We now have our longlist for this year’s International Booker Prize, and it’s a striking selection:
- Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung, translated from Korean by Anton Hur (Honford Star)
- After the Sun by Jonas Eika, translated from Danish by Sherilyn Hellberg (Lolli Editions)
- A New Name: Septology VI-VII by Jon Fosse, translated from Norwegian by Damion Searls (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
- More Than I Love My Life by David Grossman, translated from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen (Jonathan Cape)
- The Book of Mother by Violaine Huisman, translated from French by Leslie Camhi (Virago)
- Heaven by Mieko Kawakami, translated from Japanese by Samuel Bett and David Boyd (Picador)
- Paradais by Fernanda Melchor, translated from Spanish by Sophie Hughes (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
- Love in the Big City by Sang Young Park, translated from Korean by Anton Hur (Tilted Axis Press)
- Happy Stories, Mostly by Norman Erikson Pasaribu, translated from Indonesian by Tiffany Tsao (Tilted Axis Press)
- Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro, translated from Spanish by Frances Riddle (Charco Press)
- Phenotypes by Paulo Scott, translated from Portuguese by Daniel Hahn (And Other Stories)
- Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell (Tilted Axis Press)
- The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from Polish by Jennifer Croft (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
Tony has posted the Shadow Panel’s response on his blog, so I won’t say too much more myself. But, if you think back to the last time David Grossman was longlisted for this prize, five years ago, that was a very different longlist: mostly European, five titles from Penguin Random House imprints. This year, most of the authors are from outside of Europe, and two small publishers (Fitzcarraldo and Tilted Axis) make up almost half of the nominated books. I’m really pleased by that change.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll be reading and reviewing what I can from the longlist, along with the rest of the Shadow Panel. To date, I have read four from the longlist but reviewed only one – and it will take a very special book to dislodge Elena Knows as my favourite. Still, this is all about discovering good books, so let’s go for it.