IFFP 2015: the shadow winner

The shadow journey is over. Eleven bloggers (the biggest IFFP shadow panel yet) based on four continents read sixteen books. Between us, we posted more than a hundred reviews. We scored the books to produce our own shortlist. Now, after a week of email discussions and two rounds of voting, we have our shadow winner. It is…


The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Susan Beronofsky

It’s an excellent book, my personal favourite from this year’s IFFP, and I recommend it to you wholeheartedly.

We want to give a special mention here to our runner-up, Mathias Enard’s Zone (translated from the French by Charlotte Mandell). We called Zone in at the outset because several of us who’d read it felt strongly that it deserved to be in the mix – and it rose to second place in our overall considerations. If you want to see how good contemporary fiction in translation can be, these two novels will show you.

But we’re not finished with the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize quite yet. The official winner will be announced tonight, and The End of Days is in contention. Will it win ‘the double’? I hope so.

Read my other posts on the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize here.


  1. I will have to investigate this one further, I have a book by this author on my tbr already, I think it’s called Visitations.

  2. It was such a thrill that the best book (in my opinion) won this year! I’m still cross about last year’s winner, but that feeling is ebbing away with this year’s prize winner. Now I want to read more of Erpenbeck; I was so enamored with The End of Days.

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