Tag Archives: Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

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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Revenge by Yoko Ogawa and The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke

The Mussel FeastAugust is Women in Translation month hosted by Biblibio and I have recently read two works of translated fiction written by women which were both shortlisted for this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Firstly, there’s ‘The Mussel Feast‘ by Birgit Vanderbeke which is a novella translated from the German by Jamie Bullock and was originally published shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The second is ‘Revenge’ by Yoko Ogawa which is a collection of eleven loosely connected short stories translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder.

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Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami

Strange Weather in Tokyo‘Strange Weather in Tokyo’ by Hiromi Kawakami (also known as ‘The Briefcase’ in the United States and Canada) tells the story of Tsukiko, an office worker in her late thirties who meets one of her old high school teachers by chance in a sake bar. His name is Harutsuna Matsumoto but she calls him Sensei. They strike up an unusual relationship and continue to meet from time to time without prior arrangements as the seasons pass. Continue reading

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The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2014

Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2014

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is one of the most interesting literary prizes but is also, unfortunately, one of the more overlooked. It probably hasn’t helped that the announcement of both the longlist and shortlist  has coincided with the announcement of the longlist and shortlist of the higher profile Women’s Prize for Fiction. The jury had a record number of entries to read before choosing this year’s shortlist which was revealed yesterday:

The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim (translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright)

A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard (translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett)

A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli (translated from the French by Sam Taylor)

The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke (translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch)

Revenge by Yoko Ogawa (translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder)

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami (translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell)
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