20th April 2017
The Man Booker International Prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world, has released its shortlist of six books in contention for the 2017 prize, Each shortlisted author and translator receives £1,000. The £50,000 prize for the winning book will also be divided equally between its author and translator.
The 2017 shortlist is as follows:
Author (nationality) Translator Title (imprint)
Mathias Enard Charlotte Mandell Compass
(France) (US) (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
David Grossman Jessica Cohen A Horse Walks Into a Bar
(Israel) (US) (Jonathan Cape)
Roy Jacobsen Don Bartlett (UK) The Unseen
(Norway) Don Shaw (UK) (Maclehose)
Dorthe Nors Misha Hoekstra Mirror, Shoulder, Signal
(Denmark) US) (Pushkin Press)
Amos Oz Nicholas de Lange Judas
(Israel) (UK) (Chatto & Windus)
Samanta Schweblin Megan McDowell Fever Dream
(Argentina) (US) (Oneworld)
The list includes one writer who was previously a finalist for the prize in 2007, Amos Oz. He is one of two writers from Israel (the other is David Grossman) who have been shortlisted, along with a writer from South America, Samanta Schweblin, and three from Europe: two Scandinavians, Roy Jacobsen and Dorthe Nors, and a Prix Goncourt winner, Mathias Enard from France.
The settings range from an Israeli comedy club to contemporary Copenhagen, from a sleepless night in Vienna to a troubled delirium in Argentina. The list is dominated by contemporary settings but also features a divided Jerusalem of 1959 and a remote island in Norway in the early 20th century.
The translators are all established practitioners of their craft: this is the 17th novel by Oz that Nicholas de Lange has translated and Roy Jacobsen’s co-translators Don Bartlett and Don Shaw have worked together many times before.
Nick Barley, chair of the 2017 Man Booker International Prize judging panel, said: ‘Our shortlist spans the epic and the everyday. From fevered dreams to sleepless nights, from remote islands to overwhelming cities, these wonderful novels shine a light on compelling individuals struggling to make sense of their place in a complex world.’
The shortlist was selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and consisting of: Daniel Hahn, an award-winning writer, editor and translator; Elif Shafak, a prize-winning novelist and one of the most widely read writers in Turkey; Chika Unigwe, author of four novels including On Black Sisters’ Street; and Helen Mort, a poet who has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Costa Prize, and has won a Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award five times.
The winner will be announced on 14 June at a formal dinner at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, with the £50,000 prize being divided equally between the author and the translator of the winning entry.
Last year's winners were Han Kang and her translator Deborah Smith for The Vegetarian. You can watch an interview with them here.