Sister to the Man Booker Prize, the Man Booker International Prize began in 2005 as an award for a body of work and changed in 2016 to be an award for a single work of fiction, translated into English and published in the UK. This prize serves as another prominent prize looking to highlight international voices, and for that reason it always demands my attention and piques my curiosity.
This year’s list, like the lists before it, contain works and writers of which I had not previously heard – something I truly respect and cherish for its widening the lens of my reading. I was thrilled to see better representation of women writers, with females garnering 6 of the nominations. Much to my dismay, however, the class of 13 nominees, regardless of merit, noticeably lacks a single representative from the continent of Africa, and in fact only includes 4 non-European nominees. For an award ostensibly meant to celebrate the wide international array of talent and the importance of works in translation, I find it astonishing and a bit unforgivable that there isn’t better representation among those highlighted.
As of the announcement, I have only read and reviewed two of the titles. Links to my reviews are attached to those titles below. And so, without further ado, the 2018 Man Booker International Longlist:
• Laurent Binet (France), Sam Taylor, The 7th Function of Language (Harvill Secker)
• Javier Cercas (Spain), Frank Wynne, The Impostor (MacLehose Press)
• Virginie Despentes (France), Frank Wynne, Vernon Subutex 1 (MacLehose Press)
• Jenny Erpenbeck (Germany), Susan Bernofsky, Go, Went, Gone (Portobello Books)
• Han Kang (South Korea), Deborah Smith, The White Book (Portobello Books)
• Ariana Harwicz (Argentina), Sarah Moses & Carolina Orloff, Die, My Love (Charco Press)
• László Krasznahorkai (Hungary), John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes, The World Goes On (Tuskar Rock Press)
• Antonio Muñoz Molina (Spain), Camilo A. Ramirez, Like a Fading Shadow (Tuskar Rock Press)
• Christoph Ransmayr (Austria), Simon Pare, The Flying Mountain (Seagull Books)
• Ahmed Saadawi (Iraq), Jonathan Wright, Frankenstein in Baghdad (Oneworld)
• Olga Tokarczuk (Poland), Jennifer Croft, Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
• Wu Ming-Yi (Taiwan, China), Darryl Sterk, The Stolen Bicycle (Text Publishing)
• Gabriela Ybarra (Spain), Natasha Wimmer, The Dinner Guest (Harvill Secker)