Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015 - longlist announced

Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2015 - longlist announced
12 March 2015

German translations dominate global line-up including writers from Colombia, Equatorial Guinea, Korea and China.


Haruki Murakami and Karl Ove Knausgaard are among 15 authors on the longlist for the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, which is managed by Book Trust. Both authors have been longlisted twice before.


The prize is now in its 25th year and equally honours both the writer and translator of the winning book. 


Murakami and Knausgaard are joined on the list by two debut authors, Stefanie de Velasco (Tiger Milk) and Timur Vermes (Look Who's Back), both German bestsellers, and Jung-myng Lee - only the second Korean to be longlisted for the prize.


The longlist:


  • The Ravens by Tomas Bannerhed translated from the Swedish by Sarah Death 
  • The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky 
  • Bloodlines by Marcello Fois translated from the Italian by Silvester Mazzarella 
  • In the Beginning Was the Sea by Tomás González translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne
  • The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov translated from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield
  • F by Daniel Kehlmann translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway 
  • Boyhood Island by Karl Ove Knausgaard translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett
  • By Night the Mountain Burns by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel translated from the Spanish by Jethro Soutar 
  • The Investigation by Jung-Myung Lee translated from the Korean by Chi-Young Kim 
  • While the Gods Were Sleeping by Erwin Mortier translated from the Dutch by Paul Vincent 
  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel
  • The Giraffe's Neck by Judith Schalansky translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside
  • Tiger Milk by Stefanie de Velasco translated from the German by Tim Mohr
  • Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch 
  • The Last Lover by Can Xue translated from the Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen 


Find out more about the longlist

Boyd Tonkin, judge, columnist and senior writer at The Independent says:

'With its spread of well-known global names and fresh talent, this outstanding longlist will introduce readers to old favourites and new discoveries. All arrive in first-rate translations that give a platform for this precious but sometimes under-valued art. I'm delighted that fiction from east Asia has such a strong presence. And the remarkable crop of German contenders shows that, in the 25th anniversary year of the Berlin Wall's fall, UK publishers paid well-deserved attention to the country's robust and vibrant literary scene.

Last year writer Hassan Blasim become the first Arab writer to win the prize. His book, The Iraqi Christ was also the first short story collection in The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize's history to be victorious. 



It is truly a shame that there are no Arabic (or, for that matter, Persian) works on the longlist. As I have often noted in the case of Comparative Literature, this represents the (linguistic) Eurocentrism of the field. If it's Eastern, it has to be _far_ Eastern; the Middle East is too close.

12 March 2015

Add a comment