Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2014: Longlist announced

Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2014: Longlist announced
7 March 2014

Karl Ove Knausgaard, Javier Marías, Andreï Makine longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2014.

Karl Ove Knausgaard is on the longlist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2014 for A Man in Love, the second volume of his blockbuster My Struggle. This is his second time on the longlist, and he goes head-to-head with contemporary greats such as Spanish writer Javier Marías (frequently tipped for the Nobel Prize) for his crime novel The Infatuations and author of The Brief Lives that Live Forever, Prix Goncourt-winner Andreï Makine.

This year's 15-strong longlist, which will be discussed on Saturday 8 March at an event at the Independent Bath Literary Festival, was chosen by a panel of five judges from a record number of entries and languages - 126 titles from 30 source languages.

Boyd Tonkin, senior writer and columnist at The Independent and one of this year's judges commented:

Every year this unique prize delivers to our doorsteps an outstandingly rich harvest of the world's finest fiction. This year, a record number of submissions has resulted in a longlist as diverse and powerful as any in its history. From Iceland to China, Israel to Iraq, Spain to Japan, the contenders - served by a selection of the most gifted translators at work today - represent a huge variety of nations and cultures, all bound together in the border-free republic of talent and imagination.


The list features a number of pairs: two female Japanese writers; two German writers, both tackling the shadow of East Germany; and two Iraqi authors, Hassan Blasim and Sinan Antoon, offering very different pictures of post-Saddam Iraq. There's also an Icelandic duo: Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir and Jón Kalman Stefánsson - an astonishing achievement for a nation of 320,000 people.

Four newcomers are translated into English for the first time: Andrej Longo whose short story collection Ten uncovers the darker side of southern Italy, and Man Asian-prize shortlistee Hiromi Kawakami for her unconventional romance, Strange Weather in Tokyo. English-language readers can also discover Hubert Mingarelli for the first time (A Meal In Winter) and Birgit Vanderbeke whose debut novel The Mussel Feast was first published in 1990 and is viewed a modern German classic.

The full longlist of 15 titles is below:


  • A Man in Love by Karl Ove Knausgaard and translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett (Harvill Secker)
  • A Meal in Winter by Hubert Mingarelli and translated from the French by Sam Taylor (Portobello Books)
  • Back to Back by Julia Franck and translated from the German by Anthea Bell (Harvill Secker)
  • Brief Loves that Live Forever by Andreï Makine and translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan (MacLehose Press)
  • Butterflies in November by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir and translated from the Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon (Pushkin Press)
  • The Corpse Washer by Sinan Antoon and translated from the Arabic by the author (Yale University Press)
  • The Dark Road by Ma Jian and translated from the Chinese by Flora Drew (Chatto & Windus)
  • Exposure by Sayed Kashua and translated from the Hebrew by Mitch Ginsberg (Chatto & Windus?
  • The Infatuations by Javier Marías and translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa (Hamish Hamilton)
  • The Iraqi Christ by Hassan Blasim and translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright
  • (Comma Press)
  • The Mussel Feast by Birgit Vanderbeke and translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch (Peirene Press)
  • Revenge by Yoko Ogawa and translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder (Harvill Secker)
  • The Sorrow of Angels by Jón Kalman Stefánsson and translated from the Icelandic by Philip Roughton (MacLehose Press)
  • Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami and translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell (Portobello Books)
  • Ten by Andrej Longo and translated from the Italian by Howard Curtis (Harvill Secker)


The longlist is being discussed at a panel event with judges Boyd Tonkin, Nadifa Mohamed and Natalie Haynes at 2.45pm on Saturday 8 March at The Independent Bath Literature Festival.

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