It always feels like an exciting way to kick off spring by announcing the longlist for the Man Booker International Prize 2018, which is an award for the best in translated fiction from across the globe and published in the UK. The books range from a horror about a monster roaming the streets of Baghdad, to a social satire about a man working behind the counter of a cool Parisian music store.
The list, described as a ‘cornucopia’ by chair of judges Lisa Appignanesi, has a number of heavyweights, including South Korean Han Kang who won this very prize in 2016 and Hungarian László Krasznahorkai, who was awarded it in 2015. They are joined by Jenny Erpenbeck from Germany, Ahmed Saadawi from Iraq, Virginie Despentes and Javier Cercas, who share a translator, Frank Wynne – impressive as they write in French and Spanish respectively; Laurent Binet from France, Ariana Harwicz from Argentina, Wu Ming-Yi from Taiwan, Gabriela Ybarra and Antonio Muñoz Molina from Spain, Olga Tokarczuk from Poland, and Austrian Christoph Ransmayr.
Gaining popularity with each year, the news was covered by 25 countries across 5 continents, with pieces in The Guardian, I and Daily Mail; the Irish newspapers all excitedly reported translator Frank Wynne’s double nomination; and further afield, the longlist was discussed on Swedish national television and in The New York Times, The Buenos Aires Times, The China Post, De Standaard, Focus Taiwan, The Korean Herald, The National and Observador.
As in previous years, Four Culture announced the news with a longlist video on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, which has had a total of 69k views to date. On the day of the announcement #MBI2018 trended on Twitter and we saw an 80% increase in likes and 37% increases in shares year-on-year. Hear what the judges had to say on the books here.