2019 Man Booker International Prize Shortlist

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Pankaj Mishra, Maureen Freeley, Bettany Hughes, Elnathan John, and Angie Hobbs, judges for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize, talk about the merits of the books shortlisted for the prize, which is awarded to both the author and translator. The six books span five languages—Arabic, French, German, Polish, and Spanish—and are written by authors from Oman, France, Germany, Poland, Colombia, and Chile.

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Man Booker International Prize 2019

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“We have found books that have challenged our notions of what fiction is and how to imagine the world,” says Elnathan John, one of five judges on the panel for the 2019 Man Booker International Prize, about the thirteen novels in contention for the prize. The list includes Celestial Bodies (Sandstone Press, 2018) by Jokha Alharthi, translated from Arabic by Marilyn Booth, and Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2018) by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones.

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Dorthe Nors and Helena Kelly

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“There are so many women who are not married, and don’t have children, out there; there are so many of us but it’s still a bit provocative to write about.” In this interview for BBC News, Dorthe Nors talks about Jane Austen, writing about women, and her novel Mirror, Shoulder, Signal (Graywolf Press, 2018), with Helena Kelly, author of the biography Jane Austen, the Secret Radical (Knopf, 2017).

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk Wins

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“It sings, it bubbles…it would enrich anybody’s life to read it.” Tim Martin and the panel of judges for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize discuss and praise this year’s winner, Flights (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2017) by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft. Tokarczuk is the first Polish writer to win the Man Booker International Prize. 

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Samanta Schweblin

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Argentinian author Samanta Schweblin talks about living in Berlin and reads from her debut novel, Fever Dream (Riverhead Books, 2017), translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell. Fever Dream, which was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize, was the winner of the 2018 Tournament of Books beating out George Saunders’s Lincoln in the Bardo (Random House, 2017) in the final round.

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Olga Tokarczuk

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“I narrate in such a free manner that, I hope, inspires the reader.” In this interview for Louisiana Channel, Olga Tokarczuk talks about air travel and how it influenced the story structure for her most recent novel, Flights (Riverhead Books, 2018), translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft, which is longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize.

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Laurent Binet

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Laurent Binet talks about his two novels, HHhH (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012) and The Seventh Function of Language (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2017), both translated from the French by Sam Taylor, as well as the topics of semiotics and meta-narrative writing in this video for Vintage Books. The Seventh Function of Language is longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize.

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Ariana Harwicz and Carolina Orloff

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At Shakespeare and Company in Paris, Argentinian writer Ariana Harwicz talks about her debut novel, Die, My Love (Charco Press, 2017), with Carolina Orloff, who cotranslated the book from the Spanish with Sarah Moses. The novel is longlisted for the 2018 Man Booker International Prize.

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David Grossman

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“Stories should not protect us, stories should expose us...” Israeli author David Grossman, who received the 2017 Man Booker International Prize for his novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar (Jonathan Cape, 2017) with his translator Jessica Cohen, talks about how all stories are multilayered and some can even trap us.

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