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‘We are all afraid, we all fall in love’—International Booker Prize 2023 longlist revealed

Long-list revealed for The International Booker Prize 2023

There are 13 books from 12 countries on the long-list for this year’s International Booker Prize, including work translated from Catalan, Bulgarian and Tamil, and features an Irish translator for the second time.

Fiammetta Rocco, administrator for the prize said that through fable and myth, stories and sagas, the International Booker Prize proves that reading has no borders.

“The longlist…leaps from Mexico to Sweden, from Norway to South Korea, from China to Guadeloupe, from Côte d’Ivoire to Ukraine.”

Ninth Building, by Zou Jingzhi (Honford Star) is translated by Jeremy Tiang.

Reviewing the book in The Irish Times, Ronán Hession declared it a “fine book that stands with other quality works about the Cultural Revolution by writers such as Yan Lianke and Zhang Xianliang.”

“This is a memoir about purging the unwanted memories of a time when simply being there meant being implicated. And yet, in this limpid translation by Jeremy Tiang, there is an observational richness to the stories that humanises them and defeats the regime’s attempt to depersonalise lived experience.”

At 89 years old, Maryse Condé is the oldest writer to be long-listed. Having lost her sight, she dictated her novel The Gospel According to the New World to her husband and translator, Richard Philcox.

Touching on our shared humanity through literature, chair of judges Leïla Slimani said that we are all moved by the same things.

“We are all afraid, we all fall in love and we have the same emotions. And this is the point of translation, that all over the world we can understand an emotion.”

The longlist

Boulder by Eva Baltasar, translated from Catalan by Julia Sanches

Whale by Cheon Myeong-kwan, translated from Korean by Chi-Young Kim

The Gospel According to the New World by Maryse Condé, translated from French by Richard Philcox

Standing Heavy by GauZ’, translated from French by Frank Wynne

Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated from Bulgarian by Angela Rodel

Is Mother Dead by Vigdis Hjorth, translated from Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund

Jimi Hendrix Live in Lviv by Andrey Kurkov, translated from Russian by Rueben Woolley

The Birthday Party by Laurent Mauvignier, translated from French by Daniel Levin Becker

While We Were Dreaming by Clemens Meyer, translated from German by Katy Derbyshire

Pyre by Perumal Murugan, translated from Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan

Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated from Spanish by Rosalind Harvey

A System So Magnificent It Is Blinding by Amanda Svensson, translated from Swedish by Nichola Smalley

Ninth Building by Zou Jingzhi, translated from Chinese by Jeremy Tiang