With story settings ranging from the Parisian music scene to the invaded streets of Baghdad, the international edition of the prestigious British literary prize shortlists diverse titles all published independently.Six authors and their translators are competing for the €58,000 ($71,000) Man Booker International Prize, including four European language titles, one South Korean and an Arabic work by an Iraqi author.
The prize is a counterpart to the Man Booker Prize for English-language novels and is open to books published in any language that have been translated into English.
Following the announcement of the shortlist on Thursday, the prize’s judging panel’s chairwoman, Lisa Appignanesi, said the nominees promised “sparkling encounters with prose in translation.”
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“We have mesmeric meditations, raucous, sexy, state-of-the-nation stories, haunting sparseness and sprawling tales; enigmatic cabinets of curiosity, and daring acts of imaginative projection,” she said in a statement.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, such diversity of authors and stories all hail from independent publishers.
“The World Goes On,” a collection of stories by Hungarian author Laszlo Krasznahorkai, who also won the 2015 prize (top picture) when it celebrated an author’s career instead of an individual book, was published by indie Tuskar Rock Press. The publisher has two titles vying for the prize, with “Like a Fading Shadow,” Spanish writer Antonio Munoz Molina’s story of the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr, also making the shortlist.
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Other nominees included Ahmed Saadawi’s “Frankenstein in Baghdad,” which depicts real and imaginary horrors after the US-led invasion of Iraq, as well as “The White Book” by South Korea’s Han Kang, who won in 2016 for “The Vegetarian.” French writer Virginie Despentes’ “Vernon Subutex 1,” a journey through Paris’ bohemian underworld and Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk’s novel of travel, “Flights,” were also shortlisted.
The winner will be announced on May 22 at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, with the prize money shared between the author and translator.
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sb/eg (AFP, AP)