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International Booker Prize > 2018 MBI Speculation

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message 1: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) I feel like it's never to early to start speculating! :-)

As French literature - also apart from Michel Houellebecq- seems to become more and more relevant again, I guess there will be a French writer on the list. Maybe

- Édouard Louis with The End of Eddy,
- Virginie Despentes with Vernon Subutex, 1
or
- Laurent Binet with The 7th Function of Language?


message 2: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8757 comments The White Book by 2016 winner Han Kang has to feature.


message 3: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4871 comments I hope there are people who find my questions an opportunity to discuss their favorite topics and not simply annoying-what are the hallmarks of French lit? I've only read Désert: J. M. G. Le Clézio and Wandering Star (which I could not find in GR search) by JMG Le Clezio. I remember enjoying them, but they didn't make enough of an impression that I recall the stories.
I have, but have not yet read, Suspended Sentences: Three Novellas by Modiano, and The Trolley by Claude Simon.


message 4: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1995 comments Wendy wrote: "I hope there are people who find my questions an opportunity to discuss their favorite topics and not simply annoying-what are the hallmarks of French lit? I've only read [book:Désert: J. M. G. Le ..."

Generally, and I mean, generally French lit tends to be dark - look at Michel Houllebecq's Platform, Jonathan Littel's, the kindly ones, even Laurent Binet's HhhH leaves a sour taste. I'm sure I've read more but that's what is coming to mind - i didn't even mention Genet, Sartre etc.


message 5: by Meike (last edited Oct 09, 2017 08:39AM) (new)

Meike (meikereads) Wendy wrote: "I hope there are people who find my questions an opportunity to discuss their favorite topics and not simply annoying-what are the hallmarks of French lit?..."

Wendy, I think it is very hard to determine typical hallmarks of French lit, as France has such a long history and the language is also spoken in so many other parts of the world, representing different cultures and social circumstances that are mirrored in varieties of French-language literatures.

Maybe it would help you if I name some important French writers?

Michel Houellebecq is THE dominant living author, he has great influence on the cultural and political discourse in modern-day France. I believe that he is still under constant police protection because of the many death threats he has received from terrorists after publishing Submission. You probably remember the terror attack on the satirical magazine "Charlie Hebdo" in Paris? When the massacre happened, "Submission" was the topic on the cover.

Houellebecq is a great author, but his texts are very challenging, not only for your mind, but also for your heart and often times your stomach. My favorite book by him is The Map and the Territory.

Nobel Prize winner Albert Camus was born in Algeria when it was still a French colony. Although he did not consider himself an existentialist, his writing (together with the work of Sartre) is usually considered the epitomy of French existentialism. His major works are The Stranger and The Plague.

Then there would for instance be Victor Hugo, whose writing is more easily accessible, and who wrote e.g. Les Misérables, and Marcel Proust with his masterpiece In Search of Lost Time, or, in the field of poetry, Charles Baudelaire's Les Fleurs du Mal - all of these are considered classics of French literature.

I hope I could help you a little! :-)


message 6: by Trevor (new)

Trevor (mookse) | 1842 comments Mod
Robert wrote: "Generally, and I mean, generally French lit tends to be dark"

Not to turn this into a what is French literature, but there's also the playful side with folks like Jean Echenoz, Jean Ferry, Eric Chevillard, Amelie Nothomb, George's Olivier Chateaureynard, Jean-Philippe Toussaint, and many of the Oulipo. I know you said "generally," but I am not even sure it is generally true. For whatever reason, those tend to be the ones that make a splash in the English market place.


message 7: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1995 comments Again though nothomb and qeauneau (spelling) can be dour in their own way


message 8: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4871 comments Thank you everyone. I remember Camus from college, I've read Les Mis, and I read about half of Swann's Way with no intention of finishing it.

The best way to discover French literature is to read a variety of authors, I guess.

I had forgotten that Submission was the excuse for the attack on Charlie Hebdo.


message 9: by Doug (new)

Doug I just finished Per Isabel. Un mandala which just came out in English in the US, but apparently NOT in the UK yet...but if it DOES, I think it would be a guaranteed nominee, given that it is Tabucchi's last book, and those in the know say it is an excellent translation.


message 10: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8757 comments That looks really exciting and one can never have too much Tabucchi.

However suspect it is more BTBA material, not least as deceased authors aren't MBI eligible due to their stubborn refusal to turn up for the publicity events.


message 11: by Doug (last edited Oct 09, 2017 10:36PM) (new)

Doug Paul wrote: "That looks really exciting and one can never have too much Tabucchi.

However suspect it is more BTBA material, not least as deceased authors aren't MBI eligible due to their stubborn refusal to tu..."


Oops...forgot about that little 'requirement'...HOWEVER, the main character in the book is ALSO deceased, but makes a trip back to Lisbon to search for answers about Isabel, so... ya know, Tabucchi MIGHT just make a showing!


message 12: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) Paul wrote: "That looks really exciting and one can never have too much Tabucchi.

However suspect it is more BTBA material, not least as deceased authors aren't MBI eligible due to their stubborn refusal to tu..."


So ghost stories qualify, but ghosts don't? That seems rather hypocritical to me! :-)


message 13: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8757 comments The subject of the book, as opposed to author and translator, is not required to take part in publicity events.


message 14: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) Paul wrote: "The subject of the book, as opposed to author and translator, is not required to take part in publicity events."

...pfff, that's bean counting! :-) (I am not even sure whether that's how you say it in English - das ist doch Erbsenzählerei!) :-)


message 15: by Neil (new)

Neil | 1885 comments Meike - I think you want the word “nitpicking”.

What fun events would be if authors had to take along an actor or something like that to play the part of their main protagonist!


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5395 comments A translation discussion on a discussion about translation.

Very meta fictional.


message 17: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) Neil wrote: "Meike - I think you want the word “nitpicking”.

What fun events would be if authors had to take along an actor or something like that to play the part of their main protagonist!"


Ach so - thank you, Neil!! ...and I support your idea that there must be a way to make the story itself take part in publicity events! :-)

Gumble's Yard wrote: "A translation discussion on a discussion about translation.

Very meta fictional."


Haha, I already learned so many new words and expressions here! Thanks, guys!


message 18: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4871 comments it would be delightful if they could bring along ghosts, shape shifters, changelings and the like. Those events would sell out and there'd be room only for the undead.


message 19: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8757 comments Looking at the assembled M&G gang of middle age (if we're being generous) gents at the Goldsmiths' annoucement, we weren't far off that.


message 20: by Jonathan (new)

Jonathan Pool Speak for yourself


message 21: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4871 comments I would be most pleased to be in the company of ghosts from the British upper class.


message 22: by Paul (last edited Oct 14, 2017 09:51AM) (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8757 comments Paul wrote: "Looking at the assembled M&G gang of middle age (if we're being generous) gents at the Goldsmiths' annoucement, we weren't far off that."

Jonathan wrote: "Speak for yourself"

You were the brackets :-)


message 23: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) ...some translations from the German-speaking world that would fit the profile:

- Insane by Rainald Goetz
- Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck
- You Should Have Left: A Novel by Daniel Kehlmann (I really hope this won`t be on the list, though)

The Dead: A Novel is still being translated and probably won't make it, then - which is a shame!


message 24: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8757 comments Go Went Gone I suspect is very likely to be on the list. Insane will be published very shortly by Fitzcarraldo, one of our must interesting small independent publishers and whose translation of Compass was a strong contender last year.


message 25: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) The NYT features a big article about Frankenstein in Baghdad, and I would be very surprised if this book didn't make the list (it already won the Arabic Booker). Here's the link:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/22/bo...


message 26: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4871 comments has anyone read Frankenstein in Baghdad? I just ordered it. Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is one of my first loved and still favorite books.


message 27: by Neil (last edited Jan 23, 2018 11:48AM) (new)

Neil | 1885 comments Yes - I have read it - I gave it 5 stars - it is very impressive.

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 28: by Robert (last edited Jan 23, 2018 12:21PM) (new)

Robert | 1995 comments Hmm I have a hunch that Lullaby by Leïla Slimani could be on this year's longlist.


message 29: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8757 comments I will be disappointed if one of the books from new publisher Charco Press isn't there eg Die My Love


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5395 comments Or Fireflies


message 31: by WndyJW (last edited Jan 23, 2018 03:54PM) (new)

WndyJW | 4871 comments Radio4 Books and Authors podcast this week includes an interview with Leila Slimani. I heard it today was going to ask if this book was on any radars here. I thought it might be. It sounds like a very gripping read.

I'm so glad you gave Frankenstein in Baghdad 5 stars, Neil! I can't wait to read it.

I have quite a good selection of books arriving over the next two weeks. Frankenstein in Baghdad, Attrib. and other stories, Forbidden Line, We That Are Young, Tinderbox, We Are The End, Beastings, Pig Iron, and some older classics for a book tournament. I'm reading Feeding Time right now and really enjoying it.
I can't retire just yet so I guess sleep will have to go. Fortunately, I have 90 minutes of reading time built into my work day so I can read fairly quickly, but I still wish I could consume these books whole in one sitting.


message 32: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1995 comments I liked lullaby. It brings up some interesting questions about race, gender equality and social class


message 33: by WndyJW (new)

WndyJW | 4871 comments It is on my Book List, it does sound chillingly good,


message 34: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) Robert wrote: "Hmm I have a hunch that Lullaby by Leïla Slimani could be on this year's longlist."

Excellent tipp - you should add it to the speculative list!


message 35: by Robert (new)

Robert | 1995 comments Meike wrote: "Robert wrote: "Hmm I have a hunch that Lullaby by Leïla Slimani could be on this year's longlist."

Excellent tipp - you should add it to the speculative list!"


Done! :)


message 36: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) Robert wrote: "Done! :) "

Great, it'll get one of my votes instantly! :-)


message 37: by Lagullande (new)

Lagullande | 42 comments Robert wrote: "Hmm I have a hunch that Lullaby by Leïla Slimani could be on this year's longlist."

I am number 31 (!!) for this in the reservation queue at my library. Looks like the publicity team have been doing a great job for her.


message 38: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) Timeline:

03/12 Longlist
04/12 Shortlist
05/22 Winner

Let the games begin!!


message 39: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8757 comments 12/03/18
12/04/18
22/05/18

to be precise.

Longlist is out two days before my and Gumble's joint 100th birthday in case anyone is looking for present ideas.


message 40: by Meike (last edited Jan 30, 2018 08:03AM) (new)

Meike (meikereads) Paul wrote: "12/03/18
12/04/18
22/05/18

to be precise."


Yeah, in case you are unable to read AE and were already looking for a time travel device on ebay or something! :-)


message 41: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8757 comments I should clarify joint 100th being the sum of our ages.


message 42: by Neil (new)

Neil | 1885 comments I’ve met you and I thought you were both 99 already.


message 43: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) Hahaha, I love this forum!


message 44: by Neil (new)

Neil | 1885 comments To be fair, Paul did rather open the door for that one!


message 45: by Meike (new)

Meike (meikereads) Neil wrote: "To be fair, Paul did rather open the door for that one!"

Kudos to Paul for passing the ball, and kudos to you for shooting the goal! :-)


message 46: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 8757 comments Poor effort, I was expecting - "congrats to you on your 60th and Gumble on his 40th" retorts which would have been more cutting.


Gumble's Yard - Golden Reviewer | 5395 comments Now I am confused. I thought this was an MBI thread. Why are we discussing "Kudos". Surely that should be under the Goldsmith Prize thread which it will win in 2018 for breaking the mould by annihilating perspectives.


message 48: by Neil (new)

Neil | 1885 comments I was going to do the 60/40 joke, but I realised you both know that I know you are the same age, so I figured it wouldn't work.

And I was going to do the Kudos joke, too, but GY beat me to it.


message 49: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 3164 comments Mod
Neil wrote: "I was going to do the 60/40 joke, but I realised you both know that I know you are the same age, so I figured it wouldn't work.

And I was going to do the Kudos joke, too, but GY beat me to it."


We over 50s just can't keep up with these youngsters...


message 50: by Neil (new)

Neil | 1885 comments And me retired so I've switched off my brain for the rest of my life, anyway.


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