A spread of top foreign-language reads (handily in English)


man booker internationalThirteen novels have been longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize of 2019.

This prize celebrates the finest works of fiction translated into English from around the world, and is not to be confused with the Man Booker Prize which is awarded for fiction originally published in English.

The international prize is awarded every year for a single book, which is published in Britain and Ireland after translation. Short-story collections as well as novels are eligible.

Authors and translators are considered to be equally important, so that the £50 000 prize (about R935 000) is split between them. Each shortlisted author and translator will also receive £1000.

A total of 108 books were submitted to the judging panel, which was headed by Bettany Hughes, award-winning historian, author and broadcaster.

She said: “This was a year when writers plundered the archive, personal and political.That drive is represented in our longlist, but so too are surreal Chinese train journeys, absurdist approaches to war and suicide, and the traumas of spirit and flesh. We’re thrilled to share 13 books which enrich our idea of what fiction can do.”

The shortlist of six books will be announced on April, and the overall winner’s name will be published on May 21 in London. – Vivien Horler

The longlist is:

  • Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi of Oman, published in Arabic and translated by Marilyn Booth (Sandstone Press Ltd).
  • Love In The New Millennium by Can Xue of China, published in Chinese and translated by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen(Yale University Press).
  • The Years by Annie Ernaux of France, published in French and translated by Alison L Strayer (Fitzcarraldo Editions).
  • At Dusk  by Hwang Sok-yong of South Korea, published in Korean and translated by Sora Kim-Russell (Scribe, UK).
  • Jokes For The Gunmen by Mazen Maarouf who is from Iceland and Palestine, published in Arabic and translated by Jonathan Wright (Granta, Portobello Books).
  • Four Soldiers  by Hubert Mingarelli of France, published in French and translated by Sam Taylor (Granta, Portobello Books).
  • The Pine Islands by Marion Poschmann of Germany, published in German and translated by Jen Calleja(Profile Books, Serpent’s Tail).
  • Mouthful Of Birds by Samanta Schweblin of both Argentinia and Italy, published in Spanish and translated by Megan McDowell (Oneworld).
  • The Faculty Of Dreams by Sara Stridsberg of Sweden, published in Swedish and translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner (Quercus, MacLehose Press).
  • Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead by Olga Tokarczuk of Poland, published in Polish and translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones(Fitzcarraldo Editions).
  • The Shape Of The Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez of Columbia, published in Spanish and translated by Anne McLean (Quercus, MacLehose Press).
  • The Death Of Murat Idrissi by Tommy Wieringa of the Netherlands, published in Dutch and translated by Sam Garrett (Scribe, UK).
  • The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zera of Chile, published in Spanish and translated by Sophie Hughes (And Other Stories).



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