The Man Booker International Prize has revealed the shortlist of six books in contention for the 2016 Prize, celebrating the finest in global fiction. Each shortlisted author and translator will receive £1,000, while the £50,000 prize will be divided equally between the author and the translator of the winning entry.
The 2016 Man Booker International Shortlist:
A General Theory of Oblivion (Harvill Secker) by José Eduardo Agualusa, translated by Daniel Hahn
The Story of the Lost Child (Europa Editions) by Elena Ferrante, translated by Ann Goldstein
The Vegetarian (Portobello Books) by Han Kang, translated by Deborah Smith
A Strangeness in My Mind (Faber & Faber) by Orhan Pamuk, translated by Ekin Oklap
A Whole Life (Picador) by Robert Seethaler, translated by Charlotte Collins
The Four Books (Chatto & Windus) by Yan Lianke, translated by Carlos Rojas
Five of the authors have been nominated for the first time (Yan appeared on the list of finalists in 2013). The nominees include two winners of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize: Agualusa (2007) and Pamuk (1990) who also won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2006. It is the first appearance on a Man Booker International Prize list for writers from Angola, Austria, South Korea and Turkey.
The translators are predominantly female and of UK or US descent. The youngest are Turkish-born Londoner Ekin Oklap (27) and Deborah Smith (28) who only started learning Korean at the age of 21.
Three independent publishers, Europa Editions, Faber & Faber and Portobello Books, have made it to the shortlist. Penguin Random House has two novels through the imprints Chatto & Windus and Harvill Secker, while Pan Macmillan’s imprint Picador has the final place on the list.
The list was selected from 155 books by a panel of five judges consisting of: critic and editor Boyd Tonkin; anthropologist and novelist Tahmima Anam; academic David Bellos, Professor of French and Comparative Literature and Director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University; editor and academic Daniel Medin, who holds a comparative literature professorship at the American University of Paris (AUP); and prize-winning British poet and author Ruth Padel.
The winner of the 2016 Prize will be announced on 16 May at a formal dinner at the V & A, 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 authors and translators:
18 April Man Booker International Prize Panel with music by Lail Arad
Shakespeare and Company, Paris
12 May Translation at its Finest, Chaired by Alex Clark
15 May Man Booker International Prize event chaired by Razia Iqbal
British Library, London