Posted by: Lisa Hill | April 12, 2012

Shadow IFFP Shortlist

The official shortlist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize will be announced on Thursday, so here’s the shortlist from Stu of Winston’s Dad’s  ‘Shadow’ team.  The team consists of enthusiasts of books-in-translation and consists of Rob, Simon, GaryMark, fellow Aussie  Tony, and me, and we have picked our own six favourites from the longlist (though I have to confess that though I’ve read nine of the longlist I haven’t so far read all of these.  [Update May 12: I’ve now added links to my reviews of the others]. The Miles Franklin longlist is out now and I am busy reading those ahead of the shortlist).

This is the Shadow Shortlist:

  • From The Mouth Of The Whale by Sjon (from Icelandic; trans. Victoria Cribb) (Telegram), see my review
  • Next World Novella by Matthias Politycki (from German; trans. Anthea Bell) (Peirene), see my review
  • Parallel Stories by Peter Nadas (from Hungarian; trans. Imre Goldstein) (Jonathan Cape)
  • Scenes From Village Life by Amos Oz (from Hebrew; trans. Nicholas de Lange) (Chatto & Windus) (see my review)
  • Seven Houses In France by Bernardo Atxaga (from Spanish; trans. Margaret Jull Costa) (Harvill Secker) (see my review)
  • The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco (from Italian; trans. Richard Dixon) (Harvill Secker) (see my review)

Here’s our blurb (thanks, Mark Oops, sorry, that should be Rob!):

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist this year has once again shown us just how powerful and emotive translated fiction can be. The overall tone of this year’s Prize has been a dark and sombre one, with many of titles taking us back to reflect on the horrors of the past. As such the reading experience has been wholly affecting, and it has proven to be no easy task in reducing the longlist down to a final selection of six. Encapsulated in our final ‘Shadow’ shortlist selection is what we feel to be the cream of the crop of this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. These are the six titles which not only fully demonstrate the range and scope of this year’s Prize, but they also stand as a glowing example of what can be achieved when writer and translator form the perfect bond.

To read our combined reviews of the longlisted books, click here or on the logo at the top of this post, and select the post named Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2012 (Shadow Jury combined reviews).



  1. I like our list so much more than the “official” one! (and I ought to point out it is Rob’s blurb, not mine!)


    • Oops, sorry, have fixed that…


Please share your thoughts and join the conversation!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: