The Man Booker International Prize Longlist 2016

The longlist for the newly reconfigured Man Booker International Prize has been announced today. The thirteen books are:

  • A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola), translated by Daniel Hahn and published by Harvill Secker.
  • The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante (Italy), translated by Ann Goldstein and published by Europa Editions
  • The Vegetarian by Han Kang (South Korea), translated by Deborah Smith and published by Portobello Books
  • Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal (France), translated by Jessica Moore and published by Maclehose Press
  • Man Tiger by Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia), translated by Labodalih Sembiring and published by Verso Books
  • The Four Books by Yan Lianke (China), translated by Carlos Rojas and published by Chatto & Windus
  • Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo/Austria), translated by Roland Glasser and published by Jacaranda
  • A Cup of Rage by Raduan Nassar (Brazil), translated by Stefan Tobler and published by Penguin Modern Classics
  • Ladivine by Marie NDiaye (France), translated by Jordan Stump and published Maclehose Press
  • Death by Water by Kenzaburō Ōe (Japan), translated by Deborah Boliner Boem (Atlantic Books)
  • White Hunger by Aki Ollikainen (Finland), translated by Emily Jeremiah & Fleur Jeremiah and published by Peirene Press
  • A Strangeness in My Mind by Orhan Pamuk (Turkey), translated by Ekin Oklap and published by Faber & Faber
  • A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (Austria), translated by Charlotte Collins and published by Picador

Last summer, it was announced that the Man Booker International Prize would merge with the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize to create a new literary award for translated fiction. In a blog post last year, I wrote that it effectively resulted in “the absorption of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize under the Man Booker Prize umbrella, with a slightly shorter longlist and a much larger amount of prize money”. Having previously been awarded every two years to an author for their whole body of work available in English, the Man Booker International Prize now bears much closer resemblance to the IFFP rules in that the award is shared equally between an author and translator for a single work of fiction – either a novel or a collection of short stories.

Due to the reconfiguration of the MBIP, eligible books for this year’s prize must have been published in the UK between 1st January 2015 and 30th April 2016 so there is a larger window than there normally would be for an annual prize. Other books I would liked to have seen such as The Great Swindle by Pierre Lemaitre translated from the French by Frank Wynne didn’t make the cut. However, whereas last year’s IFFP list had a high proportion of German titles, the first Man Booker International Prize longlist since merging with the IFFP features authors from twelve countries writing in nine different languages. I’m really pleased to see two of my favourite books from the past few months on the list: The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante and Mend the Living by Maylis de Kerangal and I also have copies of ‘The Vegetarian’ by Han Kang and ‘A Whole Life’ by Robert Seethaler.

Last year, I participated in a shadow panel for the IFFP with other bloggers and I’ve signed up again for this year’s Man Booker International Prize. We will be reading the longlisted titles over the next few weeks so do look out for our reviews. In 2015, the IFFP shadow panel chose The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky as our winner which also went on to win the actual prize. The question now is will the shadow panel’s winner match the judging panel’s choice for a second year running?

The shortlist will be announced on Thursday 14th April followed by the winner on Monday 16th May. What do you think of the longlist? Have you read any of the books?

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “The Man Booker International Prize Longlist 2016

  1. Oh dear, the only one I have read is Death by Water, which I found so incredibly slow moving that I finally stopped reading it.

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  2. I very recently read The Vegetarian by Han Kang. I”m very happy to see a book from South Korea up there, but personally I didn’t like The Vegetarian much. It was weird. I’m okay with weird, but this one…I just didn’t get what the author was trying to accomplish.

    I’m not quite sure why the 4th book in the Neapolitan Novels (Elena Ferrante) is up there. It’s not where you should start with the series lol. I did read the first book and enjoyed it.

    The books I’m interested in are: A Whole Life, A Strangeness in My Mind, A Cup of Rage, Mend the Living

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  3. I have wanted to read a few of these, and The Vegetarian is on my shelf right now. Amazed that Lemaitre is not there either, or some Modiano. Can’t wait to see the shadow panel extra titles!

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  4. I’ve read just two – White Hunger and A Whole Life both of which I can heartily recommend. Good luck with the shadowing! Looking forward to seeing what you come up with as your winner.

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  5. I’ve read The White Hunger, which has me almost falling off my chair in surprise. I hardly ever have read any of the books on these lists until after they come out (except for maybe the Canadian ones).

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  6. The Vegetarian was one of my top reads of 2015, I’m so pleased to see there I can almost forget my shame at not having read any of the other titles on list. Looking forward to hearing what you make of it.

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  7. Better get busy – I haven’t read any of these! Thanks for posting this!

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  8. Pingback: Man Booker International Prize: Shadow Panel Official Response | A Little Blog of Books

  9. I have a few of these on my list, I guess I need to read faster so I can get to them in a decent amount of time. I am into historical fiction right now, reading Edward Webster’s book Soul of Toledo. This is a fantastic book if you like this genre.

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  10. So proud that Eka Kurniawan made it into the list! Thank you for listing.

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  11. Pingback: My Books of the Year 2016 | A Little Blog of Books

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