Independent publishers vie for Man Booker International Prize


LONDON: Independent publishers dominated the shortlist for Britain’s Man Booker International Prize, which was announced on Thursday and celebrates translated works of fiction from around the globe.

Six authors and their translators are competing for the £50,000 ($71,312) prize, with the works translated from four European languages, South Korean, and Arabic.

Lisa Appignanesi, chairman of the prize’s judging panel, said in a statement that the shortlist promised “sparkling encounters with prose in translation.”

“We have mesmeric meditations; raucous, sexy, state-of-the-nation stories; haunting sparseness and sprawling tales; enigmatic cabinets of curiosity; and daring acts of imaginative projection,” she added.

Despite the diversity of the authors and their tales, ranging from the Parisian music scene to a meditation on color, the books all hail from independent publishers.

Tuskar Rock Press is behind “The World Goes On,” a collection of stories by Hungarian author Laszlo Krasznahorkai, who won the prize in 2015.

Spanish writer Antonio Muñoz Molina’s “Like a Fading Shadow,” about the assassin of Martin Luther King Jr., is also published by Tuskar Rock.

Other independents behind the finalists—“Vernon Subutex 1” by France’s Virginie Despentes, “The White Book” by South Korea’s Han Kang, “Frankenstein in Baghdad” by Iraq’s Ahmed Saadawi, and “Flights” by Poland’s Olga Tokarczuk—are Fitzcarraldo Editions, MacLehose Press, Oneworld, and Portobello Books.

The winner will be announced on May 22 at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, with the prize money shared between the author and translator.


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