Published on Submitted by marko on Tue, 10/05/2016 - 17:28
The Man Booker International Prize 2016 Longlist Announced
- The list includes two Nobel Prize winners and two debut authors
- Longlisted books from 12 countries, nine languages, from the furthest reaches of Africa, Asia and Europe
- Two previous finalists for the Man Booker International Prize, two Independent Foreign Fiction Prize winners
The Man Booker International Prize has today, Thursday 10 March, revealed the ‘Man Booker Dozen’ of 13 books in contention for the 2016 Prize, celebrating the finest in global fiction.
This is the first longlist ever to have been announced for the Man Booker International Prize, which has joined forces with the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and is now awarded annually on the basis of a single book. The £50,000 prize will be divided equally between the author of the winning book and its translator. The judges considered 155 books.
The full 2016 longlist is as follows:
Author (nationality) Translator Title (imprint)
José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola) Daniel Hahn, A General Theory of Oblivion (Harvill Secker)
Elena Ferrante (Italy) Ann Goldstein, The Story of the Lost Child (Europa Editions)
Han Kang (South Korea) Deborah Smith, The Vegetarian (Portobello Books)
Maylis de Kerangal (France) Jessica Moore, Mend the Living (Maclehose Press)
Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia) Labodalih Sembiring, Man Tiger (Verso Books)
Yan Lianke (China) Carlos Rojas, The Four Books (Chatto & Windus)
Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo/Austria) Roland Glasser, Tram 83 (Jacaranda)
Raduan Nassar (Brazil) Stefan Tobler, A Cup of Rage (Penguin Modern Classics)
Marie NDiaye (France) Jordan Stump, Ladivine (Maclehose Press)
Kenzaburō Ōe (Japan) Deborah Boliver Boehm, Death by Water (Atlantic Books)
Aki Ollikainen (Finland) Emily Jeremiah & Fleur Jeremiah, White Hunger (Peirene Press)
Orhan Pamuk (Turkey) Ekin Oklap, A Strangeness in My Mind (Faber & Faber)
Robert Seethaler (Austria) Charlotte Collins, A Whole Life (Picador)
The longlist was selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by Boyd Tonkin, senior writer on The Independent, and consisting of: anthropologist and novelist Tahmima Anam; academic David Bellos, Professor of French and Comparative Literature and Director of the Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication at Princeton University; editor and academic Daniel Medin, who holds a comparative literature professorship at the American University of Paris (AUP); and prize-winning British poet and author Ruth Padel.
Boyd Tonkin, chair of the 2016 Man Booker International Prize judging panel, comments:
'For the first longlist in its new form, the Man Booker International Prize invites readers to share a thrilling journey of discovery across the finest fiction in translation. The 13 books that the judges have chosen not only feature superb writing from Brazil to Indonesia, from Finland to South Korea, from Angola to Italy. Our selection highlights the sheer diversity of great fiction today. From intense episodes of passion to miniature historical epics; from eerie fables of family strife to character-driven chronicles of urban life, this list showcases fiction that crosses every border. It also pays tribute to the skill and dedication of the first-rate translators who convey it to English-language readers. Please join us on this fantastic voyage.'
The judges will announce a shortlist of six books on 14 April with each author and translator receiving £1,000. The winner of the 2016 Prize will be announced on 16 May at a formal dinner at the V & A, with the £50,000 prize being divided equally between the author and the translator of the winning entry. The prize is sponsored by Man Group, one of the world’s largest independent alternative investment managers, which also sponsors the Man Booker Prize for Fiction. Both prizes strive to recognise and reward the finest in contemporary literature.
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Notes to Editors:
The Administrator of the Man Booker International Prize is Fiammetta Rocco – Books and Arts Editor of The Economist. The Literary Director of the Booker Prize Foundation is Gaby Wood, who succeeded Ion Trewin after his death in April 2015
Books under consideration have been published in English in translation by UK publishers between 1 January 2015 and 30 April 2016. This will become an annual process, with the eligible period of publication in subsequent years being from 1 May until 30 April the following year
There is no restriction on the number of submissions per publisher but this will be kept under review and may change in future years
Four Colman Getty handles PR and event management for the prize and provides all events and administrative back-up
The Man Booker International Prize website includes detailed information about all aspects of the prize and runs regular news bulletins: www.themanbookerprize.com
The Booker Prize Foundation Advisory Committee, which advises on any changes to the rules and on the selection of the judges, represents all aspects of the book world. Its members are: Richard Cable – publisher, Random House; Mark Chilton – Company Secretary and General Counsel of Booker Group plc; Jonty Claypole – Head of Arts, BBC; James Daunt – Managing Director of Waterstones; Jonathan Douglas – Director of the National Literacy Trust; Maggie Fergusson – writer and Secretary of the Royal Society of Literature; Derek Johns – Author & Literary Agent; Peter Kemp – Chief Fiction Reviewer, The Sunday Times; Nigel Newton – publisher, Bloomsbury; Fiammetta Rocco – Books and Arts Editor, The Economist (Man Booker International Prize Administrator); Rosanna Konarzewski – Global Head of Communications and Marketing, Man Group; Eve Smith – Secretary, the Booker Prize Foundation; Robert Topping – Topping & Company Booksellers
The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity (no 1090049) established in 2002, since when it has been responsible for the award of the Man Booker Prize for Fiction, and for the Man Booker International Prize since its inauguration in 2005. The trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation are: Baroness Kennedy QC – Chair, former Chair of the British Council and Principal of Mansfield College, Oxford; Lord Baker of Dorking CH; Bidisha – writer, critic and broadcaster; Victoria Glendinning CBE – biographer; James Naughtie – broadcaster; Christopher Pearce – former Finance Director of Rentokil plc; Professor Louise Richardson – Vice Chancellor of the University of Oxford; Ben Okri – writer and former Man Booker Prize winner. Jonathan Taylor CBE is President of the Foundation and Baroness Nicholson of Winterbourne, Sir Ronald Harwood and Baroness Neuberger are Vice Presidents
Man Group has sponsored the Man Booker Prize since 2002. A leading alternative investment management firm founded in 1783, Man Group was recognised as a partner who mirrored the quality, integrity and longevity of the Booker Prize. The prize underscores Man Group's charitable focus on literacy and education as well as the firm’s commitment to excellence and entrepreneurship. Together with the wider charitable activities of the Booker Prize Foundation, the prize plays a very important role in promoting literary excellence on a global scale that the firm is honoured to support
Man Group is one of the world’s largest independent alternative investment managers, and a leader in liquid investment strategies. Across its four investment managers (Man AHL, Man FRM, Man GLG and Man Numeric), Man Group has diverse hedge fund strategies and long only products spanning equity, credit, managed futures, convertibles, emerging markets and multi-manager solutions. At 31 December 2015, Man Group’s funds under management were $78.7 billion. The original business was founded in 1783. Today, Man Group plc is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the ticker EMG.L and is a constituent of the FTSE 250 Index. Man Group supports many awards, charities and initiatives around the world, including sponsorship of the Man Booker literary prizes. Further information can be found at www.man.com
Booker is the UK's leading food wholesaler with over 170 branches nationwide. It serves over 350,000 independent businesses
The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize joined forces with the Man Booker International Prize in 2015. Last year’s winner of the IFFP was The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from German by Susan Bernofsy and published by Portobello Books. The IFFP was launched in 1990 and ran until 1995. The Prize was revived with the support of Arts Council England in 2001 and was managed by reading charity Book Trust until 2005. The £10,000 prize money and associated costs were supported using public funding by Arts Council England, and the Prize was also supported by The Independent and Champagne Taittinger
The Longlist for the 2016 Man Booker International Prize:
Book synopses and biographies
A General Theory of Oblivion
José Eduardo Agualusa
Translated by Daniel Hahn
Published by Harvill Secker
A General Theory of Oblivion is a wild patchwork of a novel that tells the story of Angola through Ludo, a woman who bricks herself into her apartment on the eve of Angolan independence. For the next 30 years she lives off vegetables and pigeons, and burns her furniture to stay warm. But the outside world seeps in, through snippets on the radio, voices from next door, glimpses of a man fleeing his pursuers and a note attached to a bird’s foot. Until one day she meets Sabalu, a young boy from the street who climbs up to her terrace. With the author’s trademark playfulness, humour and warmth, A General Theory of Oblivion is a dazzling novel of human drama and the thrills, hopes and dangers of radical change.
José Eduardo Agualusa was born in Huambo, Angola, in 1960, and is one of the leading literary voices in Angola and the Portuguese-speaking world. His novel Creole was awarded the Portuguese Grand Prize for Literature, and The Book of Chameleons won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2007. Agualusa lives between Portugal, Angola and Brazil.
Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator, with over 30 books to his name. His translations from Portuguese, Spanish and French include fiction from Europe, Africa and the Americas, and non-fiction by writers ranging from Portuguese Nobel laureate José Saramago to Brazilian footballer Pelé. A former chair of the Translators Association, he is now national programme director of the British Centre for Literary Translation. He is currently writing the new Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature.
The Story of the Lost Child
Translated by Ann Goldstein
Published by Europa Editions UK
The fourth and final instalment of the Neapolitan Novels series, The Story of the Lost Child is the dazzling saga of the friendship between two women: brilliant, bookish Elena and fiery, uncontainable Lila. Both women fought to escape the neighbourhood in which they grew up: a prison of conformity, violence, and inviolable taboos. Having moved to Florence, started a family, and published several well-received books, Elena returns to be with the man she has always loved. Lila, on the other hand, never succeeded in freeing herself from Naples. Her entrepreneurial success draws her into closer proximity to the nepotism, chauvinism, and criminal violence that infect her neighbourhood; she becomes the unacknowledged leader of the world she has always rejected. Against the backdrop of a Naples that is as seductive as it is perilous and a world undergoing epochal change, this story of a lifelong friendship is told with unmatched honesty.
Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. This is all we know about her. True to her belief that “books, once they are written, have no need of their authors”, Ferrante has stayed resolutely out of public view. She is the author of The Days of Abandonment, Troubling Love, and The Lost Daughter. Her Neapolitan novels include My Brilliant Friend, The Story of a New Name, Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay, and The Story of the Lost Child. She is also the author of Frantumaglia, a collection of writings on reading, writing and absence, to be published in November 2016.
Ann Goldstein is an editor at The New Yorker. She has translated works by, among others, Elena Ferrante, Pier Paolo Pasolini, Alessandro Baricco, and Alessandro Piperno. She is the editor of the Complete Works of Primo Levi in English. She has been the recipient of several prizes including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the PEN Renato Poggioli Prize, an award from the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and an award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Translated by Deborah Smith
Published by Portobello Books
Yeong-hye and her husband are ordinary people. He is an office worker with moderate ambitions and mild manners; she is an uninspired but dutiful wife. The acceptable flatline of their marriage is interrupted when Yeong-hye, seeking a more ‘plant-like’ existence, commits a shocking act of subversion. As her rebellion manifests in ever more bizarre and frightening forms, Yeong-hye spirals further and further into her fantasies of abandoning her fleshly prison and becoming – impossibly, ecstatically – a tree. Fraught, disturbing, and beautiful, The Vegetarian is a novel about modern day South Korea, but also a novel about shame, desire, and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another.
Han Kang was born in Gwangju, South Korea, and moved to Seoul at the age of ten. She studied Korean literature at Yonsei University. Her writing has won the Yi Sang Literary Prize, the Today's Young Artist Award, and the Korean Literature Novel Award. The Vegetarian, her first novel to be translated into English, was published by Portobello Books in 2015. Human Acts was published by Portobello books in 2016. She currently teaches creative writing at the Seoul Institute of the Arts.
Deborah Smith was monolingual until the age of 21. Deciding to become a translator upon finishing her degree in English Literature, with no previous experience in this field, she chose to pursue Korean due to a lack of English-Korean translators and moved to Korea to realise this dream. Her translations from Korean include Han Kang’s The Vegetarian and Human Acts, and Bae Suah’s The Essayist’s Desk and The Low Hills of Seoul. She recently founded Tilted Axis Press, a not-for-profit publishing house focusing on translations from Asia and Africa. She tweets as @londonkoreanist
Mend the Living
Maylis de Kerangal
Translated by Jessica Moore
Published by Maclehose Press
Early one blustery day near Le Havre, three teenagers head down to the sea together to go surfing. They are old friends: Chris, Johan and Simon. But life will never be the same again. A terrible accident rips them apart, and while Chris and Johan escape with only a few broken bones, Simon ends up in a coma and on life-support. Meanwhile, in Paris, Claire Mejan is desperately waiting for a heart transplant. Suffering from myocarditis, a transplant offers her the only chance for survival. As Simon’s parents face a heart-breaking decision, Simon and Claire’s lives will be fatefully joined.
Maylis de Kerangal is the author of several novels and short stories. Her novel Naissance d’un Pont, translated as Birth of a Bridge, won both the Prix Franz Hessel and Prix Médicis in 2010. Mend the Living was published in French in 2014 and won the Grand Prix RTL-Lire award and the Student Choice Novel of the Year from France Culture and Télèrama. She lives in Paris.
Jessica Moore is an author and translator. Her book of poems, Everything, now, is partly a conversation with her translation of Turkana Boy by Jean-François Beauchemin, for which she won a PEN America Translation Award. Jessica’s translation of Birth of a Bridge by Maylis de Kerangal has received widespread praise. She lives in Montreal. www.jessicamoore.ca
Translated by Labodalih Sembiring
Published by Verso Books
A wry, affecting tale set in a small town on the Indonesian coast, Man Tiger tells the story of two interlinked and tormented families, and of Margio, a young man ordinary in all particulars except that he conceals within himself a supernatural female white tiger. The inequities and betrayals of family life coalesce around and torment this magical being. An explosive act of violence follows, and its mysterious cause is unravelled as events progress toward a heart-breaking revelation.
Eka Kurniawan is the author of two novels, two collections of short stories, and a critical appreciation of Pramoedya Ananta Toer. He has also written movie scripts and a graphic novel. He studied philosophy at Gadjah Mada University, Yogyakarta, and lives in Jakarta.
Labodalih Sembiring was born in Binjai, Indonesia, in 1983. He studied English Literature before embarking upon a career as a features journalist, travel blogger, and translator. Today he manages a tiny garden while helping to raise public awareness about the importance of eating organic foods.
The Four Books
Translated by Carlos Rojas
Published by Vintage, Chatto & Windus
In the ninety-ninth district of a sprawling labour camp, the Author, Musician, Scholar, Theologian and Technician are undergoing Re-education, to restore their revolutionary zeal and credentials. In charge of this process is the Child, who delights in draconian rules, monitoring behaviour and confiscating treasured books. The inmates – and hundreds of intellectuals just like them - must meet challenges set by the higher-ups: to grow an ever-spiralling amount of wheat, and to smelt vast quantities of steel. The stakes are high: they can win their freedom if they are awarded enough of the small red blossoms. Medium red blossoms and pentagonal stars are given out for effort, obedience, and informing on others. But when bad weather arrives, followed by the ‘three bitter years’ of The Great Famine, the intellectuals are abandoned by the regime and left on their own to survive. Divided into four narratives, echoing the texts of Confucianism and the four Gospels of the New Testament, The Four Books tells the story of one of China’s most controversial periods. It shows us the power of camaraderie, love and faith against oppression and the darkest odds.
Yan Lianke was born in 1958 in Henan Province, China. He is the author of numerous novels and short-story collections, including Serve the People!, Dream of Ding Village and Lenin's Kisses. The winner of multiple literary awards in China, including the Lao She, Lu Xun and Hua Zhong World Chinese Literature Prize, he was also awarded the Franz Kafka Prize in 2014, and has been previously shortlisted for both the Man Booker International Prize and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. He currently lives and writes in Beijing.
Carlos Rojas is the author of The Naked Gaze: Reflections on Chinese Modernity, The Great Wall: A Cultural History, and Homesickness: Culture, Contagions, and National Reform in Modern China, which looks at Chinese discourses of corporeality and infection over the long 20th century. He is the co-editor, with David Der-wei Wang, of Writing Taiwan: A New Literary History, with Eileen Cheng-yin Chow, of both Rethinking Chinese Popular Culture: Cannibalizations of the Canon and the The Oxford Handbook of Chinese Cinemas, and, with Andrea Bachner, of The Oxford Handbook of Modern Chinese Literatures. He also co-translated, again with Eileen Chow, Yu Hua’s two-volume novel Brothers, and is the translator of Yan Lianke’s novels Lenin's Kisses and The Four Books. He teaches on a variety of topics ranging from prostitutes and vampires to cities, migration, and disease.
Fiston Mwanza Mujila
Translated by Roland Glasser
Published by Jacaranda Books Art Music Ltd
In a war-torn African city-state tourists of all languages and nationalities converge with students, ex-pats and locals. They have only one desire: to make a fortune by exploiting the mineral wealth of the country, both mineral and human. As soon as night falls, they go out to get drunk, dance, eat and abandon themselves in Tram 83, the only night-club of the city, the den of all iniquities.
Lucien, a professional writer, fleeing the exactions and the censorship, of the Back-Country, finds refuge in the city thanks to Requiem, a friend. Requiem lives mainly on theft and on swindle while Lucien only thinks of writing and living honestly. Around them gravitate gangsters and young girls, retired or runaway men, profit-seeking tourists and federal agents of a non-existent State.
Tram 83 plunges the reader into the atmosphere of a gold rush as cynical as it is comic and colourfully exotic. It's an observation of human relationships in a world that has become a global village, an African-rhapsody novel hammered by rhythms of jazz.
Born in Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo in 1981, Fiston Mwanza Mujila lives in Graz, Austria. He regularly participates in literary activities. His writing has been awarded with numerous prizes, among which are the Golden Medal in the sixth Games of the Francophony in Beirut, as well as the Best Text for Theater (Preizfür das beste Stück, State Theater, Mainz). He writes his short stories, novels, poems and essays in French, his mother tongue, and in German, his adopted language. As a child he dreamed of becoming a saxophonist playing jazz. ‘But there was no saxophone, so the jazz rhythm is now added to my poems. I write like a jazz musician.’ He writes about the chaos, the civil wars, the 32-year dictatorship of Mobutu Sese Seko, which have been undermining his home country since its independence in 1960 from Belgium. Tram 83 is his first novel.
Roland Glasser studied theatre, cinema and art history in the UK and France, and has published over 25 translations from French (fiction, art, travel, and trade non-fiction). His co-translation, with Louise Rogers Lalaurie, of Anne Cuneo’s historical novel Tregian’s Ground was published by And Other Stories in Spring 2015, and his translation of Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s Tram 83 appeared in September 2015, courtesy of Deep Vellum (Dallas), Jacaranda (London), and Scribe (Melbourne). He is a French Voices and PEN Translates Award winner, and serves on the committee of the UK Translators Association. Having lived in Paris for many years, he is currently based in London.
A Cup of Rage
Translated by Stefan Tobler
Published by Penguin Modern Classics
A pair of lovers - a young female journalist and an older man who owns an isolated farm in the Brazilian outback - spend the night together. The next day they proceed to destroy each other. Amid vitriolic insults, cruelty and warring egos, their sexual adventure turns into a savage power game. This intense, erotic cult novel by one of Brazil's most infamous modernist writers explores alienation, the desire to dominate and the wish to be dominated.
Raduan Nassar was born in 1935 to a Lebanese immigrant family in the interior of the state of São Paulo. After a time in São Paulo itself and the publication of two highly acclaimed works, he retired to the rural interior and now divides his time between the city and the countryside. After publishing his select body of work he has become an acclaimed cult figure because his work merits the highest praise and, although he is not secretive like Thomas Pynchon or J. D. Salinger, he is rarely sighted.
Stefan Tobler is the publisher at And Other Stories, a young publishing house whose titles include the Man Booker Prize-shortlisted Swimming Home by Deborah Levy and much literature in translation. He is a literary translator from Portuguese and German. Recent translations include the 2015 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize-shortlisted Água Viva by Clarice Lispector, All Dogs are Blue by Rodrigo de Souza Leão and the poetry collection Silence River by Antônio Moura. He is on Twitter @stefantobler.
Translated by Jordan Stump
Published by Maclehose Press
Clarisse Rivière’s life is shaped by a refusal to admit to her husband Richard and to her daughter Ladivine that her mother is a poor black housekeeper. Instead, weighed down by guilt, she pretends to be an orphan, visiting her mother in secret and telling no-one of her real identity as Malinka, daughter of Ladivine Sylla. In time, her lies turn against her. Richard leaves Clarisse, frustrated by the unbridgeable, indecipherable gulf between them. Clarisse is devastated, but finds solace in a new man, Freddy Moliger, who is let into the secret about her mother, and is even introduced to her. But Ladivine, her daughter, who is now married herself, cannot shake a bad feeling about her mother’s new lover, convinced that he can bring only chaos and pain into her life. When she is proved right, in the most tragic circumstances, the only comfort the family can turn to requires a leap of faith beyond any they could have imagined if it is to be embraced. Centred around three generations of women, whose seemingly cursed lineage is defined by the weight of origins, the pain of alienation and the legacy of shame, Ladivine is a bewildering, beguiling story of secrets, lies, guilt and forgiveness by one of Europe's most unique literary voices.
Marie NDiaye was born in France in 1967. She published her first novel at 17, and has won the Prix Femina for Rosie Carpe in 2001 and the Prix Goncourt for Three Strong Women in 2009. Her play Papa Doit Manger has been taken into the repertoire of the Comédie Française. In 2007, after the election of Nicolas Sarkozy, NDiaye left France with her family to live in Berlin. She was a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize in 2013.
Jordan Stump has translated many authors from French including Marie Redonnet, Eric Chevillard, and Honoré de Balzac. His translation of Jardin des Plantes by Claude Simon won the 2001 French-American Foundation translation prize, and he was named a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Artes et des Lettres in 2006.
Death by Water
Translated by Deborah Boliver Boehm
Published by Atlantic Books
For the first time in his long life, Nobel laureate Kogito Choko is suffering from writer's block. The book that he wishes to write would examine the turbulent relationship he had with his father, and the guilt he feels about being absent the night his father drowned in a storm-swollen river. But how to write about a man he never really knew? When his estranged sister unexpectedly calls, she offers Choko a remedy – she has in her possession an old and mysterious red trunk, the contents of which promise to unlock the many secrets of the man who disappeared from their lives decades before.
Kenzaburō Ōe is considered one of Japan's leading post-war writers, and has won almost every major international honour including the 1989 Prix Europalia and the 1994 Nobel Prize for Literature. He lives in Tokyo.
Deborah Boliver Boehm lost herself in Zen as an exchange student travelling Japan in the 1960s, and recorded her experience in A Zen Romance: Once Woman’s Adventure in a Monastery. She has also written a collection of modern retellings of Japanese folklore in Ghost of a Smile: Stories. Along with her writing, Deborah has translated Akimitsu Takagi’s The Tattoo Murder Case and The Changeling by Kenzaburō Ōe.
Translated by Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah
Published by Peirene Press
1867: a year of devastating famine in Finland. Marja, a farmer’s wife from the north, sets off on foot through the snow with her two young children. Their goal: St Petersburg, where people say there is bread. Others are also heading south, just as desperate to survive. Ruuni, a boy she meets, seems trustworthy. But can anyone really help? This extraordinary Finnish novella questions what it takes to survive.
Aki Ollikainen, born in 1973, took the Finnish literary scene by storm with his extraordinarily accomplished debut novel White Hunger, which has won the most prestigious literary prizes in Finland. A professional photographer and reporter for a local newspaper, Ollikainen lives in Kolari in northern Finland.
Emily Jeremiah and Fleur Jeremiah form a multilingual mother-and-daughter translation team. Emily has an MA in Creative Writing and a PhD in German Studies. Fleur, her mother, is Finnish and has translated both fiction and non-fiction for many years. Emily and Fleur have co-translated work by numerous Finnish poets and novelists. They are also the translators of two previous Peirene titles: The Brothers by Asko Sahlberg and Mr Darwin's Gardener by Kristina Carlson.
A Strangeness in my Mind
Translated by Ekin Oklap
Published by Faber & Faber
A Strangeness in My Mind is the story of boza seller Mevlut, the woman to whom he wrote three years' worth of love letters, and their life in Istanbul. In the four decades between 1969 and 2012, Mevlut works a number of different jobs on the streets of Istanbul, from selling yoghurt and cooked rice to guarding a car park. He observes many different kinds of people thronging the streets, he watches most of the city get demolished and re-built, and he sees migrants from Anatolia making a fortune; at the same time, he witnesses all of the transformative moments, political clashes, and military coups that shape the country. He always wonders what it is that separates him from everyone else - the source of that strangeness in his mind. But he never stops selling boza during winter evenings and trying to understand who his beloved really is. What matters more in love: what we wish for, or what our fate has in store? Do our choices dictate whether we will be happy or not, or are these things determined by forces beyond our control? A Strangeness In My Mind explores these questions while portraying the tensions between urban life and family life, and the fury and helplessness of women inside their homes.
Orhan Pamuk is the author of many celebrated books, including The White Castle, Black Book, Istanbul and Snow. In 2003, he won the International IMPAC Award for My Name is Red, and in 2006 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. His most recent novel, The Museum of Innocence, was an international bestseller, praised in the Guardian as 'an enthralling, immensely enjoyable piece of storytelling.' Orhan Pamuk’s work has been translated into over 60 languages. In spring 2012, his Museum of Innocence opened in Istanbul, where he lives.
Ekin Oklap was born in Izmir, Turkey, and grew up in Italy. She is a graduate of the University of Cambridge and the School of Oriental and African Studies. In 2012, she translated Orhan Pamuk's The Innocence of Objects. She lives in London, where she works as a literary agent.
A Whole Life
Translated by Charlotte Collins
Published by Pan Macmillan, Picador
Andreas lives his whole life in the Austrian Alps, where he arrives as a young boy taken in by a farming family. He is a man of very few words and so, when he falls in love with Marie, he doesn't ask for her hand in marriage but instead has some of his friends light her name at dusk across the mountain. When Marie dies in an avalanche, pregnant with their first child, Andreas's heart is broken. He leaves his valley just once more, to fight in WWII - where he is taken prisoner in the Caucasus - and returns to find that modernity has reached his remote haven. Like John Williams' Stoner or Denis Johnson's Train Dreams, A Whole Life is a tender book about finding dignity and beauty in solitude. It looks at the moments, big and small, that make us what we are.
Robert Seethaler is an Austrian living in Berlin and is the author of four previous novels. He also works as an actor, most recently in Paulo Sorrentino’s La Grande Bellezza.
Charlotte Collins studied English at Cambridge University. She worked as an actor and radio journalist in both Germany and the UK before becoming a literary translator, and has also translated Robert Seethaler's novel The Tobacconist.
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