Man Booker Prize Shortlist Announced

21 Apr, 2017

The Man Booker International Prize today, Thursday 20 April, reveals the shortlist of six books in contention for the 2017 prize, which celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world.

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 Langehas translated and Roy Jacobsen’s co-translators Don Bartlett and Don Shaw have worked together many times before.

The shortlist includes three independent publishers, Pushkin, Oneworld and Fitzcarraldo. Penguin Random House has two novels through the imprints Chatto & Windus and Jonathan Cape, while Quercus’s imprint Maclehose has the final place on the list.

Nick Barley, chair of the 2017 Man Booker International Prize judging panel, comments:

‘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.’

More comments on each book can be found in ‘Book synopses and biographies’ in the lower part of this release.

Luke Ellis, CEO of Man Group, comments:

‘Many congratulations to all the shortlisted authors and translators. We are very proud to sponsor the Man Booker International Prize as it continues to celebrate talent from all over the world. The prize plays a very important role in promoting literary excellence on a global scale, as well as underscoring Man Group’s charitable focus on literacy and education, and our commitment to creativity and excellence.’

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 of the 2017 Prize 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.

Leading up to the winner announcement, there will be a number of public events featuring some of the judges, authors and translators:

27 May            The Man Booker International Prize for 1988

with Fiammetta Rocco, Boyd Tonkin, Daniel Hahn and Gaby Wood

Hay Festival, Hay-on-Wye

12 June           ‘Translation at its Finest’ event  in partnership with Foyles and English PEN

Foyles, Charing Cross Road, London

13 June           Man Booker International Prize event chaired by James Naughtie with Waterstones at St James’s Church Piccadilly, London

The Man Booker International Prize and the Man Booker Prize for Fiction together reward the best books from around the globe that are published in the UK and are available in English.

The prize is sponsored by Man Group, an active investment management firm that also sponsors the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Both prizes strive to recognise and reward the finest in contemporary literature.