The Man Booker International Prize celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world. The prize is awarded every year for a single book, which is translated into English and published in the UK. Both novels and short-story collections are eligible, and the writer and translator are rewarded equally for their contribution.
The full shortlist of six titles can be found here, but in this series of articles we will look at each title in detail.
The White Book
An unnamed narrator moves to a European city where she is haunted by the story of her older sister, who died a mere two hours after birth. As she contemplates the child’s short life she focuses on the whiteness and all it symbolises.
The White Book is a meditation on colour, beginning with a list of white things. It is a book about mourning, rebirth and the tenacity of the human spirit. It investigates the fragility, beauty and strangeness of life.
Have you read The White Book? Do you want to know what other readers thought? You can read in-depth reviews from our shadow reading group, or leave your own.
Want to know more? Download a Readers’ Guide for The White Book, including information about the author and translator, as well as some discussion notes and themed reading.
Want ideas on what to read next? We’ve created a supporting booklist with suggestions of other books that you might like to try if you enjoyed The White Book, including books with similar locations, writing styles or genres.
The view from Wine, Women and Words
Wine, Women and Words are one of the brilliant reading groups shadowing the prize this year, and have been reading The White Book. Read about their experience:
“Shadowing the Man Booker Prize International 2018 has been a real privilege for our book club. Waiting to find out which book, from the marvellous shortlist, was going to pop through the letterbox was quite thrilling. We were certainly not disappointed with the choice. As a book club we always enjoy the opportunity to read an author that we have not tackled before.
The book challenged our definitions of a novel and made us consider an alternative to how books can be read and enjoyed (something none of us had thought of before). As always, we very much appreciated the chance to get together and discuss literature and tweet our views along the way. Certainly, the opportunity to discuss our differing views and experiences of reading this book showed us how individual we all are. Thank you for the opportunity."