Shadow iffp winner 2013

We started off in March with sixteen titles, the cream of the fiction in translation published in the UK last year. After a hard month of reading, thinking, discussion and cursing, the list was cut down to six by the offical panel – which is where we parted ways.

Having chosen four of the same titles as the official panel, the Shadow Panel (Tony, Lisa, Mark, Gary and myself) opted for two others to complete the full half-dozen, and then set about deciding which was to take out the prize…

Our road took us on a long journey through many times and lands. We spent a bizarre time in an ever-shifting, nineteenth-century German town, working on translations and kissing the local girls. We moved onto a dark exploration of Communist-era Hungary (and an even darker examination of human souls…). We went for walks around the rainy city of Barcelona, and then flew off to Dublin for a Bloomsday jaunt. We witnessed an extraordinary dinner party in Albania – and its consequences ten years on. We followed a boy from the Siberian wilds on his trip to Helsinki and watched as he encountered civilisation in all its forms. We fled to Wales (seeking some solitude) and shared a woman’s house – but not her secrets…

Then we came back to earth with a bump. There were discussions, disagreements, grudging acceptance, and then a decision…

Our choice for the winner of the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is:


Dublinesque by Enrique Vila-Matas

(translated by Rosalind Harvey and Anne McLean)

My review of Dublinesque

Congratulations to the writer and translators – Dublinesque is a great book, and it would be a worthy winner of the real prize. So, can it do the double? We’ll find out very soon…

5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. parrish lantern
    May 19, 2013 @ 20:12:59

    Hi Stu, hopefully the official jury, will pick a worthy winner as well. Also thanks once again for the invite


  2. JoV
    May 19, 2013 @ 20:54:39

    Sounds like a worthy choice. Must read.


  3. whisperinggums
    May 19, 2013 @ 23:54:04

    How I wish I could have made the time to read these books Stu … well done to your team. I’ll be interested to see the official winner now.


  4. Brian Joseph
    May 20, 2013 @ 16:33:03

    As I mentioned on Parish’s blog, this exercise looks to be so much fun. I second Whispering Gums comment about time!


  5. 1streading
    May 22, 2013 @ 19:05:08

    Seems so long since I read the books that I forgot the winner was due to be announced! Have to say, Dublinesque was my favourite too, and The Detour one of the least impressive books I read.


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May 2013


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