Submitted by Natalie on Mon, 2012-09-10 11:48
In the last of our longlist author insights, ahead of the 2012 Man Booker Prize Shortist announcement tomorrow, we find out which previous winners can also claim to be a favourite amongst this years' longlisted authors.
Michael Frayn: The one about the… what was it? There was this man, and something happened, only… I don’t know, my memory’s not so good these days… but I really enjoyed it. Or was that one I didn’t like?
Deborah Levy: In her day, I would have liked Muriel Spark to have won, and of course Angela Carter too. I admired Ballard’s Empire of the Sun – overall, Ballard is my favourite writer. Yet my favourite Man Booker-winning novel has to be Rushdie’s Midnight’s Children; in 1981 it was new and exhilarating - and it still is.
Will Self: Looking back over the list I see I've read 7.5 of the winners over the years (the .5 was Ondaatje's The English Patient which I thought good. It a tad rich, so left half for later). Of the seven I've liked Carey's Oscar and Lucinda, Golding's Rites of Passage and Amis's The Old Devils pretty much equally. I think I could reread Scott's Staying On - Naipaul's In a Free State also; I did reread some of Midnight's Children recently and enjoyed anew its great and visceral vigour, but its close parallels to Grass's Tin Drum are a little egregious.
Jeet Thayil: V.S. Naipaul’s In A Free State, which is an unusual book for this writer. The title story is a portrait of a gay white man on a road trip home in Africa. Recommended for its creeping sense of dread.