Bettany Hughes speaking at MBI Shortlist event at Somerset House

April saw Four Culture announce the Man Booker International Prize 2019 shortlist at Somerset House.

The prize celebrates the finest works of translated fiction from around the world, with this year’s six shortlisted books being translated from five languages and hailing from five countries across three continents. Featuring an all-female line-up of translators alongside five female authors, the shortlist was dominated by independent publishers with two books from Fitzcarraldo Editions, and one each from And Other Stories, Profile Books, Sandstone Press and Serpent’s Tail.

The six shortlisted books are Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi, the first writer from the Arabian Gulf to be longlisted for the prize, translated by Marilyn Booth; The Years by Annie Ernaux and translated by Alison L. Strayer, which has already won prizes including Prix Renaudot in France and Premio Strega in Italy; The Pine Islands by Marion Poschmann and translated by Jen Calleja; Drive Your Plow Over The Bones Of The Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, who won the prize in 2018 for Flights, with her other translator into English, Antonia Lloyd-Jones; The Shape of Ruins by Juan Gabriel Vásquez and translated by Anne McLean; and The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zerán, who makes the list with her debut novel translated by Sophie Hughes.

Achieving coverage across the world, the news made print in The Guardian and i News, and was featured online on Daily Mail, London Evening Standard, independent.co.uk, Irish Times and The New York Times who heralded the award as ‘arguably the world’s most significant award for literature translated into English’. Reported on in every country represented on the shortlist, it also appeared in Australia, Belgium, Canada, China, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Korea, Moldova, Morocco, Netherlands, Pakistan, Peru, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, Sweden and Turkey.

In the 24 hours following the announcement, the shortlist video had amassed 76k organic views on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube with a combined reach and impressions of 259k.

The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony at the Roundhouse in London on 21 May, with the shortlisted authors and translators taking part in several events across the UK throughout the month.

Find out more about the shortlist here.