April 23, 2021 10:20:43 am
Shortlist for the International Booker Prize 2021 has been announced and the six books that have made it to the list are — At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop, translated from French by Anna Moschovakis, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enríquez, translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell, When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut, translated from Spanish by Adrian Nathan West, The Employees by Olga Ravn, translated from Danish by Martin Aitken, In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, translated from Russian by Sasha Dugdale, The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard, translated from French by Mark Polizzotti.
The list was helmed by judges like novelist, Aida Edemariam; author Neel Mukherjee; professor Olivette Otele; poet George Szirtes, and chaired by novelist Lucy Hughes-Hallett.
We are delighted to announce our shortlist for the 2021 International Booker Prize. Watch our judges @AidaE @OlivetteOtele @george_sziertes @LucyHH and Neel Mukherjee discuss the shortlisted books https://t.co/41QFbq8hvN#2021InternationalBooker #FinestFiction #TranslatedFiction pic.twitter.com/lc8pcNq0FD
— The Booker Prizes (@TheBookerPrizes) April 22, 2021
According to a report in Associated Press, Lucy Hughes-Hallett said the list showed that some of the most exciting new writing is going on “in the borderlands” between fiction and other genres, such as history and memoir. Vuillard’s book is about a real 16th-century German theologian, Ravn’s is set on a spaceship in the 22nd century and Diop’s story of Senegalese soldiers in World War I is so “wildly imaginative … when I first read it I almost thought I was having a nightmare,” Hughes-Hallett said.
“Some of the books … came close to being historical writing and some of them were very essayistic. Some of them seemed deeply personal, almost like memoirs,” she said. “What we concluded in the end is that this is a fantastically vital and vigorous aspect of the way fiction is being written at the moment. People are really pushing at the boundaries.”
The winner will be announced on June 2, 2021. The event will be an online ceremony from Coventry UK City of Culture. The winning amount of £50,000 will be divided equally between the author and the translator.
(With inputs from AP)
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