The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist has been announced. By far the most interesting of the UK-based literary prizes, the IFFP always turns up a few gems.

Good to see the excellent Montano by Enrique Vila-Matas on the list and the wonderful Castorp is on there too. Let It Be Morning is on, but it is a very poor novel. I wrote a terribly scrappy review of it for the Financial Times: a mess of a piece as I was desperately trying not to say, "this is terrible! why have you made me read this!" Kehlmann's Measuring the World is diverting enough, but it isn't great ...

I've not read anything else on the list, but Kadare's Agamemnon's Daughter, Alan Pauls' The Past (Pauls is a writer much quoted by Vila-Matas in Montano and for this reason alone my interest is piqued) and Paul Verhaeghen's Omega Minor are on the table!

Readers Comments

  1. Looking forward to reading a few of these titles myself. Sad to see I didn't get your thoughts on 'Let It Be Morning' until now as I ordered it after the longlist was announced. Luckily it was a super cheapo copy off Amazon Marketplace.

    I've also got The Moon Opera, The Yacoubian Building, Rivers of Babylon, Measuring The World, Castorp, Gregorius, and Agamemnon's Daughter. I'll try and get other titles as cash permits.

    I'm warry of the Verhaeghan and the van Niekerk ones purely on the basis they are both over 600 pages and I have the problem that my reading time is grossly proportional to the number of pages, so 200 pages in a couple of days, if not a day, no problem. But 600 gets stretched out to multiple weeks. Can't explain it.

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