At the London Book Fair last week, I went to the Literary Translation Centre for Finest Foreign Literature at the Fair: The 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. This session discussed the books in the IFFP shortlist, which was announced on 8th April during the Fair. Points that were made included:

  • There are 3 women’s titles in the 2014 shortlist, but they have taken their time to get into English and were originally published a while ago.
  • Good books last, even if they cover a popular or recent theme/topic.
  • Books have to succeed as an artefact in their own right.

The shortlist consists of the following titles:

  • The Iraqi Christ, by Hassan Blasim, translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright (Comma Press)

The Iraqi Christ Hassan Blasim Translated from Arabic by Jonathan Wright

  • A Man in Love, by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett (Harvill Secker)

A Man in Love Karl Ove Knausgård Translated from Norwegian by Don Bartlett

  • A Meal in Winter, by Hubert Mingarelli, translated from the French by Sam Taylor (Portobello Books)

A Meal in Winter Hubert Mingarelli Translated from French by Sam Taylor

  • The Mussel Feast, by Birgit Vanderbeke, translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch (Peirene Press)

The Mussel Feast Birgit Vanderbeke Translated from German by Jamie Bulloch

  • Revenge, by Yōko Ogawa, translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder (Harvill Secker)

Revenge Yoko Ogawa Translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder

  • Strange Weather in Tokyo, by Hiromi Kawakami and translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell (Portobello)

Strange Weather in Tokyo Hiromi Kawakami Translated from Japanese by Allison Markin Powell

In previous years I have been inspired to read the books on the list, and this year I will attempt to read as many of these as I can. The winner will be announced on the 22nd May!

For more information, check out Booktrust‘s website.

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