From A Smokescreen
Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis has crossed the second hurdle—it has made it to the six-book shortlist to the Booker prize. The book has already dodged past the likes of Zadie Smith (NW) and Martin Amis (Lionel Asbo) that figured in the longlist. “It was a very strong longlist,” Thayil tells Biblio. “I’m absolutely delighted.” Now, the two top favourites in the shortlist are once-Booker winner Hillary Mantel (Wolf Hall in 2009) in the running with Bring Up The Bodies and “radical writer” Will Self with Umbrella, his stream-of-consciousness tale set in a mental asylum at the end of the First World War about victims suffering from sleeping sickness.