Monday, March 14, 2016

Newly Added to TBR: Man Booker International Prize 2016 Longlist

The first longlist ever was announced this past week for the Man Booker International Prize for works translated to English! The author of the novel and the translator will share the prize money of 50,000 GBP. Which is really exciting! Why?: 
    1. Translators are given recognition for their work and aids their career. Translators are some unsung heroes of the publishing world that allows us to experience new, international authors.  
    2. This increases the mainstream publishing diversity that is available to us English speakers. These authors can offer greater insight or different perspectives on current or historical events and cultures in their own sociopolitical setting.  

I'm always wanting to find new books for my TBR and I found several novels on the list that interest me. I listed them below and added the covers and descriptions. All the cover designs were done well. I don't know if I will get around to read all of these this year, but I plan to at some point. Have you read any of these so far? Do you plan on reading any this year in anticipation for the shortlist? 

Here's the link to the list and other information, such as about the five judges:
http://themanbookerprize.com/news/man-booker-international-prize-2016-longlist-announced

The longlist nominees are listed by the author, native country, the tanslator, title and publisher.



José Eduardo Agualusa (Angola) Daniel Hahn, A General Theory of Oblivion (Harvill Secker)
The brilliant new novel from the winner of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.On the eve of Angolan independence an agoraphobic woman named Ludo bricks herself into her apartment for 30 years, living off vegetables and the pigeons she lures in with diamonds, burning her furniture and books to stay alive and writing her story on the apartment’s walls.Almost as if we’re eavesdropping, the history of Angola unfolds through the stories of those she sees from her window. As the country goes through various political upheavals from colony to socialist republic to civil war to peace and capitalism, the world outside seeps into Ludo’s life through snippets on the radio, voices from next door, glimpses of someone peeing on a balcony, or a man fleeing his pursuers.A General Theory of Oblivion is a perfectly crafted, wild patchwork of a novel, playing on a love of storytelling and fable. 

Han Kang (South Korea) Deborah Smith, The Vegetarian (Portobello Books)
Before the nightmare, Yeong-hye and her husband lived an ordinary life. But when splintering, blood-soaked images start haunting her thoughts, Yeong-hye decides to purge her mind and renounce eating meat. In a country where societal mores are strictly obeyed, Yeong-hye's decision to embrace a more “plant-like” existence is a shocking act of subversion. And as her passive rebellion manifests in ever more extreme and frightening forms, scandal, abuse, and estrangement begin to send Yeong-hye spiraling deep into the spaces of her fantasy. In a complete metamorphosis of both mind and body, her now dangerous endeavor will take Yeong-hye—impossibly, ecstatically, tragically—far from her once-known self altogether.A disturbing, yet beautifully composed narrative told in three parts, The Vegetarian is an allegorical novel about modern day South Korea, but also a story of obsession, choice, and our faltering attempts to understand others, from one imprisoned body to another. 

Eka Kurniawan (Indonesia) Labodalih Sembiring, Man Tiger (Verso Books)
“After half a century,” writes renowned Indonesia scholar Benedict Anderson, “Pramoedya Ananta Toer has found a successor.” Eka Kurniawan has been described as the “brightest meteorite” in Indonesia’s new literary firmament, the author of two remarkable novels whose sheer beauty, elegance, cosmopolitanism, and ambition have brought comparisons not only to Pramoedya, universally considered Indonesia’s modern literary genius, but also to Salman Rushdie, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Mark Twain.A new generation of young literary figures in Indonesia, emerging after decades of repressive dictatorship ended in 1998, is renewing the culture of the world’s largest Muslim nation (and its language, which was only nationally instituted in 1945). Kurniawan’s Beauty Is a Wound and Man Tiger are the capstones of this movement. A slim, wry story set in an unnamed town near the Indian Ocean, Man Tiger tells the story of two interlinked and tormented families, and of Margio, an ordinary half-city, half-rural youngster who also happens to be half-man, half-supernatural female white tiger (in many parts of Indonesia, magical tigers protect good villages and families).At once elegant and bawdy, experimental and political, Man Tiger will help to establish Indonesia’s new voice, underrepresented in world literature, while demonstrating the influence of world literature on Indonesian writers.
     *Also interested in his other novel, Beauty is a Wound.


Yan Lianke (China) Carlos Rojas, The Four Books (Chatto & Windus)
'One of China's greatest living authors and fiercest satirists'GuardianIn the ninety-ninth district of a sprawling labour camp, the Author, Musician, Scholar, Theologian and Technician are undergoing Re-education, to restore their revolutionary zeal and credentials. In charge of this process is the Child, who delights in draconian rules, monitoring behaviour and confiscating treasured books.The inmates – and hundreds of intellectuals just like them -- must meet challenges set by the higher-ups: to grow an ever-spiralling amount of wheat per li of land, and to smelt vast quantities of steel. The stakes are high: they can win their freedom if they are awarded enough of the small red blossoms, medium red blossoms and pentagonal stars given out for effort, obedience and informing on others.But when bad weather arrives, followed by the ‘three bitter years’ of the Great Famine, the intellectuals are abandoned by the regime and left on their own to survive.Divided into four narratives, echoing the four texts of Confucianism and the four Gospels of the New Testament, The Four Books tells the story of one of China’s most controversial periods. It also shows us the power of camaraderie, love and faith against oppression and the darkest possible odds.

Fiston Mwanza Mujila (Democratic Republic of Congo/Austria) Roland Glasser, Tram 83 (Jacaranda)
In an African city in secession, which could be Kinshasa or Lubumbashi, land tourists of all languages and nationalities. They have only one desire: to make a fortune by exploiting the mineral wealths of the country. They work during the day in mining concession and, as soon as night falls, they go out to get drunk, dance, eat and abandon themselves in Tram 83, the only night-club of the city, the den of all the outlaws: ex children-soldiers, prostitutes, blank students, unmarried mothers, sorcerers' apprentices …Lucien, a professional writer, fleeing the exactions and the censorship, finds refuge in the city thanks to Requiem, a youth friend. Requiem lives mainly on theft and on swindle while Lucien only thinks of writing and living honestly. Around them gravitate gangsters and young girls, retired or runaway men, profit-seeking tourists and federal agents of a non-existent State.Tram 83 plunges the reader into the atmosphere of a gold rush as cynical as, sometimes, comic and colorfully exotic. It's an observation of human relationships in a world that has become a global village. It could be described as an African-rap or rhapsody novel or puzzle-novel hammered by rhythms of jazz.

Raduan Nassar (Brazil) Stefan Tobler, A Cup of Rage (Penguin Modern Classics)
'Yes, bastard, you're the one I love' A pair of lovers - a young female journalist and an older man who owns an isolated farm in the Brazilian outback - spend the night together. The next day they proceed to destroy each other. Amid vitriolic insults, cruelty and warring egos, their sexual adventure turns into a savage power game. This intense, erotic cult novel by one of Brazil's most infamous modernist writers explores alienation, the desire to dominate and the wish to be dominated. A new translation by Stefan Tobler.


Marie NDiaye (France) Jordan Stump, Ladivine (Maclehose Press)
From the hugely acclaimed author of Three Strong Women—“amasterpiece of narrative ingenuity and emotional extremes” (The New York Times)—here is a harrowing and subtly crafted novel of a woman captive to a secret shame.On the first Tuesday of every month, Clarisse Rivière leaves her husband and young daughter and secretly takes the train to Bordeaux to visit her mother, Ladivine. Just as Clarisse’s husband and daughter know nothing of Ladivine, Clarisse herself has hidden nearly every aspect of her adult life from this woman, whom she dreads and despises but also pities. Long ago abandoned by Clarisse’s father, Ladivine works as a housecleaner and has no one but her daughter, whom she knows as Malinka. After more than twenty-five years of this deception, the idyllic middle-class existence Clarisse has built from scratch can no longer survive inside the walls she’s put up to protect it. Her untold anguish leaves her cold and guarded, her loved ones forever trapped outside, looking in. When her husband, Richard, finally leaves her, Clarisse finds comfort in the embrace of a volatile local man, Freddy Moliger. With Freddy, she finally feels reconciled to, or at least at ease with, her true self. But this peace comes at a terrible price. Clarisse will be brutally murdered, and it will be left to her now-grown daughter, who also bears the name Ladivine without knowing why, to work out who her mother was and what happened to her.A mesmerizing and heart-stopping psychological tale of a trauma that ensnares three generations of women, Ladivineproves Marie NDiaye to be one of Europe’s great storytellers. 


Aki Ollikainen (Finland) Emily Jeremiah & Fleur Jeremiah, White Hunger (Peirene Press)
What does it take to survive? This is the question posed by the extraordinary Finnish novella that has taken the Nordic literary scene by storm.1867: a year of devastating famine in Finland. Marja, a farmer’s wife from the north, sets off on foot through the snow with her two young children. Their goal: St Petersburg, where people say there is bread. Others are also heading south, just as desperate to survive. Ruuni, a boy she meets, seems trustworthy. But can anyone really help? 


Orhan Pamuk (Turkey) Ekin Oklap, A Strangeness in My Mind (Faber & Faber)
A Strangeness In My Mind is a novel Orhan Pamuk has worked on for six years. It is the story of boza seller Mevlut, the woman to whom he wrote three years' worth of love letters, and their life in Istanbul.In the four decades between 1969 and 2012, Mevlut works a number of different jobs on the streets of Istanbul, from selling yoghurt and cooked rice, to guarding a car park. He observes many different kinds of people thronging the streets, he watches most of the city get demolished and re-built, and he sees migrants from Anatolia making a fortune; at the same time, he witnesses all of the transformative moments, political clashes, and military coups that shape the country. He always wonders what it is that separates him from everyone else - the source of that strangeness in his mind. But he never stops selling boza during winter evenings and trying to understand who his beloved really is.What matters more in love: what we wish for, or what our fate has in store? Do our choices dictate whether we will be happy or not, or are these things determined by forces beyond our control?A Strangeness In My Mind tries to answer these questions while portraying the tensions between urban life and family life, and the fury and helplessness of women inside their homes.

Robert Seethaler (Austria) Charlotte Collins, A Whole Life (Picador)
Andreas lives his whole life in the Austrian Alps, where he arrives as a young boy taken in by a farming family. He is a man of very few words and so, when he falls in love with Marie, he doesn't ask for her hand in marriage, but instead has some of his friends light her name at dusk across the mountain. When Marie dies in an avalanche, pregnant with their first child, Andreas' heart is broken. He leaves his valley just once more, to fight in WWII - where he is taken prisoner in the Caucasus - and returns to find that modernity has reached his remote haven...

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