Jeet Thayil from popular duo Sridhar and Thayil, has just sent the literary world into a stir as his first novel ‘Narcopolis’ was yesterday shortlisted for the 2012 Man Booker Prize for fiction.
Set in the opium dens of 70s Mumbai, Thayil described his debut fictional piece in an interview as “Bombay’s secret history”. The dark novel has faced harsh criticism in India but has been warmly received internationally, described as a “blistering debut” with The Guardian comparing it to Thomas De Quincey’s seminal ‘Confessions of an English Opium Eater’.
The judges praised the powerful language and artistry displayed in the final six books whose common themes include old age, memory and loss. The other authors shortlisted are Tan Twan Eng's 'The Garden of Evening Mists', Deborah Levy's 'Swimming Home', Hilary Mantel's 'Bring up the Bodies', Alison Moore's 'The Lighthouse' and Will Self's 'Umbrella'.
Previous Indian/Indian born winners of the prize include Salman Rushdie, Arundhati Roy, Kiran Desai and Aravind Adiga.
This years winner will be announced on 16 October, each author shortlisted is awarded £2500 with the winner receiving a further £50,000.
Image Credit (Thumbnail): Parikhit Pal
12 September 2012