Doesn’t March each year come around quickly? Despite spending the last few months tackling massive tomes such as Arno Schmidt’s “Bottom’s Dream”, Pierre Senges “Fragments of Lichtenberg” and “I Stared AT the Night of the City” by Bakhtiyar Ali, all of this has to be put to one side as the Man Booker International Prize announces their longlist.
The award (formerly known as the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize before it merged with the Man Booker International Prize and the criteria changed from a body of work to a single work published in Britain) means it is time for the Shadow Jury to reconvene and keep the judges honest.
Personally I am into my fourth year of being a Shadow Jury member and I join familiar faces casting our eyes over, well reading cover to cover, the twelve (or thirteen) novels that the judges will announce as a longlist on 15 March 2017. If we feel they have omitted a worthy work we may even call in our own books to make our job even more arduous.
Below are your 2017 Man Booker International Prize Shadow Jury members, the folk I will be debating books with right up until 14 June 2017, the date they announce the winner (yes we have a longer window this year!!!)
Stu Allen is returning to chair the second Man Booker International Prize shadow jury after hosting four shadow IFFP juries plus the first MBIP shadow award. 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 #TranslationThurs over six years ago.
Tony Malone is an Anglo-Australian reviewer with a particular focus on German-language, Japanese and Korean fiction. He blogs at Tony’s Reading List, and his reviews have also appeared at Words Without Borders, Necessary Fiction, Shiny New Books and Asymptote. 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 five years ago. She does most of her reading during her commute to work in London and reviews contemporary literary fiction and some non-fiction on her blog. She particularly enjoys reading French and Japanese fiction in translation. 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) also reads Australian Poetry, interviewing a range of poets on his blog, which 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 co-owner and book buyer for Interabang Books, an independent bookstore in Dallas. She is a freelance book critic and board member of the National Book Critics Circle. She currently serves as a fiction judge for the 2017 Best Translated Book Award. Her recent reviews can be found @LoriFeathers
Bellezza (Meredith Smith) is a teacher from Chicago, Illinois, who has been writing Dolce Bellezza for eleven years and has hosted the Japanese Literature Challenge for 10 years. Reading literature in translation has become a passion of hers since she began blogging, when she discovered writers from many other countries through fellow bloggers and favorite publishers. Her Twitter name is @bellezzamjs.
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