Man Booker International Prize 2015 Finalists

The Man Booker International Prize is awarded every two years to “a living author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work is generally available in translation in the English language.”

According to their website, the goal of the award is to honor “one writer’s overall contribution to fiction on the world stage” and as such, they consider the writer’s entire body of work and not just a single book. Furthermore, there are no submissions from publishers, so the judges decide who to consider and who gets the £60,000 cash prize.

OK, so today, they announced the finalists for this year’s awards, and the ten authors are:

César Aira (Argentina)
Hoda Barakat (Lebanon)
Maryse Condé (Guadeloupe)
Mia Couto (Mozambique)
Amitav Ghosh (India)
Fanny Howe (United States of America)
Ibrahim al-Koni (Libya)
László Krasznahorkai (Hungary)
Alain Mabanckou (Republic of Congo)
Marlene van Niekerk (South Africa)

For once, I’m familiar with all of the authors on the list, and have read books from more than half! It’s an interesting list of finalists, and impressive that there are writers from a number of countries that aren’t always represented on lists like this.

I’m not even sure how to predict the potential winner of this award, but for a bit of context, here are the last few winners: Lydia Davis won the prize in 2013, Philip Roth in 2011, Alice Munro in 2009, Chinua Achebe in 2007 and Ismail Kadaré won the inaugural prize in 2005. Hmm. Lots of Americans and Canadians . . . No offense to Fanny Howe, but I really hope one of the other writers wins this year. Maybe Aira or Krasznahorkai? My gut tells me it’s going to be Couto or Mabanckou.

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