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Thursday, April 14, 2016

2016 Man Booker International Prize Shortlist

On March 10, the 13 books in contention for the Man Booker International Prize were revealed:

Yesterday, the shortlist of 6 titles was released:
Title; Author (nationality); Translator (nationality)

A General Theory of Oblivion; José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola); Daniel Hahn (UK)
This is the story of a woman who bricks herself inside her apartment on the eve of Angolan independence and spends the next 28 years living off vegetables and pigeons, until a child begins interacting with her.

The Story of the Lost Child; Elena Ferrante (Italy); Ann Goldstein (USA)
This is the fourth and final installment of the Neopolitan series.  I reviewed it on December 18:

The Vegetarian; Han Kang (South Korea); Deborah Smith (UK)
This is the tale of a young woman whose decision to stop eating meat sets loose dark dreams and violence within her family.

A Strangeness in My Mind; Orhan Pamuk (Turkey); Ekin Oklap (Turkey)
This is a love story set in Istanbul seen through the eyes of a street vendor over four decades.

A Whole Life; Robert Seethaler (Austria); Charlotte Collins (UK)
This is the story of a man who spends his years in the Austrian Alps, leaving only to fight in the Second World War, before returning to find that the outside world has reached his remote valley home.

The Four Books; Yan Lianke (China); Carlos Rojas (USA)
This is a braiding of four narratives set in a labour camp in China before and during the great famine in the late 1950s.

The Man Booker International Prize is given to a book in English translation, with a £50,000 prize for the winning title, to be shared equally between author and translator. Its aim is to encourage more publishing and reading of quality works in translation.  For more information, go to

The winner will be announced on May 16.