As regular visitors here would have noticed, since the beginning of March I have been reading my way through the “official” longlist for the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. To what end? I am a member of the Shadow Jury for my second year, and we now have eleven dedicated readers and bloggers who intend to separate the wheat from the chaff and give you the best translated book (within the rules) published in the United Kingdom in 2014.
The eleven esteemed judges conferred and even allowed an extra work to be included on the longlist, “Zone” by Mathias Enard, a number of us had read and highly rated the work and when we learned that it was eligible for the prize AND it had been entered we were amazed that it didn’t make the final cut of fifteen works, so took matters into our own hands and added to our list. Just because we can, and we love to add 500+ pages of reading (and in this case a single sentence!!!) for the judges.
Over the last month the eleven of us have been reading, conferring, arguing, debating, reading and reading and just prior to the official list being announced we came up with our favourite six translated works published in the UK (by a living writer etc etc) in 2014.
Bloodlines by Marcello Fois (translated by Silvester Mazzarella)
The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck (translated by Susan Bernofsky)
The Ravens by Tomas Bannerhed (translated by Sarah Death)
As you can see only two common works between the Shadow Jury and the official Jury, Murakami and Erpenbeck. So there is still a chance we will have the same winner!!! Last year the Shadow Jury’s winner wasn’t even on the official shortlist!!!