First awarded in 1969, the Man Booker Prize rewards the best novel of the year written by a citizen of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, or the Republic of Ireland. It was originally known as the Booker-McConnell Prize after the company sponsoring the award. The title became Man Booker when the Man Group took over sponsorship.
The advisary committee includes an author, two publishers, a literary agent, a bookseller, a librarian, and a chairperson selected by the Booker Prize Foundation. The committee picks a judging panel. Most of the members on the panel are new.
Other works nominated for the 2012 award:
The Garden of Evening Mists by Tan Twan Eng
Swimming Home by Deborah Levy
The Lighthouse by Alison Moore
Umbrella by Will Self
Narcopolis by Jeet Thayil
Previous winners can be found here.
For more information on the Man Booker Prize check out their website and the Wikipedia page.