Tag Archives: IFFP

Boyhood Island by Karl Ove Knausgaard

Boyhood IslandTranslated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett, ‘Boyhood Island’ is the third instalment of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s ambitious six-book cycle of autobiographical novels known as ‘My Struggle’. Having explored some of Knausgaard’s later childhood in ‘A Death in the Family‘, the second volume ‘A Man in Love‘ jumped forward in time to concentrate on his experiences of fatherhood. As you may guess from the title, ‘Boyhood Island’ jumps back in time again to Knausgaard’s childhood. Continue reading

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By Night the Mountain Burns by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel

By Night the Mountain Burns‘By Night the Mountain Burns’ by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel is the first novel by an author from Equatorial Guinea to be longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. It is also only the second book from the country ever to be translated into English and recounts the narrator’s childhood memories of living on the small remote island of Annobón in the South Atlantic Ocean where the inhabitants deal with various crises including a bush fire and a cholera epidemic. Continue reading

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Bloodlines by Marcello Fois

untitled‘Bloodlines’ by Marcello Fois and translated from the Italian by Silvester Mazzarella tells the story of the Chironi family during the early twentieth century in Sardinia. Michele Angelo Chironi, a blacksmith and Mercede Lai are both orphans who marry seven months after they first meet at a church in 1889. While the early years of their marriage are happy ones, their lives are plagued with misfortune after the turn of the century. Continue reading

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The Investigation by Jung-Myung Lee

The Investigation‘The Investigation’ by Jung-Myung Lee and translated by Chi-Young Kim is only the second book translated from Korean into English to ever be longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in its twenty-five year history. Set in Japan during the Second World War, it tells the story of Watanabe, a literature student and guard at Fukouka prison which holds anti-Japanese Korean rebels, intellectuals and dissidents. Watanabe is attempting to find the criminal behind the brutal murder of the much-loathed prison censor and war hero, Sugiyama. However, he is unconvinced by an early confession from one of the most notorious inmates and after taking over the role of prison censor himself, his investigation starts to unravel a very different side to Sugiyama. Continue reading

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In the Beginning Was the Sea by Tomás González

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I have read a few French books translated into English by Frank Wynne including ‘Alex’ and ‘Irene’ by Pierre Lemaitre but I was unfamiliar with his translations from Spanish until now. ‘In the Beginning Was the Sea’ is Tomás González’s debut novel and was first published in 1983 by the owner of a Bogotá nightclub where he worked as a barman. Over thirty years later, it is the first of his books to be translated into English and has recently been longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.  Continue reading

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The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Longlist 2015

It’s been an interesting week for book award longlists. First, there was the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction longlist announced on Tuesday followed by the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist announced late on Wednesday. The fifteen novels are:Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

  • The Ravens by Tomas Bannerhed translated from the Swedish by Sarah Death
  • The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky
  • Bloodlines by Marcello Fois translated from the Italian by Silvester Mazzarella
  • In the Beginning Was the Sea by Tomás González translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne
  • The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov translated from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield
  • F by Daniel Kehlmann translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway
  • Boyhood Island by Karl Ove Knausgaard translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett
  • By Night the Mountain Burns by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel translated from the Spanish by Jethro Soutar
  • The Investigation by Jung-Myung Lee translated from the Korean by Chi-Young Kim
  • While the Gods Were Sleeping by Erwin Mortier translated from the Dutch by Paul Vincent
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel
  • The Giraffe’s Neck by Judith Schalansky translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside
  • Tiger Milk by Stefanie de Velasco translated from the German by Tim Mohr
  • Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch
  • The Last Lover by Can Xue translated from the Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen

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