International Booker Prize shortlist for 2024 announced

International Booker Prize shortlist for 2024 announced
# 09 April 2024 23:39 (UTC +04:00)

The shortlist for the International Booker Prize is finally here, celebrating some of the very best works of literature that were originally written in a language other than English, APA reports.

This year's contenders represent six languages (Dutch, German, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Swedish) across six countries (Argentina, Brazil, Germany, Netherlands, South Korea and Sweden) and three continents (Asia, Europe and South America).

They include Jenny Epenbeck, the first German author to be shortlisted since 2020, for her novel 'Kairos', and Portuguese author Itamar Vieira junior, for his debut novel 'Crooked Plow'.

Argentina is represented for a fourth time in the past five years with Selva Almada's 'Not a River', while it's also the third year in which a South Korean author has been shortlisted; 81-year-old Hwang Sok-yong for his ninth English-translated novel: 'Mater 2-10'.

Whittled down from a longlist of 13 titles, which were announced in March, the final six were chosen by a 2024 judging panel, chaired by writer and broadcaster Eleanor Wachte.

The judges include award-winning poet Natalie Diaz; Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Romesh Gunesekera; visual artist William Kentridge and writer, editor and translator Aaron Robertson.

"Our shortlist, while implicitly optimistic, engages with current realities of racism and oppression, global violence and ecological disaster," said Wachtel in a statement.

"From Selva Almada’s economical evocation of foreboding and danger in a remote corner of Argentina, 'Not a River', to 'Kairos', Jenny Erpenbeck’s intense, rich drama about the entanglement of personal and national transformations during the dying years of East Germany, words have the power to make connections and inhabit other sensibilities – to illuminate," she continued.

"The books cast a forensic eye on divided families and divided societies, revisiting pasts both recent and distant to help make sense of the present," International Booker Prize Administrator Fiammetta Rocco added.

The prize honours the vital work of translators, offering a £50,000 (€58,362) prize that's divided equally between the winning author and their translator/s. Each of the shortlisted nominees that don't win will still receive £2,500 (€2,918) each.