Posted by: Lisa Hill | March 16, 2017

2017 Man Booker International Prize Longlist

The Man Booker International Prize longlist was announced late last night Australian time, and I was very pleased to see that local publisher Text Publishing has released Australian editions of two of them so they are easy to get here.  They are the ones which I’ve reviewed…

The press release tells me that:

The prize is awarded every year for a single book, which is translated into English and published in the UK. Both novels and short-story collections are eligible. The work of translators is equally rewarded, with the £50,000 prize divided between the author and the translator of the winning entry. In addition, each shortlisted author and translator will receive £1,000 each. The judges considered 126 books.

The longlist names the author, nationality, the translator, the title and the original imprint.   You can follow the links to a summary at the MBIP website.

The press release also says:

The longlist was selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by Nick Barley, Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival, and consisting of: Daniel Hahn, an award-winning writer, editor and translator; Elif Shafak, a prize-winning novelist and one of the most widely read writers in Turkey; Chika Unigwe, author of four novels including On Black Sisters’ Street; and Helen Mort, a poet who has been shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Costa Prize, and has won a Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award five times.

The shortlist of six books will be announced on 20 April and the winner of the 2017 prize will be announced on 14 June at a formal dinner at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

Stu from Winston’s Dad will be chairing the Shadow Jury under the tag ‘Man Booker International 2017’ so if you want to keep up with reviews of this enticing list, that’s your starting point.


  1. Intersting that they list Alan Mabanckou as France – he’s actually from the Congo


    • Perhaps he’s got French citizenship? I know (because I track the origin of my authors that it’s a nightmare trying to establish national identity.
      I mean, what about me? I was born in England, but I’m an Australian citizen and have been for decades. But I still have a fondness for Britain, have a British passport (which I’ve never used, and probably never will because of Brexit) and (Aussie taxi drivers tell me) I sound like a Pom, even after all these years. I do lots of English cultural things like celebrations and eating cucumber sandwiches and I was raised on an English literary canon. I don’t do so many Australian cultural things like taking an interest in sport, enjoying BBQs or liking the sun. But I am staunchly Aussie when I travel and as you know from my blog, I’m an Ambassador for Oz Lit.
      But you only have to go back one generation to find ancestors from Ireland, Wales, France and (maybe) Belgium. I think I’m International, that’s what I think, but there isn’t a category (or a passport) for that!


      • I wrestle with this for my world literature project and similarly about Welsh authors. Like Roald Dahl was born in Wales and did early schooling here but all his adult life was spent in England. So yes he is Welsh by birth and I therefore counted him. But what do I do about an author born in England who has lived most of their writing life in Wales….


        • Well, I claim them both ways and more, born here, brought up here, migrated here, stayed here for a good long while and/or took up- Oz citizenship.
          This topic merited quite a few pages in the Very Short Introductions for both France and Germany, because the borders (especially for Germany) have moved, there were places that were part of an empire and then not, there are places where that language is/was the national language and so on, e.g is Vanuatu Lit French Lit because they speak French?
          I’ve taken the view that I’m not going to be precious about it. I do my best, and I invite people to set me straight if they think I’m wrong. If they identify themselves as whatever, then I go along with that because it’s their business, not mine. But that doesn’t solve the issue for people like me who both/neither!

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Well as usual I haven’t read any on the list. Nice to see the range of publishers there and some of the smaller names too.


    • Yes, it’s good to see them there, but I’m actually more excited by seeing the Big Ones finally getting their act together and publishing TF as well.


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