The 2021 International Booker Prize


The full longlist is:

I Live in the Slums byCan Xue, translated from Chinese by Karen Gernant Chen Zeping, Yale University Press


At Night All Blood is Black byDavid Diop, translated from French by Anna Mocschovakis, Pushkin Press


The Pear Field by Nana Ekvtimishvili, translated from Georgian by Elizabeth Heighway, Peirene Press


The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enríquez, translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell, Granta Books


When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut, translated from Spanish by Adrian Nathan West, Pushkin Press


The Perfect Nine: The Epic Gikuyu and Mumbi by Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, translated from Gikuyu by the author, VINTAGE, Harvill Secker


The Employees by Olga Ravn, translated from Danish by Martin Aitken, Lolli Editions


Summer Brother by Jaap Robben, translated from Dutch by David Doherty, World Editions


An Inventory of Losses by Judith Schalansky, translated from German by Jackie Smith, Quercus, MacLehose Press


Minor Detail by Adania Shibli, translated from Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette, Fitzcarraldo Editions


In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, translated from Russian by Sasha Dugdale, Fitzcarraldo Editions


Wretchedness by Andrzej Tichý, translated from Swedish by Nichola Smalley, And Other Stories


The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard, translated from French by Mark Polizzotti, Pan Macmillan, Picador

Longlist: Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Shortlist: Thursday, April 22, 2021

Winner: Wednesday, June 2, 2021

The Shortlist:

– At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop, tr. Anna Moschovakis (Pushkin Press)
– The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enríquez, tr. Megan McDowell (Granta Books)
– When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut, tr. Adrian Nathan West (Pushkin Press)
– The Employees by Olga Ravn, tr. Martin Aitken (Lolli Editions)
– In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, tr. Sasha Dugdale (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
– The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard, tr. Mark Polizzotti (Pan Macmillan, Picador)

Here are the Shadow Jury judges for this year:

Tony Malone (Twitter: @tony_malone) is an occasional ESL teacher and full-time reader who has been publishing his half-baked thoughts on literature in translation at the Tony’s Reading List blog for just over twelve years now. One unexpected consequence of all this reading in translation has been the crafting of a few translations of his own, with English versions of works by classic German writers such as Eduard von Keyserling and Ricarda Huch appearing at his site. After a well-earned sabbatical year from all things shadowy, he’s returned with fresh energy in 2021, ready to discuss this year’s longlist and keep the ‘real’ judges honest.

Stu Allen (@stujallen), the everyman of translated fiction, has been blogging for twelve years and has reviewed over a thousand books from more than one hundred countries at his site, Winstonsdad’s Blog. He founded the original Shadow IFFP Jury back in 2012, as well as the Twitter hashtag #translationthurs. By day, he works for the NHS as a care support worker, helping people with learning disabilities on a ward in a learning disabilities hospitality centre in sunny Derbyshire. He’s married to Amanda, loves indie music, foreign films and real ale, and is pleased to be shadowing the prize for another year.

Meredith Smith (@bellezzamjs) has been writing about books at her site, Dolce Bellezza, since 2006. Now that she has retired from teaching, she has much more time to devote to her passion of reading translated literature. She has hosted the Japanese Literature Challenge for fourteen years and been a member of the Shadow Jury for seven. It is her great joy to read and discuss books from around the world with both the panel and fellow readers.

David Hebblethwaite (@David_Heb) is a reader and reviewer originally from Yorkshire, UK. He started reading translated fiction seriously a few years ago, and now couldn’t imagine a bookish life without it. He writes about books at David’s Book World and on Instagram @davidsworldofbooks. This is his eighth year on the Shadow Jury, and it has become a highlight of his reading year. There are always interesting books to read, and illuminating discussions to be had.

Oisin Harris (@literaryty), based in Canterbury in the UK, reviews books at the Literaryty blog. He earned an English degree from Sussex University and an MA in Publishing from Kingston University. He is a librarian at the University of Kent and a co-editor and contributor for The Publishing Post’s Books in Translation Team, as well as the creator of the Translator Spotlight series where prominent translators are interviewed to demystify the craft of translation. His work on Women in Translation was published in the 2020 research eBook of the Institute for Translation and Interpreting, entitled Translating Women: Activism in Action (edited by Olga Castroand Helen Vassallo).

Frances Evangelista (@nonsuchbook) works as an educator in Washington DC. She elected a career in teaching because she assumed it would provide her with lots of reading time. This was an incorrect assumption. However, she loves her work and still manages to read widely, remember the years she blogged about books fondly, chat up books on Twitter, and participate in lots of great shared reading experiences. This is her fourth year as a shadow panellist for the International Booker Prize.

Barbara Halla (@behalla63) is an Assistant Editor for Asymptote, where she has covered Albanian and French literature and the International Booker Prize. She works as a translator and independent researcher, focusing in particular on discovering and promoting the works of contemporary and classic Albanian women writers. She has lived in Cambridge (Massachusetts, USA), Paris, and Tirana.

Vivek Tejuja (@vivekisms) is a book blogger and reviewer from India, based in Mumbai. He loves to read books in Indian languages and translated editions of languages around the world (well, essentially world fiction, if that’s a thing). He is Culture Editor at Verve Magazine and blogs at The Hungry Reader.He is also the author of So Now You Know, a memoir of growing up gay in Mumbai in the 90s, published by Harper Collins India.

Areeb Ahmad (@Broke_Bookworm) recently finished an undergrad in English from the University of Delhi and is now pursuing a Master’s in the same subject from the University of Hyderabad. Although he is quite an eclectic bookworm, he swears by all things SFF. You can find him either desperately hunting for book deals to supplement his overflowing TBR pile or trying to figure out the best angle for his next #bookstagram picture while he scrambles to write a review. He impulsively decided to begin book blogging in 2019 and hasn’t looked back since.