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The Man Booker International Prize 2019 longlist announced

The Man Booker International Prize 2019 longlist announced

The Man Booker International Prize 2019 longlist announced

 

The Man Booker
International Prize 2019

Longlist Announced

www.themanbookerprize.com  |  @ManBookerPrize  |  #MBI2019 #FinestFiction

 

  • The 13 longlisted books have been translated from nine different languages, hailing from 12 countries across three continents
  • Olga Tokarczuk, who won the prize in 2018, appears again alongside her other translator into English, Antonia Lloyd-Jones
  • Samanta Schweblin and her translator Megan McDowell, previously shortlisted in 2017, are longlisted
  • The list includes 8 women - over half of this year’s longlist
  • Longlist dominated by independent publishers: only two from the larger conglomerates

 

The Man Booker International Prize has today, Wednesday 13 March, revealed the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ of 13 novels in contention for the 2019 prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world.

 

The prize is awarded every year for a single book, which is translated into English and published in the UK and Ireland. Both novels and short-story collections are eligible. Authors and translators are considered to be equally important, with the £50,000 prize being split between them. In addition, each shortlisted author and translator will receive £1,000. The judges considered 108 books.

 

 

The full 2019 longlist is as follows:

Author
(Original Language –Country/territory)

Translator

Title

Publisher, Imprint

Jokha Alharthi
(Arabic - Oman)

Marilyn Booth

Celestial Bodies

Sandstone Press Ltd

Annie Ernaux
(French - France)

Alison L. Strayer

The Years

Fitzcarraldo Editions

Hwang Sok-yong
(Korean - South Korea)

Sora Kim-Russell

At Dusk

Scribe, UK

Mazen Maarouf
(Arabic - Iceland and Palestine)

Jonathan Wright

Jokes For The Gunmen

Granta

Hubert Mingarelli
(French - France)

Sam Taylor

Four Soldiers

Granta

Marion Poschmann
(German - Germany)

Jen Calleja

The Pine Islands

Profile Books, Serpent's Tail

Samanta Schweblin
(Spanish - Argentina and Italy)

Megan McDowell

Mouthful Of Birds

Oneworld

Sara Stridsberg
(Swedish - Sweden)

Deborah Bragan-Turner

The Faculty Of Dreams

Quercus, MacLehose Press

Olga Tokarczuk
(Polish - Poland)

Antonia Lloyd-Jones

Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead

Fitzcarraldo Editions

Juan Gabriel Vásquez
(Spanish - Colombia)

Anne McLean

The Shape Of The Ruins

Quercus, MacLehose Press

Tommy Wieringa
(Dutch - The Netherlands)

Sam Garrett

The Death Of Murat Idrissi

Scribe, UK

Can Xue
(Chinese - China)

Annelise Finegan Wasmoen

Love In The New Millennium

Yale University Press

Alia Trabucco Zerán
(Spanish - Chile)

Sophie Hughes

The Remainder

And Other Stories

 

The longlist was selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by Bettany Hughes, award-winning historian, author and broadcaster, and is made up of writer, translator and chair of English PEN Maureen Freely; philosopher Professor Angie Hobbs; novelist and satirist Elnathan John and essayist and novelist Pankaj Mishra.

 

 

Bettany Hughes, chair of the 2019 Man Booker International Prize judging panel, says:

 

‘This was a year when writers plundered the archive, personal and political. That drive is represented in our longlist, but so too are surreal Chinese train journeys, absurdist approaches to war and suicide, and the traumas of spirit and flesh. We’re thrilled to share 13 books which enrich our idea of what fiction can do.’

 

The shortlist of six books will be announced on 9 April at an event at Somerset House in London, and the winner of the 2019 prize will be announced on 21 May at a dinner at the Roundhouse in London.

 

The Man Booker International Prize was originally established thanks to the generous extension of funding given by the Man Group. The 2019 prize marks the final highlight of their successful 18-year sponsorship of the prizes. The Trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation announced on 28 February that Crankstart, the charitable foundation of Michael Moritz KBE and his wife, Harriet Heyman, will be the new supporter of the Booker Prize and the International Booker Prize from 1 June 2019.  Crankstart has committed to an initial five-year exclusive funding term with an option to renew for a further five years.  From June the original prize will once again be known as The Booker Prize, while the prize for literature in translation will become The International Booker Prize.

 

 

www.themanbookerprize.com  |  @ManBookerPrize  |  #MBI2019 #FinestFiction

 

 

– Ends –

 

For press enquiries please contact:

 

Laura.Steele@FourCommunications.com  | + 44 (0) 20 3697 4241

Truda.Spruyt@FourCommunications.com  | + 44 (0) 20 3697 4248

 

 

Notes to Editors:
 

  • Please find images for authors, translators and book jackets here

 

  • The Administrator of the Man Booker International Prize is Fiammetta Rocco – chief culture correspondent of The Economist and 1843. The Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation is Gaby Wood

 

  • Books under consideration have been published in English in translation by UK publishers between 1 May 2018 and 30 April 2019

 

  • The winner of Man Booker International Prize 2018 was Flights by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft. Now in its tenth printing, sales increased 692% in the month following the winner announcement. The book is by far Fitzcarraldo Editions’ bestselling title of all time, and the prize win also had a knock-on effect on the publication of Olga Tokarczuk's Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead (translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones), published in September 2018, which is already on its fourth printing and longlisted for this year’s prize

 

  • There is no restriction on the number of submissions per publisher but this will be kept under review and may change in future years

 

  • Four Culture handles PR and event management for the prize and provides all events and administrative back-up

 

  • The Man Booker International Prize website includes detailed information about all aspects of the prize and runs regular news bulletins: www.themanbookerprize.com

 

  • The Booker Prize Foundation Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all aspects of the book world. Its members are: Jonty Claypole – Head of Arts, BBC; James Daunt – Managing Director of Waterstones; Jonathan Douglas – Director of the National Literacy Trust; Adam Freudenheim – publisher, Pushkin Press; Peter Kemp – Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; Rosanna Konarzewski – Global head of Communications and Marketing, Man Group; Fiammetta Rocco – chief culture writer, The Economist and 1843 (Man Booker International Prize Administrator); Michal Shavit - publishing director, Jonathan Cape; Eve Smith – Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation; Boyd Tonkin - Writer and Critic; Helen Williams – Legal Counsel of Booker Group plc; Gaby Wood – Literary Director, Booker Prize Foundation

 

  • The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) established in 2002. Since then it has been responsible for the award of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and for the Man Booker International Prize since its inauguration in 2005. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are:  Baroness Kennedy QC (Chair) – former Chair of the British Council and Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University; Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival; Bidisha – writer, critic and broadcaster; Carol Lake – Managing Director Philanthropy Executive at JPMorgan Chase;  James Naughtie – broadcaster; Christopher Pearce – former Finance Director of Rentokil plc; Professor Louise Richardson – Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford;  the Rt Hon. Lord David Willetts – writer, ex-minister, and advocate of fairness between the generations.  Jonathan Taylor CBE is President of the Foundation and Sir Ronald Harwood, Baroness Neuberger and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne are Vice Presidents

 

  • Man Group is a global active investment management firm, with $108.5bn of funds under management (as at 31 December 2018) in liquid and private markets, managed by investment specialists based around the world. Man Group has five specialist investment engines, which represent the range of its capabilities: Man AHL, Man Numeric, Man GLG, Man FRM and Man GPM. The teams invest across a diverse range of strategies and asset classes with highly specialised approaches, with long only and alternative strategies run on a discretionary and quantitative basis in single and multi-manager formats. Headquartered in London, the firm has 15 international offices and operates across multiple jurisdictions. Through the Man Charitable Trust and sponsorship of the Man Booker Prizes, Man Group is committed to promoting literacy and numeracy on a global scale, and to supporting charitable causes more broadly. Man Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker EMG.LN and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Further information can be found at www.man.com

 

  • Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with 198 business centres and a national delivery network. It serves over 441,000 catering customers, 94,000 independent retailers and 641,000 small businesses

 

Man Booker International Prize events:

 

The shortlisted and winning authors and translators will take part in a number of events. These include:

 

Southbank Centre
Monday 20 May, 7pm

The night before the 2019 prize winner is unveiled, join this year’s shortlisted authors and translators for an evening of readings in both English and the native languages of the books, and conversation around their books. Plus, a Q&A and book signing.


Book your ticket here

 

 

Waterstones Piccadilly
Thursday 23 May, 7pm

Join us for an evening celebrating the winner of the Man Booker International Prize 2019. A byword for the finest fiction in translation, the prize celebrates literature from all over the world.
 

Following the announcement of the 2019 prize winner on Tuesday 21 May, join this year’s winning author and translator for an evening of readings in both English and the native language of their book. This will be followed by a discussion about writing the book and experience of winning the prize, an audience Q&A and book signing.


Book your ticket here

 

More events will be announced in due course.

 

 

The Longlist for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize:

Book synopses and biographies

 

Celestial Bodies

Jokha Alharthi

Translated by Marilyn Booth from Arabic

Published by Sandstone Press

 

 

Celestial Bodies is set in the village of al-Awafi in Oman, where we encounter three sisters: Mayya, who marries Abdallah after a heartbreak; Asma, who marries from a sense of duty; and Khawla who rejects all offers while waiting for her beloved, who has emigrated to Canada. These three women and their families witness Oman evolve from a traditional, slave-owning society which is slowly redefining itself after the colonial era, to the crossroads of its complex present. Elegantly structured and taut, it tells of Oman’s coming-of-age through the prism of one family’s losses and loves.

The judges said: ‘A richly imagined, engaging and poetic insight into a society in transition and into lives previously obscured.’

 

Jokha Alharthi was born in Oman in July 1978. She is the author of two previous collections of short fiction, a children’s book, and three novels in Arabic. Fluent in English, she completed a PhD in Classical Arabic Poetry in Edinburgh, and teaches at Sultan Qaboos University in Muscat. She has been shortlisted for the Sahikh Zayed Award for Young Writers and her short stories have been published in English, German, Italian, Korean, and Serbian. She lives in Oman.

 

Marilyn Booth was born in Boston, USA in February 1955. She holds the Khalid bin Abdallah Al Saud Chair for the Study of the Contemporary Arab World, Oriental Institute and Magdalen College, Oxford. In addition to her academic publications, she has translated many works of fiction from Arabic, most recently, The Penguin’s Song and No Road to Paradise, both by Lebanese novelist Hassan Daoud. She lives in Oxford.

                                                                       ***

Love In The New Millennium

Can Xue

Translated by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen from Chinese

Published by Yale University Press

 

A group of women inhabits a world of constant surveillance, where informants lurk in the flowerbeds and false reports fly. Conspiracies abound in a community that normalises paranoia and suspicion. Some try to flee—whether to a mysterious gambling bordello or to ancestral homes that can only be reached underground through muddy caves, sewers, and tunnels. Others seek out the refuge of Nest County, where traditional Chinese herbal medicines can reshape or psychologically transport the self. Each life is circumscribed by buried secrets and transcendent delusions. Love In The New Millennium traces love's many guises—satirical, tragic, transient, lasting, nebulous, and fulfilling—against a kaleidoscopic backdrop drawn from East and West of commerce and industry, fraud and exploitation, sex and romance.

The judges said: ‘Jolts the reader from the real to the surreal. A meditative experience that opens up a fever dream of contemporary Chinese writing.’

 

 

Can Xue was born in Changsha, Hunan, China in May 1953. She is a Chinese avant-garde fiction writer, literary critic, and tailor. Xue began writing in 1983 and published her first short-story in 1985. She has written novels, novellas, and works of literary criticism about the work of Dante, Jorge Luis Borges, and Franz Kafka. Regarded as one of the most experimental writers in the world by some literary scholars and readers, her writing, which consists mostly of short fiction, breaks with the realism of earlier modern Chinese writers. She lives in Buffalo, NY, USA.

 

Annelise Finegan Wasmoen was born in Philadelphia, USA, in September 1981. She is Academic Director and Clinical Assistant Professor of the MS in Translation and oversees the Translation and Interpreting open enrolment programme at The Center for Applied Liberal Arts at NYU. Her translations from Chinese into English include Can Xue’s novel The Last Lover, which received the Best Translated Book Award from Three Percent and was longlisted for the National Translation Award from the American Literary Translators Association. She also has a background in academic and textbook publishing. Annelise is a Ph.D. candidate in Comparative Literature at Washington University in St. Louis, where she completed a Graduate Certificate in Translation Studies, and she holds a B.A. in Literature from Yale University. She lives in Buffalo, NY, USA.


***

The Years

Annie Ernaux

Translated by Alison Strayer from French

Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions

 

The Years is a narrative of the period 1941 to 2006 told through the lens of memory, impressions past and present, photos, books, songs, radio, television, advertising, and news headlines. Local dialect, words of the times, slogans, brands and names for ever-proliferating objects are given voice. The author’s voice continually dissolves and re-emerges as Ernaux makes the passage of time palpable. Time itself, inexorable, narrates its own course, consigning all other narrators to anonymity. A new kind of autobiography emerges, at once subjective and impersonal, private and collective.

The judges said: ‘An elegant portrait of an age; a much needed riposte to the ever-narrowing trajectory of auto-fiction.’

Annie Ernaux was born in Seine-Maritime, France, in September 1940. She grew up in Normandy, studied at Rouen University, and later taught in secondary schools. From 1977 to 2000, she was a professor at the Centre National d’Enseignement par Correspondance. Her books, in particular A Man’s Place and A Woman’s Story, have become contemporary classics in France. The Years won the Prix Renaudot in France in 2008 and the Premio Strega in Italy in 2016. In 2017, Annie Ernaux was awarded the Marguerite Yourcenar Prize for her life’s work. She lives in Paris, France.

 

Alison Strayer was born in Saskatchewan, Canada, in July 1958. A writer and translator, her work has been shortlisted twice for the Governor General’s Award for Literature and for Translation. She has also been shortlisted for the Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal and the Prix Littéraire France-Québec, and longlisted for the Albertine Prize. Her translation of The Years was awarded the 2018 French-American Translation Prize in the non-fiction category. She lives in Paris, France.

***
 

At Dusk

Hwang Sok-yong

Translated by Sora Kim-Russell from Korean

Published by Scribe

 

Park Minwoo is, by every measure, a success story. Born into poverty in a miserable neighbourhood in Seoul, he has ridden the wave of development in a rapidly modernising society. The successful director of a large architectural firm, when his company is investigated for corruption he is forced to reconsider his role in the transformation of his country. At the same time, he receives an unexpected message from an old friend, Cha Soona, a woman whom he had once loved, and then betrayed. As memories return unbidden, Minwoo recalls a world he thought had been left behind ― a world he now understands that he has helped to destroy.

The judges said: ‘A delicately drawn, vividly peopled and deftly plotted exploration of profound shifts in Korean society.’

 

Hwang Sok-yong was born in Changchun, China in January 1943. In 1993, he was sentenced to seven years in prison for an unauthorised trip to North Korea to promote artistic exchange between the two Koreas. He was released five years later on a special pardon by the new president. He has been shortlisted for the Prix Femina Étranger and was awarded the Émile Guimet Prize for Asian Literature for At Dusk. His novels and short stories are published in North and South Korea, Japan, China, France, Germany, and the United States. He lives in Seoul, South Korea.

 

Sora Kim-Russell was born in Florida, USA, in March 1976. She is a poet and translator, and teaches at Ewha Women's University. She lives in Seoul.

 

***

Jokes for the Gunman

Mazen Maarouf

Translated by Jonathan Wright from Arabic

Published by Granta, Portobello Books

 

A brilliant collection of fictions in the vein of Roald Dahl, Etgar Keret and Amy Hempel. These are stories of what the world looks like from a child's pure, but sometimes vengeful or muddled, perspective. These are stories of life in a war zone, life peppered by surreal mistakes, tragic accidents and painful encounters. These are stories of fantasist matadors, lost limbs and voyeuristic dwarfs. This is a collection about sex, death and the all-important skill of making life into a joke. These are unexpected stories by a very fresh voice. These stories are unforgettable.

The judges said: ‘A beautifully textured and absurdist gaze on human inventiveness and defiance in the midst of war’s traumas.’

 

Mazen Maarouf was born in Beirut, Lebanon, in January 1978. He is a Palestinian-Icelandic writer, poet, translator and journalist. He has published three poetry collections and two short-story collections. He currently lives between Reykjavik and Beirut.

 

Jonathan Wright was born in Andover, UK, in December 1963. He is a British journalist and literary translator.  He joined Reuters news agency in 1980 as a correspondent, and has been based in the Middle East for most of the last three decades. He has served as Reuters' Cairo bureau chief, and he has lived and worked throughout the region, including in Egypt, Sudan, Lebanon, Tunisia and the Gulf. From 1998 to 2003, he was based in Washington, DC, covering U.S. foreign policy for Reuters. For two years until the autumn of 2011 Wright was editor of the Arab Media & Society Journal, published by the Kamal Adham Center for Journalism Training and Research at the American University in Cairo. He lives in London.


***

Four Soldiers

Hubert Mingarelli

Translated by Sam Taylor from French

Published by Granta, Portobello Books

 

A narrator remembers the harsh winter of 1919, fighting in the Russian Civil War on the Romanian front.  Setting up camp in a forest, he and his three closest friends from the battalion discover a pond which becomes a secret place for the four young men to smoke, rest, wash and talk. Four Soldiers is about those precious months of waiting for spring to come, for their battalion to move on and for the inevitable resumption of war and its horror. It is a short, beautiful novel about friendship and the fragments of happiness that illuminate the darkness.

The judges said: ‘An oblique, deceptively simple evocation of friendship and resilience in the Russian Civil War, which builds to a haunting tribute to lives carelessly cast aside.’

 

Hubert Mingarelli was born in Mont-Saint-Martin in Lorraine, France, in January 1956. He is the author of numerous novels, short-story collections and fiction for young adults. In 2003, Four Soldiers won the Prix Médicis. His novel A Meal in Winter was also shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. He lives in Grenoble.

 

Sam Taylor was born in Nottinghamshire, England, in August 1970. He is a translator, novelist and journalist, and began his career as a journalist with The Observer. His translated works include Laurent Binet's award-winning novel HHhH and Leila Slimani's Lullaby. His own novels have been translated into ten languages. He lives in Texas.

 

***

The Pine Islands

Marion Poschmann

Translated by Jen Calleja from German

Published by Profile Books, Serpent's Tail

 

When Gilbert Silvester, a journeyman lecturer on beard fashions in film, awakes one day from a dream that his wife has cheated on him, he flees - immediately, irrationally, inexplicably - for Japan. In Tokyo he discovers the travel writings of the great Japanese poet Basho. Suddenly, from Gilbert's directionless crisis there emerges a purpose: a pilgrimage in the footsteps of the poet to see the moon rise over the pine islands of Matsushima. Falling into step with another pilgrim - a young Japanese student called Yosa, clutching a copy of The Complete Manual of Suicide - Gilbert travels across Basho's disappearing Japan with Yosa, one in search of his perfect ending and the other the new beginning that will give his life meaning. The Pine Islands is a serene, playful, profoundly moving story of the transformations we seek and the ones we find along the way.

The judges said, ‘A quirky, unpredictable and darkly comic confrontation with mortality.’


Marion Poschmann was born in Essen, Germany, in December 1969. A prize-winning poet and novelist, she has won both of Germany's premier poetry prizes, has been shortlisted for the German Book Prize on three occasions and won the 2013 Wilhelm Raabe Literature Prize. She lives in Berlin.

 

Jen Calleja was born in Shoreham-by-Sea, UK, in December 1986. She is a writer, musician and literary translator from German. She has translated works by authors including Wim Wenders, Michelle Steinbeck, Kerstin Hensel and Gregor Hens, and her translations have been featured in The New Yorker and The White Review. She was the inaugural Translator in Residence at the British Library and writes a column on literature in translation for the Brixton Review of Books. Her debut poetry collection Serious Justice (2016) is published by Test Centre. She lives in London.

***

Mouthful of Birds

Samanta Schweblin

Translated by Megan McDowell from Spanish

Published by Oneworld

 

The crunch of a bird’s wing. Abandoned by the roadside, newlywed brides scream with rage as they’re caught in the headlights of a passing car. A cloud of butterflies, so beautiful it smothers.

Unearthly and unexpected, Mouthful of Birds is a collection of stories that burrow their way into the psyche with the feel of a sleepless night. Every shadow and bump in the dark takes on huge implications, leaving the pulse racing; blurring the line between the real and the strange.

The judges said, ‘Spritely and uncanny, this is a beautifully imagined and skilfully executed collection of short stories.’

 

Samanta Schweblin was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in March 1978. She is the author of three story collections that have now been translated into 20 languages. The recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Juan Rulfo Story Prize, her debut novel Fever Dream was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2017. She lives in Berlin.

 

Megan McDowell was born in Mississippi, USA, in October 1978. She has translated books by many contemporary South American and Spanish authors. Her translations have been published in The New Yorker, Harper's and The Paris Review. She received the 2013 PEN Award for Writing in Translation. She lives in Santiago, Chile.

 

***

The Faculty of Dreams

Sara Stridsberg

Translated by Deborah Bragan-Turner from Swedish

Published by Quercus, MacLehose Press

 

In April 1988, Valerie Solanas - the writer, radical feminist and would-be assassin of Andy Warhol - was discovered dead in her hotel room, in a grimy corner of San Francisco. She was only 52; alone, penniless and surrounded by the typed pages of her last writings. In The Faculty of Dreams, Sara Stridsberg revisits the hotel room where Solanas died, the courtroom where she was tried and convicted of attempting to murder Andy Warhol, the Georgia wastelands where she spent her childhood, where she was repeatedly raped by her father and beaten by her alcoholic grandfather, and the mental hospitals where she was interned. Through imagined conversations and monologues, reminiscences and rantings, Stridsberg reconstructs this most intriguing and enigmatic of women, articulating the thoughts and fears that she struggled to express in life and giving a powerful, heartbreaking voice to the writer of the infamous SCUM Manifesto.

The judges said, ‘An acute exploration of the imminent possibility of tragedy in all our lives - performative, exhilarating, searing.’

 

Sara Stridsberg was born in Solna, Sweden, in August 1972. She is a writer and playwright. Her second novel, The Faculty of Dreams, won the Nordic Council Literature Prize, and her novels have four times been shortlisted for Sweden’s August Prize. The Gravity of Love – Ode to My Family, has been sold in 15 languages and was the 2015 Swedish winner of the European Prize for Literature. She lives in Stockholm.

 

Deborah Bragan-Turner was born in Middlesborough, UK in February 1953. She translates Swedish literature, particularly literary fiction and biographies. She has a degree in Scandinavian languages from the University College London. She lives in Faversham, UK.

 

***

Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead

Olga Tokarczuk

Translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones from Polish

Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions

 

Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead takes place in a remote village in south-west Poland where Janina Dusezjko, an eccentric woman in her 60s, describes the events surrounding the disappearance of her two dogs. When members of a local hunting club are subsequently found murdered, she becomes involved in the investigation. By no means a conventional crime story, Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead offers thought-provoking ideas on perceptions of madness, social injustice against people who are marginalised, animal rights, the hypocrisy of traditional religion, and belief in predestination.

The judges said, ‘An idiosyncratic and bleakly humorous indictment of humanity’s casual corruption of the natural world.’

Olga Tokarczuk was born in Julechon, Poland, in January 1962. One of Poland’s best and most beloved authors, her novel Flights won the 2018 Man Booker International Prize, in Jennifer Croft’s translation. In 2015 she received the Brueckepreis and the prestigious annual literary award from Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, as well as Poland’s highest literary honour, the Nike and the Nike Readers’ Prize. Tokarczuk also received a Nike in 2009 for Flights. She is the author of nine novels, three short-story collections and has been translated into a dozen languages. She lives in Wroclaw, Poland.

Antonia Lloyd-Jones was born in Oxford in March 1962. She translates from Polish, and is the 2018 winner of the Transatlantyk Award for the most outstanding promoter of Polish literature abroad. She has translated works by several of Poland’s leading contemporary novelists and reportage authors, as well as crime fiction, poetry and children’s books. She is a mentor for the Emerging Translators’ Mentorship Programme, and former co-chair of the UK Translators Association. She lives in London.

                                                                     ***

The Shape of the Ruins

Juan Gabriel Vásquez

Translated by Anne McLean from Spanish

Published by Quercus, MacLehose Press

 

Whilst pacing the dark and lonely corridors of a hospital in Bogotá during the premature birth of his twin daughters, Juan Gabriel Vásquez befriends a kindly physician, Doctor Benavides. Through the doctor, Vásquez meets Carlos Carballo. A middle-aged man, Carballo is consumed by a conspiracy theory about the assassination of an up and coming politician and JFK-like figure Jorge Eliécer Gaitán in 1948. He tries to persuade Vásquez to write a novel about the murder, but despite repeated refusals Vásquez is drawn deeper into the conspiracy when Gaitán’s vertebrae, stored in a glass jar in a mutual friend’s house, goes missing. Sparking a turn of events, Varquez opens up a second, even darker conspiracy about the assassination of another politician, Rafael Uribe Uribe, in 1914. 

The judges said, ‘A harrowing immersion into the bottomless pit of conspiracy theories. Rooted in Colombian history, it speaks to a central question of our times.’

 

Juan Gabriel Vásquez was born in Bogotá, Colombia, in January 1973. He is the author of four previous novels, The Informers, The Secret History of Costaguana, The Sound of Things Falling and Reputations, as well as the story collection The All Saints' Day Lovers. He is the winner of many prizes including the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award for The Sound of Things Falling (jointly with his translator Anne McLean), the 2013 Gregor von Rezzori Prize and the 2011 Alfaguara Prize. He has translated works into Spanish and his own work has beentranslated into more than 20 languages. He lives in Bogotá.

 

Anne McLean was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, in November 1962.  She has translated Latin American and Spanish novels, stories, memoirs and other writings by many authors including Hector Abad, Javier Cercas, Julio Cortazar and Enrique Vila-Matas. She has won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize twice, for Soldiers of Salamis by Javier Cercas (2004) and for The Armies by Evelio Rosero (2009). In 2012 she was awarded the Spanish Cross of the Order of Civil Merit. She lives in Toronto.

***

The Death of Murat Idrissi

Tommy Wieringa

Translated by Sam Garrett from Dutch

Published by Scribe, UK

 

Two venturesome women on a journey through the land of their fathers and mothers. A wrong turn. A bad decision. They had no idea, when they arrived in Morocco, that their usual freedoms as young European women would not be available. So, when the spry Saleh presents himself as their guide and saviour, they embrace his offer. He extracts them from a tight space, only to lead them inexorably into an even tighter one: and from this far darker space there is no exit. Their tale of confinement and escape is as old as the landscapes and cultures so vividly depicted in this story of where Europe and Africa come closest to meeting, even if they never quite touch.

 

Tommy Wieringa was born in the Netherlands in May 1967. He grew up partly in the Netherlands, and partly in the tropics. He began his writing career with travel stories and journalism, and is the author of four other novels. His fiction has been shortlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and the Oxford/Weidenfeld Prize, and has won Holland’s Libris Literature Prize. He lives in the Netherlands.

 

Sam Garrett was born in Harrisburg, USA, in September 1956. He has translated some 40 novels and works of non-fiction. He has won prizes and appeared on the shortlists of some of the world’s most prestigious literary awards. He is also the only translator to have twice won the British Society of Authors’ Vondel Prize for Dutch–English translation. He lives in Amsterdam.

 

***

The Remainder

Alia Trabucco Zerán

Translated by Sophie Hughes from Spanish

Published by And Other Stories

 

Santiago, Chile. The city is covered in ash. Three children of ex-militants are facing a past they can neither remember nor forget. Felipe sees dead bodies on park benches, counting them up in an obsessive quest to square the figures with the official death toll. He is searching for the perfect zero, a life with no remainder. Iquela and Paloma are also searching for a way to live on. When the body of Paloma’s mother gets lost in transit, the three take a hearse and a handful of pills up the cordillera for a road trip with a difference. Intense, intelligent, and extraordinarily sensitive to the shape and weight of words, this remarkable debut presents a new way to count the cost of generational trauma.

The judges said, ‘A lyrical evocation of Chile’s lost generation, trying ever more desperately to escape their parents’ political shadow.’

 

Alia Trabucco Zerán was born in Santiago, Chile in August 1983. She was awarded a Fulbright scholarship for her MFA in Creative Writing at New York University and holds a PhD in Spanish and Latin American Studies from University College London. The Remainder is her debut novel. It won the Best Unpublished Literary Work awarded by the Chilean Council for the Arts in 2014, and on publication was chosen by El País as one of its top 10 debuts of 2015. She lives in London.

 

Sophie Hughes was born in Chertsey, UK, in June 1986. She has translated novels by several contemporary Latin American and Spanish authors, including Best Translated Book Award 2017 finalist Laia Jufresa’s Umami. Her translations, reviews and essays have been published in The Guardian, The White Review, Times Literary Supplement. She has been the recipient of a British Centre for Literary Translation mentorship and residency, a PEN Heim Literary Translation grant, and in 2018 she was shortlisted for an Arts Foundation 25th Anniversary Fellowship. She lives in Birmingham.

 

Four Culture

March 2019