A Horse Walks Into a Bar by David Grossman and translated by Jessica Cohen. In a week, the sales of the book increased by 1,367 per cent. Publisher Penguin had to reprint it 10 times because of the rising demand.
A panel of five judges decides the list of books. The panel comprises of authors Michael Hofmann, Hari Kunzru, Tim Martin, Helen Oyeyemi and is chaired by Lisa Appignanesi.
“Judging this Man Booker International Prize has been an exhilarating adventure. We have travelled across countries, cultures, imaginations, somehow to arrive at what could have been an even longer longlist. It’s one which introduces a wealth of talent, a variety of forms and some writers little known in English before. It has great writing and translating energy and we hope readers take as much pleasure in discovering the work as we did.”, said Lisa Appignanesi.
The following books made the shortlist this year:
- Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes from France. Translated by Frank Wynne.
- The White Book by Han Kang from South Korea. Translated by Deborah Smith.
- The World Goes On by László Krasznahorkai from Hungary. Translated by John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes.
- Like a Fading Shadow by Antonio Muñoz Molina from Spain. Translated by Camilo A. Ramirez.
- Frankenstein in Baghdad by Ahmed Saadawi from Iraq. Translated by Jonathan Wright.
- Flights by Olga Tokarczuk from Poland. Translated by Jennifer Croft.
No country was represented twice on the shortlist and there seems no shortage on the genre’s represented. Lisa Appignanesi said, “This is a shortlist emblematic of the many adventures of fiction – its making and reading. We have mesmeric meditations, raucous, sexy, state- of- the- nation stories, haunting sparseness and sprawling tales; enigmatic cabinets of curiosity, and daring acts of imaginative projection – all this plus sparkling encounters with prose in translation. We were sorry to have shed so much of our longlist talent, but this is a shortlist to read and re-read.”
The longlist was released on 12th March and included the following:
- The 7th Function of Language by Laurent Binet from France. Translated by Sam Taylor.
- The Impostor by Javier Cercas from Spain. Translated by Frank Wynne.
- Go, Went, Gone by Jenny Erpenbeck from Germany. Translated by Susan Bernofsky.
- Die, My Love by Ariana Harwicz from Argentina. Translated by Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff.
- The Flying Mountain by Christoph Ransmayr from Austria. Translated by Simon Pare.
- The Stolen Bicycle by Wu Ming-Yi from Taiwan. Translated by Darryl Sterk.
- The Dinner Guest by Gabriela Ybarra from Spain. Translated by Natasha Wimmer.
The winner will be announced on 22 May at a formal dinner at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The prize is £50,000 and will be divided equally between the author and the translator of the winning book.