Always a welcome sign of the start of spring, Four Culture announced the hotly contested shortlist for the Man Booker International Prize at a glorious drinks reception at Somerset House, attended by the great and good of the translated fiction world.

On a list dominated by independent publishers, two previous winners made it to the shortlist; Han Kang and Deborah Smith for The White Book, and László Krasznahorkai with The World Goes On. The list also included a previous winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction – another of the gongs in the Four Colman Getty stable – Ahmed Saadawi, for Iraqi horror story Frankenstein in Baghdad, translated by Jonathan Wright. Joining them on the list were Olga Tokarczuk and Jennifer Croft with Flights, Antonio Muñoz Molina and Camilo A. Ramirez with Like a Fading Shadow, and Virginie Despentes and Frank Wynne with Vernon Subutex 1.

In anticipation of the winner announcement on 22 May, Four Culture has two exciting events coming up: the first, on 17 May, is a panel discussion with the translators of the shortlist about the process of translation in partnership with English PEN. It will be chaired by Ellah Watakama Allfrey and Charlie Higson will perform some dramatic readings. More details here. On the eve of the winner announcement, join the shortlisted authors and translators at The Emmanuel Centre in Westminster for one of the most magical evenings on the literary calendar, where the fascinating discussion is accompanied by short readings in the different languages, bringing the books to life in the most surprising ways. More details here.