Nobel prize winners Kenzaburo Oe from Japan and Turkey’s Orhan Pamuk along with pseudonymous Italian novelist Elena Ferrante headline the lineup of 13 authors on the Man Booker International Prize 2016 long list announced today. Also included is Yan Lianke’s The Four Novels, which is banned in his native China, and two debut authors, Fiston Mwanza Mujila from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Finland’s Aki Ollikainen.
The award is granted to the finest international book translated into english. The translators receive half the GBP50,000 total prize money. The full long list:
- José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola) Daniel Hahn, A General Theory of Oblivion (Harvill Secker)
- Elena Ferrante (Italy) Ann Goldstein, The Story of the Lost Child (Europa Editions)
- Han Kang (South Korea) Deborah Smith, The Vegetarian (Portobello Books)
- Maylis de Kerangal (France) Jessica Moore, Mend The Living (Maclehose Press)
- Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia) Labodalih Sembiring, Man Tiger (Verso Books)
- Yan Lianke (China) Carlos Rojas, The Four Books (Chatto & Windus)
- Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo/Austria) Roland Glasser, Tram 83 (Jacaranda)
- Raduan Nassar (Brazil) Stefan Tobler, A Cup of Rage (Penguin Modern Classics)
- Marie NDiaye (France) Jordan Stump, Ladivine (Maclehose Press)
- Kenzaburō Ōe (Japan) Deborah Boliner Boem, Death by Water (Atlantic Books)
- Aki Ollikainen (Finland) Emily Jeremiah & Fleur Jeremiah, White Hunger (Peirene Press)
- Orhan Pamuk (Turkey) Ekin Oklap, A Strangeness in My Mind (Faber & Faber)
- Robert Seethaler (Austria) Charlotte Collins, A Whole Life (Picador)
“From intense episodes of passion to miniature historical epics; from eerie fables of family strife to character-driven chronicles of urban life, this list showcases fiction that crosses every border. It also pays tribute to the skill and dedication of the first-rate translators who convey it to English-language readers,”Boyd Tonkin, chair of the judging panel said, announcing the list.
Judge Tahmima Anam said that the fact that only four out of the 13 books was written by a female author this “really reflects the gender bias in who gets translated. But the good news is that, as far as translators themselves go, we have eight women to five men. I’m looking forward to re-reading the longlisted books and to another spirited debate with my fellow judges.”
The shortlist will be announced on the 14th April and the eventual winner on 16th May. This is the first year that the prize will be awarded for a single work. Previously it was for a body of work. From now on it will also be awarded annually.