet. Give the guy a break. We can’t all be Hilary Mantel.
Jeet Thayil: Much like Tan Twan Eng, Thayil’s Booker loss stung just a little bit less after he triumphed elsewhere, becoming the first Indian writer ever to take home the $50,000 DSC Prize for South Asian Literature for Narcopolis. It’s unclear as to whether or not he’s begun working on a new poetry collection or a new novel just yet. He’s currently touring India with his new spoken word project “Still Dirty” which features drums, bass, and you guessed it, Thayil himself on vocals.
Alison Moore: Not be confused with porn star AlisonMooreXXX on Twitter or NBCUniversal’s DailyCandy Executive Vice President, author Alison Moore’s Booker shortlisted debut novel The Lighthouse, went on to win the 2013 McKitterick Prize. Not one to rest, she returned in May of this year with a short story collection titled The Pre-War House and Other Stories. This new volume was longlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award. She’ll be appearing at the Edinburgh International Book Festival next week.
Deborah Levy: The Swimming Home author returned in 2013 with a new collection of short stories entitled Black Vodka. The collection quickly found itself shortlisted for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award 2013 (take that “longlisted” Alison Moore!) In June she celebrated the release of her new non-fiction book Things I Don’t Want To Know, which serves as a feminist response to George Orwell’s Why I Write.