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2022 International Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

The judges of the 2022 International Booker Prize have revealed the six shortlisted books representing the finest translated fiction from around the world. The announcement was made at the London Book Fair, by chair of the judges Frank Wynne.

The Shortlist

  • Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung, translated from Korean by Anton Hur
  • A New Name: Septology VI-VII by Jon Fosse, translated from Norwegian by Damion Searls
  • Heaven by Mieko Kawakami, translated from Japanese by Samuel Bett and David Boyd
  • Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro, translated from Spanish by Frances Riddle
  • Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell
  • The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from Polish by Jennifer Croft

Wildly original works of literature that will captivate readers, this year’s shortlisted books all explore trauma, whether on an individual or societal level. They include: a genre-defying collection of short stories, blurring the lines between magical realism, horror and science, and addressing the very real horrors and cruelties of patriarchy and capitalism in modern society; a tale of two versions of the same person, whose choices have led to different lives, both grappling with existential questions; an exploration of the life of a young boy subjected to relentless bullying, and his friendship with a similarly outcast female classmate; the investigations of an ailing mother into the death of her daughter, where the hidden facets of authoritarianism and hypocrisy in society are explored; a tale of an elderly woman’s new lease of life following a deep depression after the death of her husband, which sees her travelling to Pakistan and confronting unresolved trauma; and the mid-18th century tale of Polish-Jewish religious leader Jacob Frank, set in multicultural south-eastern Europe, from Lviv to Constantinople.

Whether set in modern-day Korea or mid-18th century Poland, the books share an urgent relevance. The six shortlisted works are each translated from a different language and originate from a different country, with three continents represented on the list. The list is dominated by women writers, including previous winners Olga Tokarczuk and Jennifer Croft. The shortlist is also again dominated by independent publishers, with Tilted Axis and Honford Star new to the prize.

What the judges said

The shortlist was selected by the 2022 judging panel consisting of: translator, Frank Wynne (chair); author and academic Merve Emre; writer and lawyer Petina Gappah; writer, comedian and TV, radio and podcast presenter, Viv Groskop; and translator and author Jeremy Tiang. This is the first time a translator has chaired the panel.

Frank Wynne, chair of the judges says: ‘Translation is an intimate, intricate dance that crosses borders, cultures and languages. There is little to compare to the awe and exhilaration of discovering a perfect pairing of writer and translator. As a jury we have had the pleasure of reading many extraordinary books, and choosing a shortlist from among them has been difficult and sometimes heart-breaking. These six titles from six languages explore the borders and boundaries of human experience, whether haunting and surreal, poignant and tender, or exuberant and capricious. In their differences, they offer glimpses of literature from around the world, but they all share a fierce and breath-taking originality that is a testament to the endless inventiveness of fiction.’

This year, the judges considered 135 books, with a record number of submissions received.

The 2022 International Booker Prize winner will be announced on 26 May 2022 at a ceremony at One Marylebone in London.

Get involved

We have an exciting opportunity for six reading groups to shadow the shortlist of the International Booker Prize 2022. Each group will receive a set of copies of one shortlisted book, which they will need to read and review. Find out more and apply

Libraries looking to promote the Shortlist can download the digital resource pack through the Reading Agency shop.

Have you read any of the longlisted books? Share your thoughts with us on Twitter and Instagram, or click on the title above to leave a review. Find out more about the titles and why they were selected for the list with the International Booker Prize Reading Guides.

For more information, visit the Booker Prize website.

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