2024 International Booker Prize unveils 6 finalists for $86K prize, jury chaired by Eleanor Wachtel

International Booker Prize. Image credit: Facebook page

Toronto/CMEDIA: Six titles reportedly from around the world including Brazil, the Netherlands, Germany and Korea, have been shortlisted for the 2024 International Booker Prize.

Celebrating the best works of fiction from around the world that have been translated into English and published in the U.K. or Ireland, the annual international grand award of £50,000 ($86,122.23 Cdn) is divided equally between writer and translator.

Having been set up to boost the profile of fiction in other languages, accounting for only a small share of books published in Britain, the prize lauds the underappreciated work of literary translators.

Although the longlist was made in previous years by authors Hwang Sok-yong and Jenny Erpenbeck and translator Sora Kim-Russell, this is their first time advancing to the shortlist.

The complete 6-book shortlist is:

1 Not a River by Selva Almada, translated from Spanish by Annie McDermott  
2 Kairos by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from German by Michael Hofmann  
3 The Details by Ia Genberg, translated from Swedish by Kira Josefsson
4 Mater 2-10 by Hwang Sok-yong, translated from Korean by Sora Kim-Russell and Youngjae Josephine Bae  

5. What I’d Rather Not Think About by Jente Posthuma, translated from Dutch by Sarah Timmer Harvey  
6. Crooked Plow by Itamar Vieira Junior, translated from Portuguese by Johnny Lorenz  

Included in this year’s judging panel for the six shortlisted books, is chaired by esteemed writer and broadcaster Eleanor Wachtel.

Joininh Wachtel are award-winning poet Natalie Diaz; Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Romesh Gunesekera;  ground-breaking visual artist William Kentridge; and writer, editor and translator Aaron Robertson.

“Our shortlist shows us lives lived against the backdrop of history or, more precisely, interweaves the intimate and the political in radically original ways,” said Wachtel in a press statement.

Taking place from 7pm BST on Tuesday, 21 May, in the Turbine Hall at London’s Tate Modern, the International Booker Prize 2024 ceremony highlights the announcement of the winning book for 2024, which will also be livestreamed on the Booker Prizes’ channels, presented by YouTuber Jack Edwards, the ‘internet’s resident librarian’.

Last year’s winner was Georgi Gospodinov, a Bulgarian writer and translator Angela Rodel for a darkly comic novel, Time Shelter, about the dangerous appeal of nostalgia.

After winning the International Booker Time Shelter received a large sales from the prize, as 20,000 copies were sold in the U.K. in the first 10 days after it won.

Established in 2002, The Booker Prize Foundation is a registered charity with a purpose to promote the art and value of literature for the public benefit. 

Existing to reward the finest in fiction, the Booker Prize and the International Booker Prize award is one of many ways it fulfils this mission.

Starting in 2005 as the Man Booker International Prize,  the International Booker Prize was initially a biennial prize for a body of work, and there was no stipulation that the work should be written in a language other than English. 

Early winners of the Man Booker International Prize included Alice Munro, Lydia Davis and Philip Roth, as well as Ismail Kadare and Laszlo Krasznahorkai.