Independent Foregn Fiction Prize 2014

The long list for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize was announced last Friday (you can find the full list here, though Andrej Longo’s Ten seems to be missing). I’ve fallen woefully short this year, having only read three of the fifteen books, reviewing two of them:

Brief Loves That Live Forever By Andrei Makine
The Mussel Feast by Brigit Vanderbeke

On the plus side, both were excellent, as was Javier Marias’ The Infatuations (my third read), and I am not surprised to see them make the list.

As usual, European writers are well represented, though two Icelandic writers on the list seems as unlikely as two Scottish writers appearing on the long list for the new Booker Prize. There are three writers from the Arab world, two from Japan, and the Chinese novelist, Ma Jian. Africa and, more unusually, South America are completely missing.

There are one or two surprising omissions: Peter Stamm, Manuel Rivas, perhaps Eduardo Mendoza. However, my biggest disappointment is that Hanna Krall’s Chasing the King of Hearts isn’t there as I though it had a strong chance of winning. Just shows what I know!

A lot to get through, then, in terms of reading the long list, but I’ll give it my best shot.


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