Tag: Man Booker International Prize

Stepping out of (or into) the shadows 

Well, it has been quiet around here lately. I had been hoping to be back up and running by now, but unfortunately I’m still only able to use my phone to get online, which makes blogging awkward. You can still find me talking about books on Facebook and Twitter, though. 

Having said that, there is news that requires a blog post: it’s time for award shadowing. Once again, I will be part of the Man Booker International Prize shadow panel, reading and (hopefully!) reviewing the longlist once it has been announced on 15 March. I’ll post more about that at the time. 

The other project I want to tell you about is already underway. Inspired by the idea of shadow juries, the writer (and friend of this blog) Nina Allan has decided to put one together for this year’s Arthur C. Clarke Award. She invited me to take part, and I was happy to accept. Besides me and Nina, the Clarke shadow jury includes Megan AMVajra ChandrasekeraVictoria Hoyle; Nick Hubble; Paul KincaidJonathan McCalmont; and Maureen Kincaid Speller. (The links are to the individual blog posts – or, in Victoria’s case, a video – where each person announced their involvement in the jury.)

As with any other shadow jury, we will all be reading and reviewing the Clarke shortlist, which is announced on 3 May. However, the Clarke Award doesn’t have a longlist phase, so we’re doing something a little different to begin with. Each shadow juror has put together their own personal shortlist from the published list of books submitted for this year’s Clarke. We’re each going to review the books on our individual shortlists as well as the official one. The hope in doing this is to widen the conversation around the Clarke Award. It’s been a few years since I last blogged the Clarke, and I look forward to getting back into it. 

On that note, let me tell you which books I’ve selected for my personal shortlist:

  • The Power by Naomi Alderman 
  • The Many Selves of Katherine North by Emma Geen 
  • Graft by Matt Hill
  • The Gradual by Christopher Priest 
  • The Core of the Sun by Johanna Sinisalo (tr. Lola Rogers) 
  • The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

The other thing to say is that the Clarke shadow jury is being hosted by the new Centre for Science Fiction and Fantasy at Anglia Ruskin University. This means that our reviews will all be published on the CSFF website first, before appearing on individual blogs. The site already hosts an introductory essay by me about my relationship with the Clarke Award; and a piece explaining in more detail why I chose the novels in my personal shortlist (they’re all books I hadn’t read previously). I recommend spending some time exploring the CSFF site, because there are introductions and shortlist pieces from each shadow juror.

One last question: how am I planning to fit all this in? When I agreed to take part in the shadow Clarke, I already knew I’d be doing the MBIP at roughly the same time, but I felt confident there was enough time for everything. I hadn’t expected to be having difficulties with blogging. 

I think I should still be able to do it all. We’re writing full-length reviews for the shadow Clarke, but there’s also more time with that award; so, while I may not (for example) be able to review all of my personal shortlist before the announcement of the official shortlist, I should still be able to review both shortlists by the time that the Clarke winner is announced on 27 July.

The biggest task is getting through the MBIP longlist before the shortlist announcement on 20 April. I usually manage to read everything, but not necessarily to review it all. I may end up using the shorter ‘snapshot’ review format that I’ve been trying out on social media; but I’ll try to post as much on here as I can. 

Let the shadowing begin! 

Introducing the 2016 Man Booker International Prize shadow panel

For the past couple of years, I’ve been part of a panel of bloggers (and other readers) shadowing the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize  (IFFP). We would read that year’s longlist, score the books, create our own shortlist, choose our own shadow winner. It was always a highlight of my reading and blogging year.

Well, now the IFFP as we knew it is no more, having been merged into a reformatted Man Booker International Prize. But the shadow panel lives on: we’ll be reading along with the new MBIP, just as before. We have each prepared a short bio to introduce ourselves; so, please meet my fellow shadow panellists:


Stu Allen is returning to chair the first Man Booker International Prize shadow jury after hosting four shadow IFFP juries.  He blogs out of Winstonsdad’s Blog, home to 500-plus translated books in review.  He can be found on twitter (@stujallen), where he also started the successful translated fiction hashtag #TranslationThurs over five years ago.

Tony Malone is an Anglo-Australian reviewer with a particular focus on German, Japanese and Korean fiction.  He blogs at Tony’s Reading List, and his reviews have also appeared at Words Without Borders, Necessary Fiction and Shiny New Books.  Based in Melbourne, he teaches ESL to prospective university students when he’s not reading and reviewing.  He can also be found on Twitter @tony_malone

Clare started blogging at A Little Blog of Books four years ago. When she’s not doing her day job in London, she blogs mostly about contemporary literary fiction and particularly enjoys reading books by French and Japanese authors. Twitter: @littleblogbooks

Tony Messenger is addicted to lists, and books – put the two together (especially translated works) and the bookshelves sigh under the weight of new purchases as the “to be read” piles grow and the voracious all-night reading continues. Another Tony from Melbourne Australia, @messy_tony (his Twitter handle) may sometimes be mistaken for the more famous Malone Tony but rest assured they’re two different people. Messy Tony can be found at Messengers Booker (and more) and at Messenger’s Booker on Facebook – with a blog containing the word “booker” why wouldn’t he read this list?

Lori Feathers lives in Dallas, Texas, and is a freelance book critic and member of the National Book Critics Circle.  Her recent reviews can be found at Words Without Borders, Full Stop, World Literature Today, Three Percent, Rain Taxi and on Twitter @LoriFeathers

Bellezza is a blogger from Chicago, Illinois, who has been writing Dolce Bellezza for ten years. She has run the Japanese Literature Challenge for 9 years, and her reviews can be found on publisher sites such as Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster, Peirene Press, and SoHo Press. It is her great joy to participate in the shadow jury for the Man Booker International Prize with fellow participants who are experts in translated literature.

David Hebblethwaite – well, you know me…

Grant Rintoul is a Scottish reviewer who lives on the coast not far from the 39 steps said to have inspired Buchan’s novel. Luckily the weather is generally ideal for reading. He blogs at 1streading, so-called as he rarely has time to look at anything twice. He can sometimes be found on Twitter @GrantRintoul


The mechanics of the MBIP are not actually that much different from those of the IFFP: the main change is that the longlist will comprise 12 or 13 titles, rather than the 15 of old. This first new-style MBIP also has an extended eligibility period, so it will cover books published in the UK between 1 January 2015 and 30 April 2016 – which means that some writers, such as Han Kang and Karl Ove Knausgaard, will have two titles eligible (and others, like Patrick Modiano, will have more than that!). There is every chance of worthy books being left off the longlist (as we felt happened with Zone last year).

The key dates for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize are:

10 March: longlist announcement

14 April: shortlist announcement

16 May: winner announcement

The shadow panel will be there to read along every step of the way. I’ve read some excellent translated fiction over the last year, and I look forward to seeing what makes the cut.

© 2024 David's Book World

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑