The longlist for the 2020 International Booker Prize has been revealed, with the judges whittling down 124 entries down to 13, as translator Sophie Hughes (pictured) secures two nominations.
This year's longlist for the £50,000 prize features works translated from eight languages and originating in Europe, South America, Africa, the Middle East and South-East Asia. They explore diverse topics including grief, dystopias, rural life, and the histories of their countries.
Previously shortlisted translator Hughes appears on the list twice, as the translator of Hurricane Season (Fitzcarraldo Editions) by Fernanda Melchor and co-translator of Mac and His Problems (Harvill Secker) by Enrique Vila-Matas, which she translated from Spanish alongside Margaret Jull Costa.
Previous longlistee Samanta Schweblin returns with Little Eyes (Oneworld), translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell. Red Dog (Pushkin Press) by Willem Anker, translated from Afrikaans by Michiel Heyns, also makes the longest alongside The Enlightenment of The Greengage Tree (Europa Editions) by Shokoofeh Azar, which has been translated from Farsi by an anonymous translator.
Gabriela Cabezón's The Adventures of China Iron (Charco Press), translated by Iona Macintyre and Fiona Mackintosh; The Other Name: Septology I – II (Fitzcarraldo Editions) by Jon Fosse and translated from Norweigian by Damion Searls and The Eighth Life (Scribe UK) by Nino Haratischvili, translated from German by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin also make the longlist.
They face competition from Michel Houellebecq's Serotonin (William Heinemann), translated from French by Shaun Whiteside; Daniel Kehlmann's Tyll (Quercus), translated by Ross Benjamin; and Yoko Ogawa's The Memory Police (Harvill Secker), translated from Japanese by Stephen Snyder.
Faces on the Tip of My Tongue (Peirene Press) by Emmanuelle Pagano, translated from French by Sophie Lewis and Jennifer Higgins, and The Discomfort of Evening (Faber) by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, translated from Dutch by Michele Hutchison, complete the "International Booker Dozen:".
The prize is awarded every year for a single book that is translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. The contribution of both author and translator is given equal recognition, with the £50,000 prize split between them. Each shortlisted author and translator will receive £1,000.
The longlist was selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by Ted Hodgkinson, head of literature and spoken word at the Southbank Centre.
Hodgkinson said: "What a thrill to share a longlist of such breadth and brilliance, reflecting a cumulative artistry rooted in dialogue between authors and translators, and possessing a power to enlarge the scope of lives encountered on the page, from the epic to the everyday. Whether reimagining foundational myths, envisioning dystopias of disquieting potency, or simply setting the world ablaze with the precision of their perceptions, these are books that left indelible impressions on us as judges. In times that increasingly ask us to take sides, these works of art transcend moral certainties and narrowing identities, restoring a sense of the wonderment at the expansive and ambiguous lot of humanity."
The shortlist will be announced on 2nd April and the winner revealed on 19th May.
Last year author Jokha Alharthi and translator Marilyn Booth jointly won the Man Booker International Prize 2019 for Celestial Bodies (Sandstone Press), with Alharthi the first author from the Arabian Gulf to win the award. According to the Booker foundation Celestial Bodies showed a 30-fold increase in sales in the week following the prize announcement and went straight to the top of the Amazon Contemporary Fiction bestsellers.
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