Myrmidon author Tan Twan Eng is on the shortlist for this year’s Man Booker Prize. Announced on Tuesday, the Penang born author’s second novel The Garden of Evening Mists is one of six shortlisted books for the award. Tan Twan Eng’s debut novel The Gift of Rain, also published by Myrmidon, was longlisted for the prize in 2007.
Despite being previously longlisted for the Man Booker Prize, being on the shortlist has been something else. “It’s been overwhelming, with almost no time to stop and think!” commented Twan to Malaysia’s daily newspaper, The Star. “There were hundreds of people at the reception that evening. I was introduced to the judges, and I got to meet many of the writers and columnists I’ve been reading about over the years.”
Tan Twan Eng is spending a few days in London where he has been signing books and doing media interviews before returning to his home city of Cape Town in time for the literary festival. He returns to the UK in mid October and will be at Cheltenham Literary Festival on Saturday 13th October and at the Man Booker Shortlist event at the South Bank in London on Monday 15th.
In their comments about The Garden of Evening Mists, the Man Booker judges said the book’s central character, Aritomo, once Hirohito’s gardener, was “one of the most memorable characters in all the 30,000 or so pages we’ve read this year”.
The other nominees for the Man Booker Prize for Fiction 2012 are Hilary Mantel (Bring Up The Bodies), Will Self (Umbrella), Deborah Levy (Swimming Home), Alison Moore (The Lighthouse) and Indian author Jeet Thayil (Narcopolis).