London (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Independent publishers dominated the shortlist for Britain’s Man Booker International Prize, announced on Thursday, celebrating translated works of fiction spanning the globe.
Six authors and their translators are competing for the £50,000 ($71,000, 58,000 euros) prize, with works translated from four European languages, plus South Korean and an Arabic work by an Iraqi author.
Chair of the prize’s judging panel, Lisa Appignanesi, said the shortlist promised “sparkling encounters with prose in translation”.
“We have mesmeric meditations, raucous, sexy, state-of-the-nation stories, haunting sparseness and sprawling tales; enigmatic cabinets of curiosity, and daring acts of imaginative projection,” she said in a statement.
Despite the diversity of authors and their tales — ranging from the Parisian music scene to a meditation on colour — the books all hail from independent publishers.
Tuskar Rock Press is behind “The World Goes On”, a collection of stories by Hungarian author Laszlo Krasznahorkai who won the 2015 prize.
Spanish writer Antonio Munoz Molina’s “Like a Fading Shadow”, about the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr, is also published by Tuskar Rock.
Other independents behind the finalists are Fitzcarraldo Editions, MacLehose Press, Oneworld, and Portobello Books.
The winner will be announced on May 22 at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, with the prize money shared between the author and translator.
The 2018 Man Booker International Shortlist:
– “Vernon Subutex 1” by Virginie Despentes (France)
– “The White Book” by Han Kang (South Korea)
– “The World Goes On” by Laszlo Krasznahorkai (Hungary)
– “Like a Fading Shadow” by Antonio Munoz Molina (Spain)
– “Frankenstein in Baghdad” by Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq)
– “Flights” by Olga Tokarczuk (Poland)