Mixing contemporary problems with the secrets of a family on the Norwegian coast and featuring a range of authors from around the world, the shortlist of Man Booker International Prize reveals six books that will be considered for the title in 2017.
Featuring two Scandinavians, a Frenchman, two Israeli writers and a Brazilian author, the shortlist of Man Booker International Prize brings a range of stories to attention. Besides Amoz Os, who made it to the list for the second time, the rest of the writers have been shortlisted for this prestigious award for the first time. The winner will be announced on the 13th of June 2017 in London.
Compass by Mathias Enard
As Viennese musicologist Franz Ritter lies in his bed, the memories of his travels through the Middle East return to him between the dreams in the sickly haze. His stories are populated by artists, writers and explorers who return to him – and so is his beloved Sarah, a scholar who specialises in oriental studies. Tying the current events in, it’s a journey through the fascination with Asian culture seen through the eyes of a traveller whose reminiscences get him through an uneasy night.
A Horse Walks Into a Bar by David Grossman
One night in a small Israeli town, the audience gathers expecting the night of light-hearted laughs in a local comedy club. Instead, a veteran stand-up Dovaleh G unfolds his life story to the people who came to watch him – revealing the difficult choice he once needed to make between two people who he loved the most. But in the crowd, his childhood friend wonders about the deeper meaning of the comedian’s performance and tries to understand why he’s witnessing it after all these years.
The Unseen by Roy Jacobsen
When Ingrid grows up, she’s sent to the mainland from the island that’s been her home since she was born to work for one of the wealthy families. She’s left her own family behind: her father dreamt of building the mainland connection, and her mother always wanted a different life than the one enforced by her circumstances. But when the tragedy strikes, she’s forced to return to the island that now seems distant to protect her home in the story of poverty, love, and heartbreak.
Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors
Sonja’s past forty now, and she feels it’s time for a change. She tries learning new things, becoming more mindful, and reconnecting with her sister. But everything seems too difficult: learning to drive doesn’t go as smooth as it could, meditation can’t win with a piece of good cake, and her sibling doesn’t even pick up her phone calls. As she returns to her childhood in her memories, she tries to find her way back there and escape Copenhagen that feels more and more alienating.
Judas by Amos Oz
Shmuel is intrigued by a mysterious note left on his campus noticeboard. The piece of paper with a handwritten message leads him to the house of an elderly man, who wants somebody to read to him and argue with. But the household of his new acquaintance hides another secret that leads the youngster to the genesis of Jewish-Arab conflict. With every discovery, he learns something new about the beginning of Jerusalem, the roots of Christianity and Judaism, and steps closer to the biblical traitor.
Fever Dream by Samantha Schweblin
In a rural hospital clinic, a young woman called Amanda talks to a boy named David on her deathbed. When he persistently questions her, she recalls the trauma that pushed her in the embrace of death only to realise the scarring reality that surrounds them, revealing terrifying secrets of the recent events. Tackling motherly love and the power of family, the novel is deemed to be one of the most interesting recent writing in Spanish coming from South America.
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