International Booker prize announces longlist ‘tracing ring around the world’ | International Booker Prize

Tomb of Sand by Indian writer Geetanjali Shree has become the first book translated from Hindi to be nominated for the International Booker prize. The judges praised the “loud and irresistible” tale of an elderly woman who gains a new lease of life after her husband’s death.

The 64-year-old author’s fifth novel is among 13 titles in competition for the prestigious award for translated fiction, a £50,000 prize split evenly between author and translator. This year, the shortlisted authors and translators will also each receive £2,500, rather than the £1,000 they were given previously. The 2022 longlist includes books from 12 countries and translated from 11 languages.

Shree and her translator Daisy Rockwell are up against previous winner and Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk, whose epic novel The Books of Jacob has been called her “magnum opus”, and took Jennifer Croft seven years to translate. Marcel Theroux said in his Guardian review that this 900-page chronicle of an 18th-century Polish Jew who claimed to be the messiah “will be a landmark in the life of any reader with the appetite to tackle it”. Previous winners David Grossman and his translator Jessica Cohen have also made this year’s longlist for More Than I Love My Life, a multigenerational family novel described as “scrupulous” and “anguished” by Guardian reviewer Alex Clark.

Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung, translated by Anton Hur (Honford Star)

After The Sun by Jonas Eika, translated by Sherilyn NicolettennHellberg (Lolli)

A New Name:nSeptology VI-VII by Jon Fosse, translated by Damion Searls (Fitzcarraldo) 

More Than I LovenMy Life by DavidnGrossman, translated by Jessica Cohen (Jonathan Cape)

The Book ofnMother by ViolainenHuisman, translated by Leslie Camhi (Virago)

Heaven by MiekonKawakami, translated by Samuel Bett andnDavid Boyd (Picador)  

Paradais by FernandannMelchor, translated by Sophie Hughes (Fitzcarraldo)

Love in the BignCity by Sang YoungnPark, translated by Anton Hur (Tilted Axis) 

Happy Stories,nMostly by Norman EriksonnPasaribu, translated by Tiffany Tsao (Tilted Axis) 

Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro, translated by Frances Riddle (Charco) 

Phenotypes by Paulo Scott, translated by Daniel Hahn (And OthernStories)

Tomb of Sand by GeetanjalinnShree, translated by Daisy Rockwell (Tilted Axis)

The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft (Fitzcarraldo)

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The International Booker prize 2022 longlist

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Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung, translated by Anton Hur (Honford Star)

After The Sun by Jonas Eika, translated by Sherilyn Nicolette Hellberg (Lolli)

A New Name: Septology VI-VII by Jon Fosse, translated by Damion Searls (Fitzcarraldo)

More Than I Love My Life by David Grossman, translated by Jessica Cohen (Jonathan Cape)

The Book of Mother by Violaine Huisman, translated by Leslie Camhi (Virago)

Heaven by Mieko Kawakami, translated by Samuel Bett and David Boyd (Picador)

Paradais by Fernanda Melchor, translated by Sophie Hughes (Fitzcarraldo)

Love in the Big City by Sang Young Park, translated by Anton Hur (Tilted Axis)

Happy Stories, Mostly by Norman Erikson Pasaribu, translated by Tiffany Tsao (Tilted Axis)

Elena Knows by Claudia Piñeiro, translated by Frances Riddle (Charco)

Phenotypes by Paulo Scott, translated by Daniel Hahn (And Other Stories)

Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, translated by Daisy Rockwell (Tilted Axis)

The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft (Fitzcarraldo)

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Two more titles from Shree’s publishing house Tilted Axis have been selected: Happy Stories, Mostly by Norman Erikson Pasaribu and translator Tiffany Tsao, and Love in the Big City by Sang Young Park and translator Anton Hur. The small not-for-profit press mostly publishes Asian writers and was founded in 2015 by Deborah Smith, who translated the Man Booker International prize-winning The Vegetarian by Han Kang. The 2022 longlist, which as usual is dominated by titles from independent presses, is the first time Tilted Axis has had books selected by the prize.

Geetanjali Shree. Photograph: The International Booker Prize

The angst of teenage years is a common theme on the longlist: Tomb of Sand’s protagonist, Ma, looks back at her troubled adolescence, while Fernanda Melchor’s Paradais centers on two misfit teenage boys who plan a terrible crime and Heaven by Mieko Kawakami is narrated by a bullied 14-year-old. Family relations are also explored, from Grossman’s More Than I Love My Life, in which a strong-willed daughter returns to her family de ella, to Violaine Huisman’s tale of a daughter’s love for her de ella volatile “Maman”, The Book of Mother .

Chair of judges Frank Wynne said that “spending the past year in the company of some of the world’s great writers and their equally gifted translators has been a kind of heaven. From the intimate to the epic, the numinous to the profane, the books make up a passionately debated longlist that traces a ring around the world.”

He believes that the chosen books “explore the breadth and depth of human experience, and are a testament to the power of language and literature”.

Wynne, who is the first translator to head the prize’s judging panel, selected the longlist with four fellow judges: author and academic Merve Emre; writer and lawyer Petina Gappah; writer and comedian Viv Groskop and translator and author Jeremy Tiang.

The International Booker was founded in 2005 in order to complement the Booker prize for English-language fiction. Last year’s winner was At Night All Blood Is Black by French novelist David Diop, translated by Anna Moschovakis.

The six-book shortlist will be announced on 7 April, and the winner on 26 May.

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