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The International Booker Prize Backlist

2020 International Booker Prize

The International Booker Prize is awarded annually for a single book, translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. The vital work of translators is celebrated, with the prize money divided equally between the author and translator.

Key Dates

  1. Longlist

  2. Shortlist

  3. Winner

  4. 07.01.20

The 2020 winner is The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (Dutch-Netherlands), translated by Michele Hutchison, published by Faber & Faber.


The 2020 shortlist is:

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar (Farsi-Iran), translated by Anonymous, published by Europa Editions. 

The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara (Spanish-Argentina), translated by Iona Macintyre and Fiona Mackintosh, published by Charco Press. 


Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann (Germany-German), translated by Ross Benjamin, published by Quercus. 

Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor (Spanish-Mexico), translated by Sophie Hughes, Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (Japanese-Japan), translated by Stephen Snyder, published by Harvill Secker

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (Dutch-Netherlands), translated by Michele Hutchison, published by Faber & Faber

During 2020, in line with bookshops reopening in England, The Booker Prizes celebrated the International Booker Prize shortlist by featuring one shortlisted book a week on social media, culminating in a watch party ever Thursday, livestreamed on Facebook and YouTube. You can watch exclusive interviews with the authors and extracts from the books read in their original language, and find out what inspired their writing. In keeping with the prize as a celebration of the art of translation, we also heard from the translators themselves about the process of recreating these fictional worlds so we can also enjoy these works in English.

Each week, we gave one lucky reader the chance to win a set of the shortlisted books. Competition terms and conditions can be found here

Follow us @TheBookerPrizes on TwitterFacebook and Instagram to keep up to date.

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree watch party

Featuring an exclusive interview with Shokoofeh and judge Lucie Campos along with appearances from Amir Wilson (His Dark Materials) and Elizabeth McGovern (Downtown Abbey) who reads on behalf of the anonymous translator.

The Adventures of China Iron watch party

Hear an exclusive interview with author Gabriela Cabezon Camara and translators Iona Macintyre and Fiona Mackintosh, judge Jennifer Croft as well as a special reading from the novel with actor Natalie Haynes.

Tyll watch party

Hear exclusively from author Daniel Kehlmann and translator Ross Benjamin, as well as exclusive readings from Amir Wilson and Toby Jones.

Hurricane Season watch party

Listen to actor Toby Jones read from the book along with exclusive interviews with author Fernanda Melchor and translator Sophie Hughes.   We also hear from chair of judges Ted Hodgkinson, about why this book made the shortlist.

The Memory Police watch party.

Watch actor Elizabeth McGovern read from the book along with exclusive interviews with author Yoko Ogawa and translator Stephen Snyder. Ted Hodgkinson, chair of the judges, also talks about why this book made the shortlist.

The Discomfort of Evening watch party

Watch actor Natalie Haynes read from the book along with exclusive interviews with author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and translator Michele Hutchinson. Judge Valeria Luiselli tells us why this book made the shortlist.

The Winner

The Discomfort of Evening

Marieke Lucas Rijneveld
Translated by Michele Hutchison from Dutch

Published by Faber & Faber
Jas lives with her devout farming family in the rural Netherlands. One winter’s day, her older brother joins an ice skating trip. Resentful at being left alone, she makes a perverse plea to God; he never returns. As grief overwhelms the farm, Jas succumbs to a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies, watching her family disintegrate into a darkness that threatens to derail them all.
A bestselling sensation in the Netherlands by a prize-winning young poet, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s debut novel lays everything bare. It is a world of language unlike any other, which Michele Hutchison’s striking translation captures in all its wild, violent beauty.


Actor Natalie Haynes reads from The Discomfort of Evening.


Author Marieke Lucas Rijneveld reads from The Discomfort of Evening and discusses the book's themes.


We speak to translator Michele Hutchison about The Discomfort of Evening.

The Shortlist

The Longlist

The 2020 Judges