Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Shortlist

I was feeling quite pleased with myself when the short list was announced last week having read 12 of the 16 titles on the long list. I’m a little disappointed that A Death in the Family didn’t make it as I’d left that one thinking it had a fairly high chance of being there.

The shortlist is:

Bundu by Chris Barnard, translated from the Afrikaans by Michiel Heyns (Alma Books)
The Detour by Gerbrand Bakker, translated from the Dutch by David Colmer (Harvill Secker)
Dublinesque by Enrique Vila-Matas, translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey and Anne McLean (Harvill Secker)
The Fall of the Stone City by Ismail Kadare, translated from the Albanian by John Hodgson (Canongate)
Traveller of the Century by Andrés Neuman, translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia (Pushkin Press)
Trieste by Daša Drndić, translated from the Croatian by Ellen Elias-Bursać (Maclehose Press)

Dublinesque, Traveller of the Century and Trieste were all among my favourites to make the shortlist, though in the case of Traveller of the Century this was based on the opinions of others as this was another book I had left unread on the assumption it would make it through. The Fall of the Stone City also deserves its place – Kadare is always an interesting writer and this novel is his strongest since The Successor. I felt there were better books than Bundu on the long list, but I am pleased to see a writer largely unknown outside South Africa gain recognition. It certainly tackles important issues that literature has often avoided. The Detour, however, I cannot endorse, but I’m aware that others have found it moving. Hopefully I can fit in another couple of reviews before the winner is announced.

One Response to “Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Shortlist”

  1. winstonsdad Says:

    i feel bundu made it because of the quality of the translation which is very good as afrikaans is very hard to translate ,all the best stu

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