The shadow Independent foreign fictionprize shortlist 2012

Well the four weeks since the longlist was announced and us of the shadow jury have read and digest all the books on the longlist between us .I read the remaining nine books from the longlist I d not read before and have reviewed eight of them .So after we all scored the books partly for story and partly for translation for this first round we came up with the shadow shortlist which was chosen from seven books one missing out by a fraction of a point .Next round we will be discussing and not scoring the boos so here is our shortlist –

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist this year has once again shown us just how powerful and emotive translated fiction can be. The overall tone of this year’s Prize has been a dark and sombre one, with many of titles taking us back to reflect on the horrors of the past. As such the reading experience has been wholly affecting, and it has proven to be no easy task in reducing the longlist down to a final selection of six.
Encapsulated in our final ‘shadow’ shortlist selection is what we feel to be the cream of the crop of this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. These are the six titles which not only fully demonstrate the range and scope of this year’s Prize, but they also stand as a glowing example of what can be achieved when writer and translator form the perfect bond.

Parallel Stories by Peter Nadas translator Imre Goldstein .

Sex and violence behind in cold war era central Europe

Scenes From Village life by Amos Oz translator Nicholas De Lange

A Israeli village from the point of view of an old man

The Prague cemetery by Umberto Eco translator Richard Dixon

A master of evil pulls the stings in 19th century europe

From the mouth of the whale by Sjon translator Victoria Cribb

Birds whales and one chap in 17th century Iceland

Next world Novella by Mattihas Politycki translator Anthea Bell

Married is it what we think ,she dies he finds out

Seven Houses in france by Bernardo Atxaga translator Magaret Jull Costa

Heart of the Congo it is really dark .

So that is our fab six we will be choice our winner from this and also choosing a winner from the proper booktrust IFFP shortlist out tomorrow .Lets compare our lists then .

thanks to my fellow judges so far –







13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. parrish lantern
    Apr 11, 2012 @ 20:32:42

    was some great books on this list, of the 7 I read although I had favourites, there wasn’t for me one that was total poop, they all had something going for them.Thanks for bringing me on board.


  2. Gavin
    Apr 12, 2012 @ 14:08:38

    Thanks for the short list, Stu. Now I hope my library has some of these so I can read them!


  3. 1streading
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 19:30:26

    I’ve read three from both the official and the shadow shortlist so it’s difficult to choose between them. I agree with parrish lantern, there’s not been a dud among the novels I’ve read so far.


  4. markbooks
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 10:43:31

    I love our list so much more than the “proper” one!


  5. Geosi
    Apr 14, 2012 @ 13:07:33

    Some pretty good reads.


  6. Violet
    Apr 15, 2012 @ 05:50:12

    I’ve been championing Dream of Ding Village and am a little disappointed not to see it on your list. The Prague Cemetery is the only one I have read. I’m part-way through Sjon’s book, and have Oz’s on request at the library. The IFFP judges didn’t really agree with you guys, did they? 🙂


  7. Trackback: Winner of the IFFP 2012 « Novel Interpretations

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April 2012


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