Past winner Hilary Mantel and three former shortlisted authors found themselves among the 12 writers on the Man Booker Prize longlist today.
It also includes four debut novels, with a 51-year age gap between the oldest novelist to make the grade - Michael Frayn, 78 - and the youngest, Ned Beauman.
Mantel, who won the fiction prize in 2009 with Wolf Hall, is listed for Bring Up The Bodies.
Leading writers who make the dozen and who have previously featured on the shortlist are Michael Frayn, Nicola Barker and Brink.
The judging panel - chaired by Sir Peter Stothard, editor of the Times Literary Supplement - considered 145 titles. They will whittle the books down to a shortlist of six on September 11.
The longlist is:
:: Nicola Barker - The Yips
:: Ned Beauman - The Teleportation Accident
:: Andre Brink - Philida
:: Tan Twan Eng - The Garden Of Evening Mists
:: Michael Frayn - Skios
:: Rachel Joyce - The Unlikely Pilgrimage Of Harold Fry
:: Deborah Levy - Swimming Home
:: Hilary Mantel - Bring Up The Bodies
:: Alison Moore - The Lighthouse
:: Will Self - Umbrella
:: Jeet Thayil - Narcopolis
:: Sam Thompson - Communion Town
Among the big-name writers who have failed to make it to this stage are Ian McEwan, Zadie Smith and Rose Tremain.
Sir Peter said: "We did not set out to reject the old guard but, after a year of sustained critical argument by a demanding panel of judges, the new has come powering through.
"Goodness, madness and bewildering urban change are among the themes of this year's longlist."
The panel for the prize - now in its 44th year - also featured Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens and broadcaster and historian Amanda Foreman.
Jonathan Ruppin of book retailer Foyles said: "This is one of the most delightful and unexpected longlists in years and it confirms 2012 as the best year for fiction for quite some time.
"The fact that thousands of readers will be trying writers like Deborah Levy, Jeet Thayil and Ned Beauman should be a genuinely thrilling prospect for all those who care about contemporary fiction."
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