The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015 and Fabulous Give-away Opportunityi

IFFP 2015

Ever since I began reading the books listed for the  Independent Foreign Fiction Prize two years ago, I have been mesmerized by the beauty of books in translation. As a whole I have found them often dark, but always unique, opening my eyes to the larger world around me. Through the words of the authors on both the long list, and the short, I have traveled to Iraq, China, Sweden, Holland, Colombia, Russia, Germany, Italy and France. I have alternately longed to live in some of these lands and been grateful for the country I call home. But, I have never closed a book listed for the IFFP and not been enlightened. (The London Review of Books recently wrote an article on this feeling entitled, “The Unstoppable Rise of Translated Fiction.”)

Now it is nearing the time when the winner for the IFFP 2015 will be announced. The award ceremony takes place in London, on Wednesday, May 27. I can’t even describe how sad I am that I unable to accept the invitation to attend, as my teaching career and Chicago location prohibit such a trip at this time.

However, I am able to do a marvelous thing. I am able to give away a complete set of all six of the books on the short list for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. They include:

  • By Night the Mountain Burns by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel translated from the Spanish by Jethro Soutar (And Other Stories)
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel (Harvill Secker)
  • The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky (Portobello Books)
  • F by Daniel Kehlmann, translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway (Quercus)
  • In the Beginning Was the Sea by Tomás González translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne (Pushkin Press)
  • While the Gods Were Sleeping by Erwin Mortier translated from the Dutch by Paul Vincent (Pushkin Press)

We will have to see which one is named the winner on May 27. Until then, please leave a comment if you wish to be entered in the give-away which is graciously open, thanks to Booktrust, to UK and US residents. I will determine the winner through a random sequence generator on May 31, and announce the winner on this post.

Best of luck to all who enter!

 

Congratulations to Parrish Lantern, winner of the IFFP 2015 short list package,  and thanks to all who entered to win. As you probably know by now, The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck was the novel which won, and I can’t recommend it highly enough for your own shelf.

The Ravens by Tomas Bannerhed (Or, How I Stand Apart From The Shadow Jury on This One)

The Ravens

The Ravens fly over the farmer’s house, shrieking, predicting death.

The cover for this book is particularly well done. It shows the raven trying to soar upward, but appearing as if it will ultimately fall into some dreadful descent. Its tail becomes a smear, ineffective, and marring the picture of beauty. Marring the picture of freedom, as it seems this bird will be forever tethered to the ground instead of the heavens where it belongs.

I had a difficult time with The Ravens. It took me all of April to read 132 pages. I struggled every night to get at least five read, but they were ponderous…almost too heavy to turn. I vowed I would complete it yesterday, during the 24 Hour Read-a-thon, and so I read for several hours without relinquishing my goal until it was done. The reading didn’t get any easier for me. It became harder as I went.

The story takes place in Sweden, in the 1970’s. A boy named Klas lives with his mother, father and little brother in the country where they struggle to make a living on the farm. The dryness of the potatoes, the scratchiness of the hay, the beauty of the milch cows, and the wealth of birds which Klas observes in great detail become as real as if we lived there ourselves.

His mother is gentle and sweet, uncomplaining as she strives to hold the family together. She prepares all the meals, bakes pretzel rolls and buns, even handles the blood of butchering and preparing the meat. It seems manageable, somehow, compared to handling the life she lives with her husband.

As he descends into madness, he becomes frightening and unpredictable. He is tormented by the sound of ravens in his ears which will not stop, not even when he takes pills the hospital has given him to lighten his suffering. But his mental illness does not effect only himself, as no illness in a family can be contained within just one member. The entire family listens for unusual sounds which indicate what he may be up to. (Is he setting fire  to the house in the boiler room where he has chosen to sleep? No, he’s simply beating the rugs and furniture to rid it of bugs that only he can sense.)

One lives with a terrible fear when one lives with a person who is mentally ill. Not only is the health of the person at risk, normal everyday life becomes impaired. What one, little thing will disrupt the day and make everyone live on edge for the rest of the week?

Bannerhed does a brilliant job of portraying such a life. His writing is beautiful, and his description, if not lengthy beyond imagination, is quite picturesque.  But the utter hopelessness of this story, the way there was nothing that could redeem any of them, brought me to a despair I still feel this morning. Perhaps that is a mark of a talented writer; perhaps this piercing writing is why so many of my fellow Shadow Jury members gave this a perfect score.

But, I am not surprised it didn’t make the official IFFP short list. I could not bear the laborious reading which became bleaker at every page and offered only death as a way out.

Find other thoughts from fellow Shadow Jury members here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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!)

Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes

imageHe never claims to be anyone other than who he was, and yet this time the German Volk see Adolfo Hitler as a comedian. How is it possible that a man as evil as Hitler is now perceived as funny?

I approached this book with profound trepidation. And yet I was immediately drawn in, for Vermes is not making light of Hitler. He is utterly scorning the 21st century, particularly the media. From radio to television, newspaper to YouTube, his sarcasm lays the game completely bare.

I was reported to be dead. They said I had committed suicide…Was I dead? We all know, of course, what to make of our newspapers. The deaf man writes down what the blind man has told him, the village idiot edits it, and their colleagues in the other press houses copy it. Each story is doused afresh with the same stagnant infusion of lies so that the “splendid” brew can then be served up to a clueless Volk. (p. 26-7)

No, in Vermes’ novel Hitler is not dead. He has reappeared as the Reich Chancellor in Berlin, in his full uniform, and is promptly introduced by a man in the newspaper kiosk whom he has befriended to two gentlemen from a production company. Joachim Sensenbrink and Frank Sawatzki help orchestrate Hitler’s extraordinary reception by the German people who refuse to believe he is who he says he is.

Didn’t this happen once before?

Look Who’s Back is an unflinchingly honest look at Hitler, at people, at media, at our culture today. It is surprisingly funny, if one has the courage to laugh at one’s self, while at the same time cringing from the truth presented without any facade whatsoever. I am refreshed by the audacity and clear perspective that Vermes has used in pointing out to us what we should already know. I think it is a very courageous novel.

IMG_0625 Timur Vermes was born in Nuremberg in 1967, the son of a German mother and a Hungarian father who fled the country in 1956. He studied history and politics and went on to become a journalist. He has written for the Abendzietung and the Cologne Express and worked for various magazines. He has ghostwritten several books since 2007. This is his first novel.

Jamie Bulloch is the translator of novels by Daniel Glattauer, Katharina Hagena, Paulus Hochgatterer, Birgit Vanderbeke, Daniele Krien and Alissa Walser.

Look Who’s Back stunned and thrilled 1.5 million German readers with its fearless approach to the most taboo of subjects. Naive yet insightful, repellent yet strangely sympathetic, the revived Hitler unquestionably has a spring in his step. (Back cover)

The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov (Trust Peirene Press to Deliver!)

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For anyone who has never lived in the steppe, it is hard to understand how it is possible to exist surrounded by this wilderness on all sides. But those who have lived here since time out of mind know how rich and variable the steppe is. How multicoloured the sky above. How fluid the air all around. How varied the plants. How innumerable the animals in it and above it. A dust storm can spring up out of nowhere. A yellow whirlwind can suddenly start twirling round the air in the distance in the same way that women spin camel wool into twine. The entire, imponderable weight of that immense, heavy sky can suddenly whistle across the becalmed, submissive land…

As he grew, Yerzhan noticed all the subtle shades and gradations of the road they followed to Petko’s music lessons. And that road seemed like music to him: it was just as fluent, the sounds were just as varied. The notes of the wind swayed on the little tamarisk and saltwort shrubs. Shrews and ground squirrels sang the second and third voices.

At home, Grandad’s severe, wrinkled face seemed to the boy like the Bach violin concerto that he was learning to play. Shaken’s tedious cheerfulness was like Kreisler’s Miniature Viennese March, which they had decided not to bother learning at all. Kepek’s dumb behaviour was like Gavinies’s endless etudes. And his Aisulu’s pink-cheeked little face was Vivaldi’s Winter, which the Bulgarian Petko played with ecstatic gusto during the late Kazakh summer.

And only the women, including the city bride Baichichek, did Yerzhan still associate with the monotonous sounds of the old-fashioned dombra.

How I loved this novel. It promised to be a “two-hour book devoured in a single sitting: literary cinema for those fatigued by film”. But, it took me more than two hours to read The Dead Lake because I wanted to carefully absorb every word.

This novel is the story of a twenty-five year old man who looks like he is twelve. He is a masterful violinist, something which seems quite incongruous due to growing up at a way station on the steppe. How can such an isolated spot allow for such a skill? This man-child, Yerzhan, tells us his story on the train travelling across the boundless steppes of Kazakhstan.

It is a story involving his whole world: two families, two shacks, two grandmothers, a grandfather, an uncle, his mother. Their lives are simple and secluded, yet interwoven in ways that cannot be separated. It must be a miracle, that three-year old Yerzhan picks up his grandfathers dombra and plays with such skill that he soon begins lessons with a Bulgarian violinist. He is a wunderkind.

But, being such a talented child does not prevent him from being defiantly brave and in so doing change the entire course of his life. For he lives near the Zone, a fenced in area where atomic weapons are tested, which is where he is introduced to the Dead Lake.

Towards evening Uncle Shaken took the children to the Dead Lake. ‘Don’t drink the water and do not touch it,’ he told them. It was a beautiful lake that had formed after the explosion of an atomic bomb. A fairy-tale lake, right there in the middle of the flat, level steppe, a stretch of emerald-green water, reflecing the rare stray cloud. No movement, no waves, no ripples no trembling–a bottle-green, glassy surface with only cautious reflections of the boys’ and girls’ faces as they peeped at its bottom by the shore. Could there possible be some fairy-tale fish or monster of the deep to be found in this static, dense water?

The Dead LakeThe Dead Lake brings into sharp focus how the decisions we make when young affect us all of our lives. It is a terribly piercing and poignant book, from Peirene Press’ coming of age series. Just like The Mussel Feast which I read last year, it tells far more than simply a story.

Hamid IsmailovAuthor: Born in 1954 in Kyrgyzstan, Hamid Ismailov moved to Uzbekistan as a young man. he writes in both Russian and Uzbek, and his novels and poetry have been translated into many European languages, including German, French and Spanish. In 1994 he was forced to fell to the UK because of his ‘unacceptable democratic tendencies’. He now works for the BBC World Service. His first novel to be published in English. The Railway, appeared in 2006, followed by A Poet and Bin-Laden in 2012. His work is still banned in Uzbekistan today.

Translator: Andrew Bromfield’s career of more than twenty years as a translator of Russian literature had its beginnings in Moscow during the perestroika period. In 1991 he was a founding editor of the journal Glas: New Russian Writing. He has translated works by Boris Akunin, Vladimir Voinovich and Irina Denezhkina, among other writers.

While The Gods Were Sleeping by Erwin Mortier

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No detail is too small for Erwin Mortier. It is as though he has taken up the pen of Marcel Proust with which to tell us about World War I, and initially I became frustrated at the lack of movement. But, I pushed on and found a tender beauty in every description, and passages which I had to mark with pieces of paper torn off from the letter beside me.

We begin with an elderly woman named Helena, who is lovingly cared for by a gentle woman named Rachida. We listen to this elderly woman, speaking in the first person, tell us how she is carefully set against pillows after she has been carefully washed and combed for the day. She is set up with a writing desk, notebook, and pen. It seems evident that she is recording her memories, the details of her life with her family and then her husband. Going back in time, and sometimes staying in the present, we learn what it was like to be a girl in France when the Archduke was murdered. And then when the presence of the war was felt.

It is not easy for me to read about war. I’m sure part of that is because my son is a United States Marine, and when is the United States ever at peace? Before I was born, my grandfather was in WWI, my father was in the Korean War, my babysitter’s brothers were killed in Vietnam. My husband barely escaped Desert Storm, and my son has not yet been called to the Middle East. I pray he never is. For this passage about informing mothers of their son’s death pierces me to the core:

It is the women who take the blows, he was wont to say. Imagine the look on the face of a mother with two or three sons at the front, not exactly a rarity in large farming families in the countryside. The uncertainty behind the certainty that you are knocking at her door to report the death of one of her children . She has seen you coming across the yard. above the hedge of the front garden with the country flowers, which have been so immaculately hoed and raked, since weeding helps take her mind off the fate of her boys, she has recognized your hat. She has heard the gate creak. She would like her house to bean unassailable fortress, a thick shell. she sees you coming across the yard or up the garden path. She realizes that this time there is no blood on the lintel and side posts of her door, that the angel with the sword has not spared her house this time–all she does not yet know is which of her sons has fallen.

The reference to the Old Testament in this passage is beautiful. There is no Passover for the woman whose son is lost at war. She cannot strike branches of hyssop, dipped in lamb’s blood, against her door frame in the belief that the Angel of Death will pass over her home. How does one bear the ravages of war when there is so much agony?

While The Gods Were Sleeping is an important book, as almost all the books nominated for the IFFP are. One doesn’t “like” such a book; one is moved by it, and lives in it, and is grateful upon closing the last page that one’s life is peaceful.

At least for today.

Erwin MortierErwin Mortier (1965) made his mark in 1999 with his debut novel Marcel, which was awarded several prizes in Belgium and the Netherlands, and received acclaim throughout Europe. In the following years he quickly built up a reputation as one of the leading authors of his generation. his novel While the Gods Were Sleeping received the AKO literature Prize, one of the most prestigious awards in the Netherlands, and has been translated into five languages.

Paul Vincent taught Dutch at the University of London for over twenty years before becoming a full-time translator. In 2012 he was awarded the Vondel Translation Prize.

Find more reviews at roughghosts, and David’s Book World.

In The Beginning Was The Sea by Tomas Gonzalez

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There is an ominous, and delicious, aura of fear right from the start of this novel. You can instantly sense that things are going to go wrong, you just don’t know when, much like the feeling you get when watching an Alfred Hitchcock film.

Rather than being annoying, the obvious foreshadowing exacerbates the tension. Sentences like this, “Even later, after they had replaced the water tank and the pipe and there was running water in the bathroom, J. went on bathing in the crystalline stream until the end,” begin early on and continue throughout the novel.

J. and his girlfriend Elena have come to a remote finca (country estate) where they plan to live in the remote and beautiful environment of Colombia.  It takes four and a half hours by boat to arrive at their destination from the nearest town. Once they arrive, problem after problem slowly emerges.

Their house is filthy, and apart from the kitchen, basically unusable until Elena clears out the rubbish and scrubs its entirety. Their money, entrusted to J.’s unreliable relative, is gone when he declares bankruptcy. The wares for the store they set up arrive considerably short of what they’d ordered. And over all this potential disaster is the unremitting presence of alcohol, aguardiente, a distilled liquor made in South America from sugar cane.

Forced to consider cutting down the trees on his land for timber to sell, J. writes in his journal, “I’ll be forced to practice the Ancient Art of Axmanship, as the local poets call it. Make way for civilization, you puny fucking kapoks!” This defiance, even though he knows they are far from puny trees.

In the beginning was…it would only make sense, biblically, that the next thing to follow would be “be fruitful and multiply.” But this is the very thing that J. is unable to do. His cattle die, his timber falls, his relationship with Elena fails.  He has the opposite of the Midas touch for nothing turns to gold. Nothing prospers.

How ironic that the novel ends with a scene we encountered early on in the novel. It is the scene of a cemetery, perhaps the most peaceful place in all the book, the place that seemed the least sinister to J.

Based on the true story about the author’s brother, In the Beginning Was the Sea is the third book I have read for the IFFP this year. The writing is spare and elegant, bringing both time and place into bas relief. It is a novel I enjoyed very much and will think about for a long time.

Find another review at A Little Blog Of Books, Never Stop Reading and 1stReading’s Blog.

F: a novel by Daniel Kehlmann

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F is for finesse. F is for fake. F is for father who’s absent. F is for frantically running from the life you’ve made and F is for fraudulent. For nobody in this book is who he pretends to be.

Arthur is the father, who wants to be a writer, and suddenly leaves his three young sons after taking them to a hypnotist one evening. He claims hypnotism has no effect on him, but it seems to be one of the many lies the characters wrap themselves up within.

Martin, the eldest, becomes a fat priest who doesn’t believe God exists. He spends his time perfecting his skills with a Rubiks Cube as if the championship ahead is the most worthy goal of his life.

Ivan becomes an art forger with his lover, Heinrich.

And Eric, Ivan’s twin, becomes a financial consultant who completely mismanages the enormous funds of extremely wealthy clients. He lies to his clients, he lies to his wife, he lies to his daughter, his girlfriend and most significantly to himself. He cannot face what is his fault.

Their lives are a parody of what it means to be successful, which is something they each search for but cannot attain.

“Truth,” he (Ivan) said, “that’s all well and good. But sometimes none of it gets you anywhere. Always ask what people are expecting of you. Say what people say, do what people do. Ask yourself who exactly you’d like to be. Then ask yourself what that person you’d like to be would do. Then do it.”

This is wisdom for “getting somewhere”? It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad.

Finally, F is for fate. F is for the future. And perhaps for some of us, F is for faith.

 

Daniel KehlmannDaniel Kehlmann was born in Munich in 1975 and lives in Berlin and New York. His works have won the Candide prize, the Doderer prize, the Kleist Prize, the Welt Literature Prize, and the Thomas Mann Prize. Measuring the World was translated into more than forty languages and is one of the greatest successes in postwar German literature.

 

 

F a novel, is the second book I’ve read for the IFFP long list. Find other reviews from the Shadow Jury at 1stReading’s Blog, David’s Book World, Messengers Booker, and roughghosts.

The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck (A Spectacular Way to Begin the IFFP Long List)

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Several years ago, I was only able to read one book for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. It was The Detourby Gerbrand Bakker, and I was not surprised to find that it was named the winner in May, 2013. That is how I feel about The End of Days, a book which is written with such tender and insightful prose it nearly takes your breath.

This novel is many things. The fly-leaf says, “A novel of incredible breadth and amazing concision, and the winner of the prestigious Hans Fallada Prize, The End of Days offers a unique overview of the twentieth century by “one of the finest, most exciting authors alive” (Michel Faber). And while it certainly is a portrayal of Germany’s history from 1900 through the next hundred years, it is so much more.

None of the characters are named. They are simply the baby, the oldest daughter, the mother, the grandmother. Yet we are able to understand who is who as the characters are woven together through five books, in between which comes an Intermezzo.

Each of the five books supposes a different scenario with the female protagonist. (Done far more brilliantly than Kate Atkinson’s work in Life After Life.) First, there is the baby who dies an infant.  In Book II, the author imagines that the baby had lived and is now seventeen years old living in Vienna. In Book III, the girl is a woman in her thirties who has entered the Soviet Union and lives in Moscow. In Book IV, the woman is in her 60’s and living in Berlin. The novel ends with Book V, when the woman is 90 and visited by her son in the nursing home where she is cared for. Through each of these scenarios, we see the impact that history has made particularly on the Jewish people, the Germans, and the Russians. But the scope is much larger than that. We see the impact of life on humankind.

I could not stop highlighting certain passages:

  • The customs of man are like footholds carved into inhumanity, she thinks, something a person who’s been shipwrecked can clutch at to pull himself up, and nothing more.
  • For many years now she has known something that her daughter will soon be forced to learn: A day on which a life comes to an end is still far from being the end of days.
  • The end of a day on which a life has ended is still far from being the end of days.
  • Does it make a difference to someone who doesn’t know the truth whether the person is dead or just very far away?
  • On Wednesday, for the first time in her life, she met people who didn’t just grumble about how awful everything was, but instead clearheadedly investigated  why this machine known as progress kept undermining the well-being of mankind.

Jenny Erpenbeck was born in East Berlin in 1967. She is the author of several works of fiction, including The Book of Words (2007) and Visitation (2010), both translated by Susan Bernofsky and published by New Directions. The End of Days won the prestigious Hans Fallada Prize in 2014. Also an opera director, she currently lives in Berlin.

The End of Days is a book which I strongly suspect may win the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. It is a book which, in my opinon, must be read.

 

Find reviews from roughghosts here, 1st Reading’s Blog here, and Tony’s Reading List here.

Finally! The Long List for the IFFP 2015 is Here!

 

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I feel I have been waiting forever, at least as long as it takes for the latest Haruki Murakami book to come to the States, for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize long list to be revealed for 2015. The Shadow Jury, organized by Chairman Stu, has been holding its breath all day for this announcement, for we will be eagerly reading each book to determine which one we feel should be the winner.

The list is as follows:

bloodlines
Bloodlines by Marcello Fois  (translated from Italian)
Translated by Silvester Mazarella

Boyhood Island

Boyhood Island by Karl Ove Knausgaard (translated from Norwegian)
Translated by Don Bartlett

By Night The

By Night The Mountain Burns by Juan Tomas Avila Laurel (translated from Spanish)
Translated by Jethro Soutar

Colorless

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami (translated from Japanese)
Translated by Philip Gabriel

F
F by Philip Kellerman (translated from German)
Translated by Carol Brown Janeway

in-the-beginning-was-the-sea-cover
In The Beginning Was The Sea by Tomas Gonzalez (translated from Spanish)
Translated by Frank Wynne

look-who-s-back_mmp
Look Who’s Back by Vernes Timur (translated from German)
Translated by Jamie Bulloch

thedeadlake_jacket-image
The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov (translated from Russian)
Translated by Andrew Bromfield

end-of-days
The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck (translated from German)
Translated by Susan Bernofsky

the-giraffe-s-neck (1)
The Giraffe’s Neck by Judith Schalansky (translated from German)
Translated by Shaun Whiteside

The Investigation
The Investigation by J.M. Lee (translated from Korean)
Translated by Chi-Young Kim

The Last Lover
The Last Lover by Can Xue (translated from Chinese)
Translated by Annelise Finegan

The Ravens
The Ravens by Tomas Bannerhed (translated from Swedish)
Translated by Sarah Death

Tiger Milk
Tiger Milk by Stefanie De Velasco (translated from German)
Translated by Tim Mohr

While The Gods Were Sleeping
While The Gods Were Sleeping by Erwin Mortier (translated from Dutch)
Translated by Paul Vincent

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015 will honour the best work of fiction by a living author that has been translated into English from any other language and published in the United Kingdom in 2014.

The deadline for publishers to submit entries was Tuesday 16 September. The 2015 judging panel, which will be announced in due course, will select a longlist of approximately 15 titles, a shortlist of six and one winner. Uniquely, the Prize gives the winning author and translator equal status: each receives £5,000.

Stay up-to-date with the Prize on Twitter@Booktrust and #IFFP.

~Booktrust

The members of the Shadow Jury with whom I will be reading are listed on the sidebar of my blog. We will keep you informed as to our opinions of each title, and which we feel are the most significant. Off to my library now, to see which two books they have before I order the rest online.