The Official Short List vs. The Shadow Jury’s Short List For the IFFP 2015

It doesn’t surprise me that there is some variance in the two lists. The numbers were crunched for the Shadow Jury’s short list yesterday, and our top six for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize are listed in order as:

  1. The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck
  2.  Zone by Mathias Enard (added at the Jury’s suggestion)
  3. The Ravens by Tomas Bannerhed
  4. The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov
  5. Bloodlines by Marcello Fois
  6. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Meanwhile, Booktrust announced the official short list for the IFFP on April 9 (UK time), and their list is composed of these six:

  1. By Night The Mountain Burns by Juan Tomas Avila
  2. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
  3. F by Daniel Kehlmann
  4. The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck
  5. In The Beginning Was The Sea by Tomas Gonzalez
  6. While The Gods Were Sleeping by Erwin Mortier

In common to both our lists are Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami, and The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck. Personally, the book I’d like to see take the prize this year is The End of Days. Those of you who know me, and are aware of my passion for Japanese Literature in general, and Haruki Murakami in particular, will be surprised that I am undecided as to whom should take the prize. Murakami explores my heart in his book as he looks at feelings of alienation and loneliness, yet the beauty of Erpenbeck’s writing can not be denied.

We will have to see if the Shadow Jury and the official jury agree, or which book each group chooses to win the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize on May 27, 2015. You can keep up with us at #IFFP if you’re so inclined.

(And, don’t forget you’re welcome to join in the read-along of John Crowley’s Little, Big this May!)

12 thoughts on “The Official Short List vs. The Shadow Jury’s Short List For the IFFP 2015”

  1. No surprise that there is a disparity between the list, t’was always that way. Only one I’ve read is the Murakami & the one that most appeals is The Dead Lake.


    1. I’ve only read the IFFP shortlist for three years, and I don’t know what they will choose to win this year (of course). But, the only time I was happy with the choice was when The Detour won. What a fabulous book! I hope they are that wise again for 2015’s winner, as last year the judges fell on their faces.


    1. I only had time to read eight, with teaching and family, but most of the Shadow Jury has read them all. Either they are terribly fast readers, or they have more time than I do, but I am so impressed with how for the most part, all fifteen books were read and scored. That Shadow Jury has some fabulous bloggers! 😉


      1. Eight is still way more than I could have managed. I was so tempted to join but the pace of reading would have been an issue. And yes all of you are wonderful bloggers


  2. Even though I’d also regard myself as a Murakami fan, I share your view that The End of Days far outshines Colorless Tsukuru. I suspect that Zone may be its nearest competitor in our list. Goodness knows what’ll happen in the official list!


    1. I hope to read Zone by the end of May, but I’m not sure if I could chose it as a winner for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize winner of the Shadow Jury since it’s not on the official IFFP list. (How can a book win if it isn’t even in contention?) That said, I trust the Shadow Jury’s opinion implicitly, and I’m sure it’s an excellent piece of translated literature. I have downloaded it on my kindle, which is staring at me as I type anxious to get through Open House tonight so I can read! 🙂


    1. Many people were sad? disappointed? that Colorless Tzukuru made the list, and I can see that as I don’t believe it represents Murakami’s finest work. Still, I was so glad to see him included on the short list.


    1. I agree Colorless Tzukuru was terrific, although not as terrific as my personal favorites Kafka on The Shore and The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle. One of the best things about Tzukuru was that I “got” him; his sorrow and disappointment and questioning all made sense to me, and I didn’t have to wade through a parallel universe with unknown creatures to get to him.

      Still, I feel safe in saying that the majority of the Shadow Jury thought The End of Days a most significant book. It’s depth is quite remarkable, and Erpenbeck’s writing ability took my breath. It’s not long, and even our stupid library had it, so I hope you have the chance to open a copy of it yourself.


  3. I love that Murakami made it on both lists. My fingers are crossed for this book. I really did love it and found it to be one of his best. Of course, when it comes to Murakami I am extremely biased 🙂


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