The Man Booker International Prize Shortlist 2018

The Man Booker International Prize shortlist 2018 has been released and we can’t wait to get our hands on many of these books.

The Man Booker International Prize was originally a bi-annual prize awarded to authors writing in any language and belonging to any nation. Now, however, it is an annual literary award, meant only for work translated into English. It carries a hefty sum of £50,000 that is split equally between the author and the translator.

You can find the longlist here.


Vernon Subutex 1

Virginie Despentes, Frank Wynne (Tr.)

The first in a trilogy, this book tells the story of Vernon Subutex, the owner of a thriving, but infamous music shop, Revolver, located in Paris’ historical Bastille area. The age of the Internet causes his sales to slow down, leading him to ultimately shut shop, and end up on the streets. Just before his access to the Internet is cut off, he claims on Facebook that he has the last filmed recording of a recently deceased music star, Alex Bleach. This leads to a multitude of characters including porn stars and a lesbian investigator using their skills to track down the now missing Subutex.

Buy it here.


The White Book

Han Kang, Deborah Smith (Tr.)

The 2016 winner of The Man Booker International Prize for her work, The Vegetarian, Han Kang is in contention again this year for the hauntingly beautiful story of her sister who died merely a few hours after she was born. The colour white plays a significant role in the book, as Kang narrates her dead sister’s story through the white items relevant to a baby such as white swaddle cloths and breast milk. She ultimately ties in her reflections on the effects of strife and death. Kang was inspired by the war-torn city of Warsaw, where she wrote this book while on a writer’s retreat.

Buy it here.


The World Goes On

László Krasznahorkai, John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet & George Szirtes (Trs.)

Winner of the 2015 The Man Booker International Prize for his entire body of work, László Krasznahorkai has been long-listed this year for this collection of remarkable short stories. Unique in his style of writing, The World Goes On is introspective in some ways, and reflective in others. Traversing across India, China, and Ukraine amongst other countries, each story has the protagonist explore an emotion we usually don’t pay attention to.

Buy it here.


Like A Fading Shadow

Antonio Muñoz Molina, Camilo A. Ramirez (Tr.)

Molina’s obsession with James Earl Ray, Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassin is evident in this book. Beginning in Lisbon, Like A Fading Shadow is part-true crime and part-autobiography. Investigating Ray’s 10-day stint in Lisbon while on the run from the FBI, Molina recounts the minutest details of Ray’s journey, and at the same time recounts his own experiences in Portugal’s capital city. The book ends in Memphis, at the site of King’s assassination. Molina’s version of the story will make you feel you were next to Ray as he fired the deadly bullet which ended King’s life.

Buy it here.


Frankenstein in Baghdad

Ahmed Saadawi, Jonathan Wright (Tr.)

As a form of protest, Hadi collects corpses in U.S.-occupied Baghdad and stitches up the body parts to create a ‘human’. He wants the government to bury this ‘human’ with proper burial rites as a tribute to all the war victims. Eerily, the body disappears and an unstoppable ‘monster’ goes on a murdering spree across the city of Baghdad, targeting not only the guilty but also the innocent, and consuming their flesh. Saadwi’s work is full of horror and macabre humour, and isn’t for the faint-hearted.

Buy it here.



Olga Tokarczuk, Jennifer Croft (Tr.)

Tokarczuk combines two completely different topics like travel and human anatomy in this fascinating read; it is no wonder this book was long-listed for The Man Booker International Prize. Going back centuries, she tells stories of how the Achilles tendon was discovered when an anatomist drew pictures of his own amputated leg, and how the famous musician Chopin’s heart ‘travelled’ across continents. It also tells disturbing stories, set in the present, such as that of a woman having to travel to poison her ex-lover, and of parents whose children disappeared while on holiday, only to reappear mysteriously.

Buy it here.