The Shortlist For The 2020 International Booker Prize Announced


Books have one superior advantage over cinema. To select the best you don't need a festival: the virtual jury might read the books at home and announce their verdict. Therefore, the life goes on and The 2020 International Booker Prize is proud to present its shortlist.

Six finest translated fiction works from around the globe have been selected from the longlist, which subsequently has been derived from 124 entries:

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar (Farsi-Iran), translated by Anonymous, published by Europa Editions

The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara (Spanish-Argentina), translated by Iona Macintyre and Fiona Mackintosh, published by Charco Press

Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann (Germany-German), translated by Ross Benjamin, published by Quercus

Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor (Spanish-Mexico), translated by Sophie Hughes, Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (Japanese-Japan), translated by Stephen Snyder, published by Harvill Secker

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (Dutch-Netherlands), translated by Michele Hutchison, published by Faber & Faber​

According to Ted Hodgkinson, the chairman of the jury panel, "Each of our shortlisted books restlessly reinvents received narratives, from foundational myths to family folklore, plunging us into discomforting and elating encounters with selves in a state of transition. Whether capturing a deftly imagined dystopia or incandescent flows of language, these are tremendous feats of translation, which in these isolating times, represent the pinnacle of an art- form rooted in dialogue. Our shortlist transcends this unprecedented moment, immersing us in expansively imagined lives that hold enduring fascination."

The shortlisted novels were translated from Spanish, German, Dutch, Farsi and Japanese. Three of them - The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar, The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara and Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann - have been inspired by their nations’ histories: the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran, gaucho culture in 1870s Argentina, and the Thirty Years’ War in Germany. Meanwhile the other three - Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa and The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld - all touch on how trauma, whether through violent acts or emotional loss, shape our experiences and approach to the world.

The International Booker Prize is awarded every year for a single book that is translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. It aims to encourage more publishing and reading of quality fiction from all over the world and to promote the work of translators. Both novels and short-story collections are eligible.

Last year The International Booker Prize went to Celestial Bodies, written by Jokha Alharthi, translated by Marilyn Booth from Arabic.

Source: press-release by The Booker Prizes on Wed, 2020-04-01


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