Written by Moraa Gitaa
Created: 14 April 2016
The Man Booker International Prize has revealed the short-list of six books in contention for the 2016 Prize! My favourite long-listed novel Fiston Mujila’s Tram 83 which won the Etisalat Prize last month didn’t make it to the short-list but is still in the running for the 2016 BTBA Longlist (Fiction) same as Elena Ferrante’s The Story of the Lost Child and José Eduardo Agualusa's A General Theory of Oblivion both on the same long-list of the BTBA released last week.
For the Man Booker each short-listed author and translator will receive £1,000, while the £50,000 prize will be divided equally between the author and the translator of the winning entry.
The 2016 Short-list
Title (imprint) Author (nationality) Translator (nationality)
A General Theory of Oblivion (Harvill Secker), José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola), Daniel Hahn (UK)
The Story of the Lost Child (Europa Editions), Elena Ferrante (Italy), Ann Goldstein (USA)
The Vegetarian (Portobello Books), Han Kang (South Korea), Deborah Smith (UK)
A Strangeness in My Mind (Faber & Faber), Orhan Pamuk (Turkey), Ekin Oklap (Turkey)
A Whole Life (Picador), Robert Seethaler (Austria), Charlotte Collins (UK)
The Four Books (Chatto & Windus), Yan Lianke (China), Carlos Rojas (USA)
Five of the authors have been nominated for the first time (Yan appeared on the list of finalists in 2013). The nominees include two winners of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize: Agualusa (2007) and Pamuk (1990) who also won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006. It is the first appearance on a Man Booker International Prize list for writers from Angola, Austria, South Korea and Turkey. It is good though that the translators are predominantly female and this translates into more exposure for them!
Boyd Tonkin, chair of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize judging panel had this to say: ‘This exhilarating short-list will take readers both around the globe and to every frontier of fiction. In first-class translations that showcase that unique and precious art, these six books tell unforgettable stories from China and Angola, Austria and Turkey, Italy and South Korea. In setting, they range from a Mao-era re-education camp and a remote Alpine valley to the modern tumult and transformation of cities such as Naples and Istanbul. In form, the titles stretch from a delicate mosaic of linked lives in post-colonial Africa to a mesmerising fable of domestic abuse and revolt in booming east Asia. Our selection shows that the finest books in translation extend the boundaries not just of our world - but of the art of fiction itself. We hope that readers everywhere will share our pleasure and excitement in this short-list.’
Emmanuel Roman, CEO of Man Group, commented: ‘We are very proud to sponsor the newly evolved Man Booker International Prize, which recognises the hard work and creativity of both authors and translators, and celebrates talent from all over the world. The prize underscores Man Group's charitable focus on literacy and education, as well as our commitment to excellence and entrepreneurship in our increasingly diverse and globalised business. Together with the wider charitable activities of the Booker Prize Foundation, the prize plays a very important role in promoting literary excellence on a global scale that we are honoured to support. Many congratulations to all the short-listed authors and translators.’
The list was selected from 155 books by a panel of five judges consisting of: critic and editor Boyd Tonkin; anthropologist and novelist Tahmima Anam; academic David Bellos, Professor of French and Comparative Literature and Director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University; editor and academic Daniel Medin, who holds a comparative literature professorship at the American University of Paris (AUP); and prize-winning British poet and author Ruth Padel.
The winner of the 2016 Prize will be announced on 16 May at a formal dinner at the V & A.
Congrats to the short-listed authors and translators!