Last Monday, Linda Grant, Kate Griffin, Fiona Sampson, Boyd Tonkin and I chose the 2009 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist. After hours of discussion, we came down to a list of sixteen:

  • Voiceover by Celine Curiol (trans. Sam Richard)
  • A Blessed Child by Linn Ullmann (trans. Sarah Death)
  • The Blue Fox by Sjón (trans. Victoria Cribb; read our review)
  • Friendly Fire by A.B. Yehoshua (trans. Stuart Schoffman)
  • My Father's Wives by Jose Eduardo Algualusa (trans. Daniel Hahn)
  • The White King by Gyorgy Dragomán (trans. Paul Olchvary)
  • The Informers by Juan Gabriel Vasquez (trans. Anne McLean)
  • Homesick by Eshkol Nevo (trans. Sondra Silverstein)
  • Beijing Coma by Ma Jian (trans. Flora Drew)
  • The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa (trans Stephen Snyder)
  • Novel 11, Book 18 by Dag Solstad (trans. Sverre Lyngstad)
  • The Director by Alexander Ahndoril (trans. Sarah Death)
  • The Armies by Evelio Rosero (trans. Anne McLean)
  • How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone by Sasa Stanisic (trans. Anthea Bell)
  • The Siege by Ismail Kadare (trans. David Bellos, from the French of Jusuf Vrioni)
  • Night Work by Thomas Glavinic (trans. John Brownjohn)

Readers Comments

  1. Very interesting list! I'm happy to see How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone on here as recently finished and found it utterly compelling.

  2. Great list, Mark. I had better get to Novel 11, Book 18 very soon then.

  3. It's certainly giving me the push to read books that have been in my will-I-get-them, won't-I periphery for some time. Namely The Informers, The Blue Fox, The Director, and Night Work.

  4. I've read three of them (Vasquez, Solstad and Glavinic) and each was outstanding.

  5. How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone was truly amazing, I also loved The White King and I'm very glad to see Sjón on the list. Solstad I had to give up after maybe 80 pages; found the images not well chosen at all, the metaphors often completely out of "order" without any actual purpose, like wanting to be as original as possible at any price.

  6. Glad to hear the Vasquez is worth it as it's on its way to me. Reading the Ullmann, which I am slightly surprised to be enjoying quite a lot.

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