Early this morning (Australian time) the shortlist for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize was announced. Thirteen longlisted titles have been culled to six, unlike my dismay at the 2017 Best Translated Book Award shortlist, I don’t really have any issues with the Man Booker list.
The Shadow Jury is going to take a few extra weeks to announce our shortlist of books, given the short time between both announcements, this did curtail all members getting to read all works. Stay tuned for our final six books.
Personally I have read twelve of the thirteen titles and through reading these I of course had my favourites and have rated each book upon completion. My personal list is not dramatically different from the official listing. Please note that my preferences are not those of the Shadow Jury, and there may be significant differences once we collaborate, debate and decide.
The official shortlist for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize is as follows (links in title are to my reviews, links under title are reviews by other members of the Shadow Jury):
“Compass” by Mathias Énard (France), translated by Charlotte Mandell and published by Fitzcarraldo Editions
“A Horse Walks Into a Bar” by David Grossman (Israel), translated by Jessica Cohen and published by Jonathan Cape
“The Unseen” by Roy Jacobsen (Norway), translated by Don Bartlett and published by MacLehose Press
“Mirror, Shoulder, Signal” by Dorthe Nors (Denmark), translated by Misha Hoekstra and published by Pushkin Press
“Judas” by Amos Oz (Israel), translated by Nicholas de Lange and published by Chatto & Windus
“Fever Dream” by Samanta Schweblin (Argentina), translated by Megan McDowell and published by Oneworld
My final six titles were;
“Compass” by Mathias Énard (France), translated by Charlotte Mandell
“Swallowing Mercury” by Wioletta Greg (Poland), translated by Eliza Marciniak
“The Unseen” by Roy Jacobsen (Norway), translated by Don Bartlett
“Bricks and Mortar” by Clemens Meyer (Germany), translated by Katy Derbyshire
“Judas” by Amos Oz (Israel), translated by Nicholas de Lange
“Fever Dream” by Samanta Schweblin (Argentina), translated by Megan McDowell
As you can see four are common with the official shortlist.
Keeping in mind the judges could have been swayed by publishers, this may have influenced the shortlisting of both “Compass” and “Bricks and Mortar” published by Fitzcarraldo Editions, and, being cynical, they would have to have the standard 30% female representation, meaning two titles should appear in the final six, I had “Swallowing Mercury” the official judges have “Mirror, Shoulder, Signal”, “Fever Dream” being a common listing and a worthy inclusion.
Overall a really solid list of titles indeed, a great list for all readers, one to explore the riches of translated fiction. If a bookmaker offers odds on the winner I’ll be having a couple of Aussie dollars on Mathias Enard and Amos Oz, for me both standouts, and as yet to be reviewed here – bear with me, my thoughts are coming, hopefully “Judas” tomorrow and “Compass” within a couple of days.