International Booker Prize 2020 Long List

red doggreengage tree the-adventures-of-china-iron-3200w

The Booker International Prize 2020 long list was announced earlier today, blind-siding speculators with a number of unexpected titles among a few favourites. Of my own predictions, four have proven to be correct (Tyll, The Hurricane Season, The Memory Police and Mac and his Problem), which is better than most years. I was also right in forecasting a Charco Press presence, though, despite mentioning three possibilities, was not able to guess which one. The list in full is:

Red Dog by Willem Anker, translated by Michiel Heyns from Afrikaans (Pushkin Press)

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar, translated by Anonymous from Farsi (Europa Editions)

The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, translated by Iona Macintyre and Fiona Mackintosh from Spanish (Charco Press)

The Other Name: Septology I-II by Jon Fosse, translated by Damion Searls from Norwegian (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

The Eighth Life by Nino Haratischvili, translated by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin from German (Scribe UK)

Serotonin by Michel Houellebecq, translated by Shaun Whiteside from French (William Heinemann)

Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann, translated by Ross Benjamin from German (Quercus)

Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor, translated by Sophie Hughes from Spanish (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

The Memory Police by Yōko Ogowa, translated by Stephen Snyder from Japanese (Harvill Secker)

Faces on the Tip of My Tongue by Emmanuelle Pagano, translated by Sophie Lewis and Jennifer Higgins from French (Peirene Press)

Little Eyes by Samanta Schweblin, translated by Megan McDowell from Spanish (Oneworld)

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, translated by Michele Hutchison from Dutch (Faber & Faber)

Mac and His Problem by Enrique Vila-Matas, translated by Margaret Jull Costa and Sophie Hughes from Spanish (Harvill Secker)

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Perhaps the most noticeable absence is Bae Suah’s Untold Night and Day, translated by previous winner Deborah Smith, in what is another selection dominated by Europe (seven titles) and South America (three). My forecast of greater Asian representation proved wide of the mark with only two titles, from the extreme east and west of the continent, Japan and Iran, featuring.

tyllhurricane seasonmemory police

Fitzcarraldo Press, as last year, has two titles in the list (the same number as translator Sophie Hughes), and, as well as Charco, other small presses such as Peirene, Pushkin and Europa are all represented. And Other Stories, who have never been particularly lucky with this prize, have missed out again, despite both Love and The Taiga Syndrome expected by many to feature. Maclehose Press, too, should feel disappointed, with its dedicated line of translated fiction omitted entirely, as perhaps will Tilted Axis Press though it publishes fewer titles.

faceslittle eyesdisconfort of eveningmac

The appearance of the 944 page The Eighth Life makes reading the long list even more of a challenge than normal. Red Dog is, I think, next in length at 432 pages. Serotonin, The Other Name and Tyll are all over 300. There is also the fact that two of the books have yet to be published. On a personal level, I find that I have only read two of the (shorter) books so I have less of a head start than usual, but I am fully intending to embrace the challenge, though reading everything before the 2nd of April short list announcement is very unlikely indeed.

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2 Responses to “International Booker Prize 2020 Long List”

  1. JacquiWine Says:

    I’m a little disappointed not to see the Ørstavik on the list, especially as it has been picking up other listings here and there. Mind you, as I haven’t read any of the other books, I’m not in any kind of position to comment on the quality of the judges’ list!

    How many of the books do you have at hand? It looks as if your #TBR20 book-buying hiatus has ended just at the right time!

    • 1streading Says:

      Yes, I’m really disappointed Love isn’t there.
      I’ve read two of the books and have anther two, so at least I’m able to make a start. I had hoped to end my #TBR20 in time!

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