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Book Chat > Man Booker International Prize 2018

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message 1: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2564 comments Mod
The longlist:

The 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet Laurent Binet (France), Sam Taylor, The 7th Function of Language (Harvill Secker)

The Impostor (MacLehose Press Editions Book 9) by Javier Cercas Javier Cercas (Spain), Frank Wynne, The Impostor (MacLehose Press)

Vernon Subutex, 1 (Vernon Subutex, #1) by Virginie Despentes Virginie Despentes (France), Frank Wynne, Vernon Subutex, 1 (MacLehose Press)

Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany), Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone (Portobello Books)

The White Book by Han Kang Han Kang (South Korea), Deborah Smith, The White Book (Portobello Books)

Die, My Love by Ariana Harwicz Ariana Harwicz (Argentina), Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff, Die, My Love (Charco Press)

The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai László Krasznahorkai (Hungary), John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes, The World Goes On (Tuskar Rock Press)

Like a Fading Shadow A Novel by Antonio Muñoz Molina Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), Camilo A. Ramirez, Like a Fading Shadow (Tuskar Rock Press)

The Flying Mountain by Christoph Ransmayr Christoph Ransmayr (Austria), Simon Pare, The Flying Mountain (Seagull Books)

Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad (Oneworld)

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), Jennifer Croft, Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

The Stolen Bicycle by Wu Ming-Yi Wu Ming-Yi (Taiwan), Darryl Sterk, The Stolen Bicycle (Text Publishing)

The Dinner Guest by Gabriela Ybarra Gabriela Ybarra (Spain), Natasha Wimmer, The Dinner Guest (Harvill Secker)

message 2: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2292 comments Thanks Hugh. My local bookstore has a number of those on it’s international authors shelf and I am only a short walk from the store at the moment. As I only have one of the long list on my shelf, I may just need to get it a companion.

message 3: by Guilie (new)

Guilie | 2 comments Brilliant! Thanks for this, Hugh! Got a lot of reading to catch up on :)

message 4: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 178 comments For info this was the response of the Shadow Jury of bloggers and reviewers (of which I am part):


Monday saw the announcement of the longlist for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize, and our Shadow Panel would like to begin by thanking the official judges for the effort they have expended on poring over all of the submitted titles to come up with a final baker's/Booker dozen of works. This year's selection is an intriguing mix of familiar faces and new discoveries, with two former winners in Han Kang and László Krasznahorkai returning (three if, like us, you include Jenny Erpenbeck's win in the final edition of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize) alongside several writers new to Anglophone readers. As always, we extend our hearty thanks to the translators who make it all possible, with particular praise going to Frank Wynne for his feat in having two works make the longlist - in different languages, too.

This year's choices hail from ten different countries, but (as is often the case) the majority come from Europe, reflecting perhaps the nature of the submitted titles. With three Spanish titles (and one from Argentina) selected, just eight languages account for the entire longlist; again, while it would be nice to have more diversity, it is highly likely that the majority of books entered were originally written in the major European languages.

One pleasing development in this year's prize, though, is an increase in the number of female authors represented on the longlist. Six of the thirteen books were written by women, while there are seven female translators among the fifteen whose work has been honoured. It will be interesting to see what those numbers look like when the shortlist appears.

We were also interested to see a number of smaller presses rewarded for their work over the past year. While 'small' is a relative term in publishing, there can be little doubt that Charco Press and Fitzcarraldo Editions fit that description, and we are happy to see their work highlighted. Both MacLehose Press and Portobello Books continue to rack up longlist nominations, and Oneworld Publications have once again presented a strong contender in their bid to add the international Booker trophy to their two English-language wins.

In terms of books selected, few were surprised that The White Book, Go, Went, Gone, The World Goes On and Frankenstein in Baghdad made the cut, and most of the titles are familiar. However, there are a few books that we were not aware of, and we look forward to finding out more about them in the coming weeks. Perhaps more interesting, though, are some of the omissions. The Shadow Panel had its own deliberations over the past week, coming up with a list with many similarities to the official version. Books we considered, but which failed to make the official cut, include Nora Ikstena's Soviet Milk (translated by Margita Gailitis: Peirene Press), Rainald Goetz's Insane (tr. Adrian Nathan West: Fitzcarraldo Editions) and Lina Meruane's Seeing Red (tr. Megan McDowell: Atlantic Books). All of these are fit to have graced the longlist, and we are a little sad to see them left out.

However, if there is one title that we are surprised not to see included, it has to be Andrés Barba's Such Small Hands (tr. Lisa Dillman: Portobello Books). A superb take on the darkness hidden in the world of children, this was one of our certainties, and we were sorely tempted to call it in for our own longlist (which would have been only the second book we have done this for). However (wrongly or rightly), after much discussion we decided to place our trust in the official judges and stay with the thirteen titles they decided upon, reserving our judgement until we have read the books they deemed better than Barba's short novel. Should all thirteen longlisted titles prove to be worthy finalists, then we will applaud the judges' decision...

...but that is something to discuss in a month's time...

message 5: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 178 comments My reviews of all 13 and my ranking:

1. The White Book my review
2. The Impostor my review
3. Stolen Bicycle my review
4. Die My Love my review
5. Flights my review
6. Frankenstein in Baghdad my review
7. The Flying Mountain my review
8. Go Went Gone my review
9. World Goes On my review
10. Like A Fading Shadow my review
11. The 7th Function of Language
my review
12. The Dinner Guest my review
13. Vernon Subutex 1 my review

message 6: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 178 comments The Shadow Panel of bloggers and book reviewers have announced our collective verdict:

It's been ten weeks since the Man Booker International Prize longlist was announced, and in that time the Shadow Panel has been working away in the background, reading frantically while discussing the merits and flaws of the selected titles. From the thirteen books we were given by the official judges, we chose a shortlist of six (only two of which made the official cut!), and off we set again, to reread as much as possible in the time we had left. Then, we discussed the books a little more before voting for our favourites, culminating in the choice of our favourite work of translated fiction from the previous year's crop. And who might that be?


Congratulations to all involved! While not a unanimous decision, Flights easily won the majority of votes from our judges. In fact, in the seven years we've been shadowing the prizes (IFFP, then MBIP), this was the clearest winner by far, showing how impressed we were by Tokarczuk's integration of seemingly disparate pieces into a mesmerising whole. Thanks must also go to Croft for her excellent work on the book - as always, it's only with the help of the translator that we're able to read this book at all.

A special mention should also go to Fitzcarraldo Editions. This is their second consecutive MBIP Shadow Prize, as we selected Mathias Énard's Compass as our winner for 2017; they have proved to be one of the UK's rising stars of fiction (and non-fiction) in translation.

message 7: by Paul (new)

Paul Fulcher (fulcherkim) | 178 comments And Flights also takes the official prize!

message 8: by Whitney (new)

Whitney | 2064 comments Mod
Wow, either a whole lot of smart people got it wrong, or this is an amazing book. Looks like it's not going to be released here until August, though.

message 9: by Hugh (new)

Hugh (bodachliath) | 2564 comments Mod
It is an amazing book and a well deserved win.

message 10: by Kristina (new)

Kristina (literature-dreams) | 66 comments I have this book for ages on my TBR, so now I think I really should read it

message 11: by LindaJ^ (new)

LindaJ^ (lindajs) | 2292 comments It was not my favorite but it is well worth reading - very creative.

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