South African author André Brink has been longlisted alongside 11 other authors for the Man Booker Prize 2012. Brink, who at 77 is the oldest nominee on the list, was longlisted for his book Philida, which tells the story of a slave who makes a brave escape to gain her freedom. She risks her life by setting off on foot for distant Stellenbosch, in a journey that begins with the small act of saying no.
Other notable names on the shortlist include previous winner Hilary Mantel (Bring Up the Bodies) and Michael Frayn (Skios). Mantel won the prize in 2009 with Wolf Hall and made the longlist in 2005 with Beyond Black, while Frayn made the longlist in 2002 with Spies. Significantly, there were four first time novels on the list.
The winner will be announced on October 16, 2012 and will receive £50,000.
The Man Booker Prize promotes the finest in fiction by rewarding the very best book of the year. The prize, which celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2008, is the world’s most important literary award and aims to promote the finest in fiction by rewarding the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth or the Republic of Ireland.
Although many African writers have made the longlist in the past, only two, J.M. Coetzee (1983 and 1999) and Ben Okri (1991) have won the prize before.
Born in 1935 in Vrede, South Africa, Andre Brink’s novels include An Instant in the Wind and Rumours of Rain, both of which were shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Others are The Other Side of Silence and A Dry White Season. In 1992, Brink was awarded the Monismanien Human Rights Award from the University of Uppsala, for making known the injustice of apartheid to the wider world.
For more about the 2012 Man Booker Prize, click here.