[The JRB Daily] ‘Tracing a ring around the world’—2022 International Booker Prize longlist announced

The thirteen novels longlisted for the 2022 International Booker Prize have been revealed.

This year’s longlist includes work translated into English from eleven languages, from twelve countries across four continents—including Hindi for the first time.

The International Booker Prize celebrates ‘the finest translated fiction from around the world’. It is awarded every year for a single book translated into English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland. Both novels and short story collections are eligible. The contributions of both the author and translator are given equal recognition, with the two sharing the £50,000 (about R1 million) prize money. Each shortlisted author and translator will receive £2,500.

The prize ‘aims to encourage more publishing and reading of quality works of imagination from all over the world, and to give greater recognition to the role of translators’. This year the judges considered 135 books, with a record number of submissions received.

The longlist was selected by the 2022 judging panel, which consists of: translator Frank Wynne (chair); author and academic Merve Emre; writer and lawyer Petina Gappah; writer, comedian and TV, radio and podcast presenter Viv Groskop; and translator and author Jeremy Tiang. This is the first time a translator has chaired the panel.

Wynne says:

Borges famous believed that paradise would be ‘a kind of library’, and spending the past year in the company of some of the world’s great writers and their equally gifted translators has been a kind of heaven. From the intimate to the epic, the numinous to the profane, the books make up a passionately-debated longlist that trace a ring around the world. These thirteen titles from twelve countries and eleven languages explore the breadth and depth of human experience, and are a testament to the power of language and literature.

This year’s longlist includes previous winners Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft, David Grossman and Jessica Cohen, alongside authors translated into English for the first time. Tomb of Sand, written by Geetanjali Shree and translated by Daisy Rockwell, becomes the first work translated from Hindi to be longlisted for the prize.

Independent presses undertaking to bring fiction from around the world to English-speaking readers dominate the list this year, with Tilted Axis—the publishing house founded by 2016 Man Booker International Prize winner Deborah Smith—appearing on the list for the first time with three titles.

The shortlist of six will be announced on 7 April and the winners of the prize will be named on 26 May 2022.

2022 International Booker Prize longlist

  • After the Sun, written by Jonas Eika, translated by Sherilyn Nicolette Hellberg from Danish; published by Lolli Editions
  • Cursed Bunny, written by Bora Chung, translated by Anton Hur from Korean; published by Honford Star
  • A New Name Septology VI-VII, written by Jon Fosse, translated by Damion Searls from Norwegian; published by Fizcarraldo
  • More Than I Love My Life, written by David Grossman, translated by Jessica Cohen from Hebrew; published by Vintage, Jonathan Cape
  • The Book of Mother, written by Violaine Huisman, translated by Leslie Camhi from French; published by Virago
  • Heaven, written by Mieko Kawakami, translated by Samuel Bett and David Boyd from Japanese; published by Pan Macmillan, Picador
  • Paradais, written by Fernanda Melchor, translated by Sophie Hughes from Spanish; published by Fitzcarraldo Editions
  • Love in the Big City, written by Sang Young Park, translated by Anton Hur from Korean; published by Tilted Axis Press
  • Happy Stories, Mostly, written by Norman Erikson Pasaribu, translated by Tiffany Tsao from Indonesian; published by Tilted Axis Press
  • Elena Knows, written by Claudia Piñeiro, translated by Frances Riddle from Spanish; published by Charco Press
  • Phenotypes, written by Paulo Scott, translated by Daniel Hahn from Portuguese; published by And Other Stories
  • Tomb of Sand, written by Geetanjali Shree, translated by Daisy Rockwell from Hindi; published by Tilted Axis Press
  • The Books of Jacob, written by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft from Polish; published by Fitzcarraldo Editions

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