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In Translation

Announcing the 2018 Man Booker International Prize Winner

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Pierce Alquist

Senior Contributor

Pierce Alquist is a transplanted New Yorker living and working in the publishing scene in Boston. Don’t worry if she fooled you, the red hair is misleading. She’s a literature in translation devotee and reviewer and lover of small, independent presses. A voracious traveler and foodie, you can find her in her kitchen making borscht or covered in red pepper paste as she perfects her kimchi recipe.

The 2018 Man Booker International Prize Winner is Flights by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft. The £50,000 prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world, has been divided equally between the author and translator. (They also both received a further £1,000 for being on the shortlist.)

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk and translated by Jennifer Croft. 2018 Man Booker International Prize Winner

It was selected from more than one hundred submissions by a panel of five judges, chaired by Lisa Appignanesi, author and cultural commentator, and consisting of: Michael Hofmann, poet, reviewer and translator from German; Hari Kunzru, author of five novels including The Impressionist and White Tears; Tim Martin, journalist and literary critic, and Helen Oyeyemi, author of novels, plays and short stories including What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours.

Chair, Lisa Appignanesi comments:

“Our deliberations were hardly easy, since our shortlist was such a strong one. But I’m very pleased to say that we decided on the great Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk as our winner: Tokarczuk is a writer of wonderful wit, imagination and literary panache. In Flights, brilliantly translated by Jennifer Croft, by a series of startling juxtapositions she flies us through a galaxy of departures and arrivals, stories and digressions, all the while exploring matters close to the contemporary and human predicament–where only plastic escapes mortality.”

Past winners include:

A Horse Walks Into A Bar by David Grossman, translated from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen

The Vegetarian by Han Kang, translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith