A few months ago the official judges were announced for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize. The award “merging” with the (now defunct) Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, with the Man Booker title changing their rules and taking up pretty much all of the rules of the IFFP. The Man Booker International Prize is now yearly, it is for a single book (not a body of work) published in the UK. As the official Man Booker website tells us:
As a further acknowledgement of the importance of translation, the £50,000 prize will be divided equally between the author and the translator. Each shortlisted author and translator will receive £1,000. This brings the total prize fund to £62,000 per year, compared to the previous £37,500 for the Man Booker International Prize and £10,000 for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.
As keen followers here would know I used to be a member of the IFFP Shadow Jury (for the last two years), where we read and review all longlisted novels, call in any we feel the judges have missed and then agree on a winner. In 2015 the Shadow Jury agreed with the official Jury, awarding our gong to “The End of Days” by Jenny Erpenbeck (translated by Susan Bernofsky), but in 2014 we had the winner as “The Sorrow of Angels” by Jón Kalman Stefánsson (translated by Philip Roughton) whereas the official judges gave the award to “The Iraqi Christ” by Hassan Blasim (translated by Jonathan Wright) – a work that didn’t even make our shortlist!
The time is fast approaching where the Shadow Jury reconvenes, reviews the official longlist, calls in any overlooked books and gets reading to present our thoughts on the award. Next month is when they’ll call our 12 or 13 translated books with a shortlist of six in April and the winner in May, so a heap of reading, discussing and voting to do (unless we’ve read and reviewed them of course!!)
Here are your esteemed Shadow Judges for 2016!!
Stu Allen is returning to chair the first Man Booker International Prize shadow jury after hosting four shadow IFFP juries. He blogs out of Winstonsdad’s Blog, home to 500-plus translated books in review. He can be found on twitter (@stujallen), where he also started the successful translated fiction hashtag #TranslationThursover five years ago.
Tony Malone is an Anglo-Australian reviewer with a particular focus on German, Japanese and Korean fiction. He blogs at Tony’s Reading List, and his reviews have also appeared at Words Without Borders, Necessary Fictionand Shiny New Books. Based in Melbourne, he teaches ESL to prospective university students when he’s not reading and reviewing. He can also be found on Twitter @tony_malone
Clare started blogging at A Little Blog of Books four years ago. When she’s not doing her day job in London, she blogs mostly about contemporary literary fiction and particularly enjoys reading books by French and Japanese authors. Twitter: @littleblogbooks
Tony Messenger is addicted to lists, and books – put the two together (especially translated works) and the bookshelves sigh under the weight of new purchases as the “to be read” piles grow and the voracious all-night reading continues. Another Tony from Melbourne Australia, @Messy_tony(his Twitter handle) may sometimes be mistaken for the more famous Malone Tony but rest assured they’re two different people. Messy Tony can be found at Messengers Booker (and more) and at Messenger’s Booker on Facebook – with a blog containing the word “booker” why wouldn’t he read this list?
Lori Feathers lives in Dallas, Texas, and is a freelance book critic and member of the National Book Critics Circle. Her recent reviews can be found at Words Without Borders, Full Stop, World Literature Today, Three Percent, Rain Taxi and on Twitter @LoriFeathers
Bellezza is a blogger from Chicago, Illinois, who has been writing Dolce Bellezza for ten years. She has run the Japanese Literature Challenge for 9 years, and her reviews can be found on publisher sites such as Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster, Peirene Press, and SoHo Press. It is her great joy to participate in the shadow jury for the Man Booker International Prize with fellow participants who are experts in translated literature.
David Hebblethwaite is a book blogger and reviewer from the north of England, now based in the south. He has written about translated fiction for Words Without Borders, Shiny New Books, Strange Horizons, and We Love This Book. He blogs at David’s Book World and tweets as @David_Heb.
Grant Rintoul is a Scottish reviewer who lives on the coast not far from the 39 steps said to have inspired Buchan’s novel. Luckily the weather is generally ideal for reading. He blogs at 1streading, so-called as he rarely has time to look at anything twice. He can sometimes be found on Twitter @GrantRintoul
A great list of bloggers, knowledgeable in translated fiction, if you haven’t followed them before I suggest you do – Twitter is a great place where we banter about books, we would enjoy your input via the social media channels.