On 27 February, the judges of the 2020 International Booker Prize revealed the ‘International Booker Dozen’, the 13 novels longlisted for the prestigious award celebrating the finest translated fiction from around the world.
The prize is awarded every year for a single book that is translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. It aims to encourage more publishing and reading of quality fiction from all over the world and to promote the work of translators. Both novels and short-story collections are eligible. The contribution of both author and translator is given equal recognition, with the £50,000 prize split between them. Each shortlisted author and translator will receive £1,000, bringing the total value of the prize to £62,000. This year the judges considered 124 books.
- Red Dog by Willem Anker (Afrikaans – South Africa), translated by Michiel Heyns (Pushkin Press). See the readers’ guide.
- The Enlightenment of The Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar (Farsi – Iran), anonymous translator (Europa Editions). See the readers’ guide.
- The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara (Spanish – Argentina), translated by Iona Macintyre and Fiona Mackintosh (Charco Press). See the readers’ guide.
- The Other Name: Septology I-II by Jon Fosse (Norwegian – Norway), translated by Damion Searls (Fitzcarraldo Editions). See the readers’ guide.
- The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili (German – Georgia), translated by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin (Scribe UK). See the readers’ guide.
- Serotonin by Michel Houellebecq (French – France), translated by Shaun Whiteside (William Heinemann). See the readers’ guide.
- Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann (German – Germany), translated by Ross Benjamin (Quercus). See the readers’ guide.
- Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor (Spanish – Mexico), translated by Sophie Hughes (Fitzcarraldo Editions). See the readers’ guide.
- The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (Japanese – Japan), translated by Stephen Snyder (Harvill Secker). See the readers’ guide.
- Faces on the Tip of My Tongue by Emmanuelle Pagano (French – France), translated by Sophie Lewis and Jennifer Higgins (Peirene Press). See the readers’ guide.
- Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin (Spanish – Argentina), translated by Megan McDowell (Oneworld). See the readers’ guide.
- The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (Dutch – Netherlands), translated by Michele Hutchison (Faber & Faber). See the readers’ guide.
- Mac and His Problem by Enrique Vila-Matas (Spanish – Spain), translated by Margaret Jull Costa and Sophie Hughes (Harvill Secker). See the readers’ guide.
The longlist was selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by Ted Hodgkinson, Head of Literature and Spoken Word at Southbank Centre. The panel also includes: Lucie Campos, director of the Villa Gillet, France’s centre for international writing; Man Booker International Prize-winning translator and writer Jennifer Croft; LA Times Book Prize for Fiction-winning author Valeria Luiselli and writer, poet and musician Jeet Thayil, whose novel Narcopolis was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2012.
Ted Hodgkinson says:
‘What a thrill to share a longlist of such breadth and brilliance, reflecting a cumulative artistry rooted in dialogue between authors and translators, and possessing a power to enlarge the scope of lives encountered on the page, from the epic to the everyday. Whether reimagining foundational myths, envisioning dystopias of disquieting potency, or simply setting the world ablaze with the precision of their perceptions, these are books that left indelible impressions on us as judges. In times that increasingly ask us to take sides, these works of art transcend moral certainties and narrowing identities, restoring a sense of the wonderment at the expansive and ambiguous lot of humanity.’
The shortlist for the 2020 International Booker Prize will be announced on Thursday, 2 April.
Join in with your reading group
Are you intrigued by the books on the list? Find out how your reading group can join in and receive copies of one of the books. Six lucky groups will be chosen to read and review one of the titles, and take part in the #InternationalBooker2020 conversations across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
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What do you think of the 2020 longlisted titles? Which have you read and what will be added to your TBR pile? Add your comments below, or click any title above to leave a review.
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