Set up in 2005, the Man Booker International Prize this year considered over 120 books before settling on the so-called ‘Man Booker Dozen’ – the traditional longlist of 13 works from which the winner will be chosen.
Among the judges this time around are the writers Daniel Hahn, Elif Şafak, Chika Unigwe, and Helen Mort. The panel’s chair is Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, who made the following statement on behalf of the judges:
“It’s been an exceptionally strong year for translated fiction. Our longlist consists of books that are compulsively readable and ferociously intelligent. From powerful depictions and shocking exposés of historical and contemporary horrors to intimate and compelling portraits of people going about their daily lives, our longlisted books are above all breathtakingly well-written. Fiction in translation is flourishing: in these times when walls are being built, this explosion of brilliant ideas from around the world arriving into the English language feels more important than ever.”
The selection rewards a whopping six independent publishers, including, most notably, two titles from London-based trendsetters Fitzcarraldo Editions: Compass, by French writer Mathias Énard (translated by Charlotte Mandell), and Bricks and Mortar by German author Clemens Meyer (translated by Katy Derbyshire).
A total of 11 different languages are represented in the longlist, from across Europe, Asia, South America, Africa and the Middle East. Ismail Kadare, who won the first prize 12 years ago, has been nominated again for his novel The Traitor’s Niche, translated by John Hodgson. Here is the full longlist:
. Compass, by Mathias Énard and translator Charlotte Mandell (France)
. Swallowing Mercury, by Wioletta Greg and translator Eliza Marciniak (Poland)
. A Horse Walks Into a Bar, by David Grossman and translator Jessica Cohen (Israel)
. War and Turpentine, by Stefan Hertmans and translator David McKay (Belgium)
. The Unseen, by Roy Jacobsen and translators Don Bartlett and Don Shaw (Norway)
. The Traitor’s Niche, by Ismail Kadare and translator John Hodgson (Albania)
. Fish Have No Feet, by Jón Kalman Stefánsson and translator Philip Roughton (Iceland)
. The Explosion Chronicles, by Yan Lianke and translator Carlos Rojas (China)
. Black Moses, by Alain Mabanckou and translator Helen Stevenson (France)
. Bricks and Mortar, by Clemens Meyer and translator Katy Derbyshire (Germany)
. Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, by Dorthe Nors and translator Misha Hoekstra (Denmark)
. Judas, by Amos Oz and translator Nicholas de Lange (Israel)
. Fever Dream, by Samanta Schweblin and translator Megan McDowell (Argentina)
The shortlist will be announced on 20 April, with the winner following on 14 June. More info HERE.