The longlist has been revealed for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize.
The Man Booker International celebrates the finest global fiction in translation, and the winner shares the £50,000 (about R820 000) prize with their book’s translator.
Two previous winners are on the longlist again this year: Korean novelist Han Kang, who won the 2016 prize for her novel The Vegetarian, and Hungarian writer László Krasznahorkai, who is frequently suggested as a contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature, and who won the Man Booker International in 2015.
Translator Frank Wynne appears twice on the longlist, for Javier Cercas’s The Impostor, translated from the Spanish, and Virginie Despentes’s Vernon Subutex 1, translated from the French.
The longlist was selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by Lisa Appignanesi, author and cultural commentator, with Michael Hofmann, poet, reviewer and translator from Germany; 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 The Icarus Girl.
The judges considered 108 books to come up with the ‘Man Booker dozen’ of thirteen.
‘Judging this Man Booker International Prize has been an exhilarating adventure,’ Appignanesi says. ‘We have travelled across countries, cultures, imaginations, somehow to arrive at what could have been an even longer longlist.
‘It’s one which introduces a wealth of talent, a variety of forms and some writers little known in English before. It has great writing and translating energy and we hope readers take as much pleasure in discovering the work as we did.’
The shortlist of six books will be announced on 12 April 2018 at an event at Somerset House in London, and the winner of the 2018 prize will be announced on 22 May at a dinner at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
Last year’s winner was Israeli writer David Grossman, for his novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar, translated by Jessica Cohen. In the week following the announcement, sales of A Horse Walks into a Bar increased by 1,367 per cent, and Penguin had to reprint the paperback ten times last year due to ongoing demand. In its first year, the paperback has sold fifty-three times more than Grossman’s previous title in paperback, Falling Out of Time.
The 2018 Man Booker International Prize longlist:
- Laurent Binet (France), Sam Taylor, The 7th Function of Language (Harvill Secker)
- Javier Cercas (Spain), Frank Wynne, The Impostor (MacLehose Press)
- Virginie Despentes (France), Frank Wynne, Vernon Subutex 1 (MacLehose Press)
- Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany), Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone (Portobello Books)
- Han Kang (South Korea), Deborah Smith, The White Book (Portobello Books)
- Ariana Harwicz (Argentina), Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff, Die, My Love (Charco Press)
- László Krasznahorkai (Hungary), John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes, The World Goes On (Tuskar Rock Press)
- Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), Camilo A Ramirez, Like a Fading Shadow (Tuskar Rock Press)
- Christoph Ransmayr (Austria), Simon Pare, The Flying Mountain (Seagull Books)
- Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad (Oneworld)
- Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), Jennifer Croft, Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
- Wu Ming-Yi (Taiwan), Darryl Sterk, The Stolen Bicycle (Text Publishing)
- Gabriela Ybarra (Spain), Natasha Wimmer, The Dinner Guest (Harvill Secker)