The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2008
Arts Council England today announced the shortlist for The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2008, in association with Champagne Taittinger.
Six contenders from over 90 entries have been shortlisted for the prize, worth £10,000. They are:
Castorp by Pawel Huelle, translated by Antonia Lloyd Jones from the Polish, published by Serpent’s Tail
The Way of the Women by Marlene van Niekerk, translated by Michiel Heyns from the Afrikaans, published by Little, Brown
Omega Minor by Paul Verhaeghen, translated by Paul Verhaeghen from the Dutch, published by Dalkey Archive Press
The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize celebrates an exceptional work of fiction by a living author which has been translated into English from another language and published in the United Kingdom in the last year.
This year’s shortlist sees a strong show of European authors alongside South African author Marlene van Niekerk. The eclectic themes encompassed in the shortlist includes: a witty foray into the minds of two intellectual giants; the sinister story of an uninspired artist who discovers his sight is failing; a first world war ‘prequel’ to Mann’s The Magic Mountain; a tale of post-Apartheid South Africa told through folklore, diary entries and songs; an epic story of 20th century history spanning Einstein’s lost theorem and the Nazi legacy; and a fictional act of redemption for an archetypal villain of Swedish literature.
Antonia Byatt, Director, Literature Strategy, Arts Council England said:
“The judges had a hard task getting down to the final six, but have chosen a shortlist of very accomplished books that demonstrate a huge variety of ideas, stories and adventurous writing from around the world. The authors’ ability to introduce readers to the rich diversity of life illustrates why making international writing in translation available to everyone is so important.”
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