The Man Booker International Prize honoring the best of fiction in translation released its longlist today. Although this is the 50th year of the Man Booker Prize, the International Prize has only been awarded since 2016. Last year’s honor went to A Horse Walks Into a Bar by David Grossman and translated by Jessica Cohen.
“I think what stands out about this longlist is its variety, the energy of the many voices that we have. Voices that have taken on politics, sexual politics, history, the contemporary human relations, and relations with mountains,” says Lisa Appignanesi OBE, chair of the judging panel.
Judges started with a pool of 108 books and this first cut narrows the field to 13, with representation from Iraq to Taiwan to Poland. Former winners Han Kang (South Korea) and László Krasznahorkai (Hungary) are also in contention again for the top prize.
“Longlist is balanced without trying to be,” judge and poet Michael Hoffman also comments. “It takes English to places where it hasn’t necessarily been before. Also in exciting news, more than half of the longlist titles hail from independent presses.
The 2018 Man Booker International Prize longlist:
• Laurent Binet (France), Sam Taylor, The 7th Function of Language (Harvill Secker)
• Javier Cercas (Spain), Frank Wynne, The Impostor (MacLehose Press)
• Virginie Despentes (France), Frank Wynne, Vernon Subutex 1 (MacLehose Press)
• Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany), Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone (Portobello Books)
• Han Kang (South Korea), Deborah Smith, The White Book (Portobello Books)
• Ariana Harwicz (Argentina), Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff, Die, My Love (Charco Press)
• László Krasznahorkai (Hungary), John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes, The World Goes On (Tuskar Rock Press)
• Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), Camilo A. Ramirez, Like a Fading Shadow (Tuskar Rock Press)
• Christoph Ransmayr (Austria), Simon Pare, The Flying Mountain (Seagull Books)
• Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad (Oneworld)
• Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), Jennifer Croft, Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
• Wu Ming-Yi (Taiwan), Darryl Sterk, The Stolen Bicycle (Text Publishing)
• Gabriela Ybarra (Spain), Natasha Wimmer, The Dinner Guest (Harvill Secker)
Also on the judging panel are authors Hari Kunzru and Helen Oyeyemi and journalist Tim Martin.
The shortlist will be announced April 12 and the winner on May 22. Find more on excellent works in translation here.