Shadow IFFP shortlist

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Well the proper IFFP shortrlist came out today from Booktrust  .Their choices are –

By night the mountain burns by Juan Tomas Avila Laurel

Translator Jethro Soutar

Colorless Tazaki and his years of pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami

Translator Philip Gabriel

F by Daniel Kehlmann

Translator – Carol Brown Janeway

The end of days by Jenny Erpenbeck

Translator Susan Bernofsky

In the beginning was the sea by Tomas Gonzalez

Translator – Frank Wynne

While the gods where sleeping by Ervin Mortier

Translator – Paul vincent .

Now it has become tradition for the shadow jury to decide there own shortlist from the longlist and this year it is the longlist plus one .I’ve fallen behind in reviews have read all but two of the longlist and was fairly happy with our shortlist .

Shadow shortlist 

The End of Days by jenny Erpenbeck 
Translator – Susan Bernofsky
Zone by Mathias Enard 
Translator – Charlotte Mandell
The Ravens by Tomas Bannerhed 
Translator Sarah Death
The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov 
Translator – Andrew Broomfield
Bloodlines by Marcelo Fois 
Translator – Silvester Mazzarella
Translator – Philip Gabriel
I’ve manage to review five of our shortlist , we share two books with the actual shortlist we will announce the winner the day before the actual winner .

 

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Tigermilk by Stefanie De Velasco

 

Tigermilk by Stefanie De Velasco

German Fiction

Original title – Tigermilch

Translator – Tim Mohr

Source – Library book

Berlin im Licht

And when you go for a walk, the sunlight may be enough, but to light the city of Berlin, the sun is not enough.
This is no little hicktown.
This is one helluva city!
If you want to see everything you can,
You have to use a few watts!
So what then? So what then?
What kind of a city is it then?

Come, turn on the lights so we can see what there is to see!
Come, turn on the lights and don’t say another word.
Come, turn on the lights, so we can see for sure what the big deal is: Berlin in lights!source

I choose Kurt Weil his songs reflect the darker side of life on the whole and here is one about Berlin

Now every IFFp longlist there is a few books I haven’t come across with hundred plus books out a year in translation , even I miss some so when this was on the longlist I didn’t know what to expect .Stefani De Velasco was born in Oberhausen to spanish parent she studied Political science at Bonn .She now lives in Berlin , were the book is set .This book was here debut novel it won Prenzlauer Berg Literature prize .

We dump the chocolate milk down the toilet , chocolate milk is for children . We drink tiger milk this is how you make it . Pour a little school cafeteria milk , a lot of maracuja juice , and a decent slug of brandy into a muller jar . Jameelah stirs it .

This is tiger milk a very German idea , my old  German girlfriend loved nutella and eggs on toast

Now Berlin has had many great books written about it ,the city has also been a character in many books .This is a book of modern Berlin the melting pot of cultures and races that live there now .The book follows two girls on the verge of womanhood , Nini and Jameelah have just broken up for school for the summer and are all set on losing their virginity By practice .But they choose a dangerous path by going to the red light district and picking up random men to learn about sex , maybe learning in the wrong way as they just view them as meat really  .All this discovery is fueled by The tigermilk of the title a mix of milk brandy and other thinks they drink from jars (now seen in every hipster bar in the uk ) .This summer sees the girls grow but also witness the darker sides of life and sex . There attempt to practice maybe doesn’t make perfect and also different cultures

I don’t know why we ended up on Kurfursten of all streets and with the men there , i don’t know any of that , I just know that we always thought nothing would ever go wrong, nothing would happen , as long as we didn’t go anywhere alone , never alone .

The closing lines struck me how we sometimes look back in regret but maybe experiences is a thing we all need .

This book is a gem really , I’ve not read to many Bildungsroman that have females as their lead characters .Nini  and Jameelah both reflect the new face of Berlin with both there families came to Berlin from outside Germany .These two street girls so to speak are this generations Christiane F like the kids in the book and the film, set around Banhof zoo in the 1980’s .What De velasco and Tim Mohr in his translation has done is bring the streets to life through the eyes of these fourteen year old girls .A book for me to sit next to the great books about berlin like Berlin Alexanderplatz and films like Wings of desire .So a great choice for the longlist , I love discovering new voices and this is another great new voice from Germany .

Have you read this book ?

Bloodlines by Marcello Fois

Bloodlines

Bloodlines by Marcello Fois

Italian Fiction

Original title -Stirpe

Translator – Silvester Mazzarella

Source – Review Copy

 

He was a blacksmith by trade; he used to live on his own.
She was a little old maid; she was all gristle and bone,
Just a crone that you might not have fancied yourself;
She was not born to attract. She was lined up for the shelf
If it were not for the fact the blacksmith loved her well,
He loved her like hell. He used to grunt and sigh, fit to die.
But from afar; for he was shy, as blacksmiths often are.

I went for an obvious choice here The blacksmith and The toffeemaker by Jake thackray  and love the comparison he was shy like blacksmiths often are , given we have a shy Sardinan Blacksmith .

When the IFFP longlist was announced I was a bit annoyed with myself I hadn’t read this one as I had loved the first book by him that Maclehose had published Memory of the abyss . It was one of those books I started and just put to one side after 30 pages last year and never got back too , not because I hadn’t like what I read, no there was shiny new ones to read .Marcello Fois is part of what in Italy is called the New Sardinian literature a group of writers that have given a new voice to the island .He has published over 20 books in Italy .

Luggi Ippolito was the first Chironi to know the history and origins of the family .He had read enough to know we all come from somewhere and he was articulate enough to be able to tell the story . His firm and steady , if not yet fully mature , voice echoed calmly through the short November days as everyone grew sleepy round the log fire .

The family origins also told in a side story to the main one .

So Bloodlines as the title maybe suggest is a story of family .But rather cleverly the English title using the term bloodlines instead of lineage .Because this is the story of a family that in a way isn’t connected by blood the Chironi family is started when Giuseppe the father a blacksmith is at the local orphanage and he sees a boy Michele and see in him what could be his son .So he adopts him and he grows up and falls in love with a woman called Michele hat he had met when younger  , but meet when older and start the family that we see through the 20th century through their eyes and there kids eyes .The story of the family that  follows Sardinia through the first and second world war .A family struggling , both with themselves and with the world around them changing  . In a world that has changed is the still a place for them in it .

Michele Angelo is solid and stout , plum as a well-fed animal . His clothes are basically light brown but see against the light , his substance almost blond  , like living expression of something as transient as fruit-growing from honeyed seed , in sharp contrast to the crow-like blackness that surrounds him .

A great example of Fois Prose and the great job of Silverstre the translator .

Epic is one word that can sum this up . An epic family saga , that remind me of Marquez in a way , but without any real magic realism .A family and how they face the world , also like Marquez this is a world disconnect from elsewhere round it Sardinia is an island so is both in Italy and not in Italy . In a way it remind me of the world my Father and Grandparents described .When they described the Irish republic they used to visit for weekend’s growing up in the 30 , 40 and 50s and the difference in the world just a few miles from their door .I feel Donegal at this time and Sardinia probably were quite similar worlds . Again I feel in love with Fois wonderfully rich prose style , in a way he is maybe a rich meal full of flavour . In regards the IFFP for me this is a shortlist book so I’ll be scoring it high in the shadow jury .

Have you read Fois ?

Calling in The zone and other IFFP related items

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Well strangely Tony Malone and myself discussed last year about adding a book to the IFFP longlist. if we felt a truly great book had been missed from the original list .I believe the Shadow Giller did this a few years ago .With over 120 books enter for the IFFP a few titles we considered were going to get missed but we at the shadow jury felt that Zone by Mathias Enard , was one that really should be there .So after a discussion a few of us are willing to add it so we will be adding this to our longlist. Here is my review of this book , which I am pleased to add as it also supports Fitzcarraldo editions one of our newest publishers  .In other news I ‘ve been quiet this weekend as I tried to get a few of the iffp books read and out-of-the-way , which I have done I managed to get two books read and am well into a third .How was your weekend ?

Independent foreign fiction prize longlist 2015

Well we finally get to see what us shadow IFFP folks will be reviewing over the next few weeks .I managed to guess two right   in my prediction post .I have read 7  of the longlist five I ve reviewed leaving me 8  read so here is this years longlist .A good year for what is 25 years since the prize started .I ve

 

Longlist

 

 

 

 

all info thanks to Booktrust 

 

 

 

My IFFP prediction post 2015

Well its become a bit of a tradition to do a post every year predicting the longlist for the IFFP .Well I’m honoured that they choose a thursday , next thursday for #translationthurs – my weekly meme that has grown over the years .So what books do I think will make the longlist ? I’ve mix books I’ve read with those I haven’t yet got too , but feel have a good shout .So for world book day , the prize that maybe fully brings the world of books to the uk readers the IFFP

Bonita Avenue  by Peter Buwalda

A tale of a Dutch family just as the internet is taking of and a family member using the darkest corner of the internet .I have this from library to read .

Look who’s back by Timur Vermes

Look who's back

I loved this and especially the way Jamie seemed to capture Hitlers voice so well in English . The story of what happens when Adolf hitler returns to present day germany a wonderful satire

Never any end to paris by Enrique Vila Matas

Never any end to Paris

The writers young life in Paris as a novel what wasn’t to love in this one .

sworn virgin cover Elvira Donessworn virgins by Elvira Dones

 

 

A lifting of the age-old tradition of  women become men to take over before during and after . One those books that make you think does this really happen 

Bilbao – New York – Bilbao  by Kirmen Uribe

 

 

 

A book about a writer writing a book about the small fishing town he grew up in whilst on a plane to new york . One my favourites of last year 

Harraga by Boualem Sansal

Two generations of women trap in a house in Algeria .Showing how much more has to change despite the arab spring a great book from a brave writer .

The mirror of beauty by Shamsur Rahman Faruqi

the mirror of beauty

I reviewed this a couple years ago when I was kindly sent the indian release .But the uk release came out last year and it is a translation from Urdu by the writer himself .

The portrait by Willem Jan Otten

the-portrait_300dpi-280x430

A painting of a dead boy tells its story a wonderfully unique book 

Dead lake by by Hamid Ismailov

the dead lake

A boy takes a swim in a lake in the soviet hinterland and never grows any more . As with every year Peirene could have more than one on the list .

Zone BY Mathias Enard

zone_cover

A new publisher and a great choice of this massive french novel about a train trip to rome  in a slightly different europe .

The tower by Uwe Tellkamp

 

A story of one family during the time of the former East Germany .Epic novel one of two that should be there .

Confessions by Jaume Cabre

 

 

 

Now I loved this when I read it but it got put to one side so will need a review and lets hope it was entered . the story of violence through time one man and an instrument epic catalan fiction .

Indigo by Clemens J setz

 

Childern dying of Indigo a teacher tries to find out the truth .An experimental novel from Austira .

In the end I went mainly with my favourites others I think my make actual list include the Quebert novel , Murakami ,Peterson , Nevo novels from last year all three have been on longlist before .Juan Marse is another book I read but didn’t review and he is considered Spain’s best writer of last 25 years .

What were your favourites last year ?

 

 

 

 

Winstons IFFP and shadow IFFP

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Well its been an annoying few days for me at winston towers I did reblog and then remove an advert for people to join the shadow jury  for IFFP .Which I had started  in 2012 , but it served to confused people to who was running the jury so I have  decided to share running the jury with Tony from Tony’s reading list from now on , he has far more admin skills than me and has actually taken part in every shadow jury .This will free time for my new project with Lisa  from Anzlitlovers  .The Winston’s iffp which I will be doing every year from now , in which we will pick four or five past winners or short listed books (mainly female writers as there hasn’t been a female winner ) for the prize , over the years Lisa and I hope to build a back list of reviews for all the books that have been on the IFFP prize list .We choose now to start this as it is the 25th anniversary of the prize this year .So the first five books we have chosen are .

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1990 Blue ribbonOrhan Pamuk, The White Castle (Turkish, Victoria Holbrook)

1994 Blue ribbonBao Ninh, The Sorrow of War (Vietnamese, Phanh Thanh Hao)

2004 Blue ribbonJavier Cercas, Soldiers of Salamina (Translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean)

2007 Eva Menasse, Vienna (German, trans. Anthea Bell)

2009 Celine Curiol, Voice Over (translated by Sam Richard from the French)

So basically I’ve given my self a lot of books to read over next few months but I am in the middle of a big reading high (never sure what would be opposite to slump so i just say a high lol ) .Also had chance to work with two bloggers I really enjoy .The Winston’s IFFP list is a good snapshot the first winner , one from Europe , one from Asia and two shortlisted female writers make a nice mix for our first Winston’s IFFP .Be back before the end of the month with my guess of this year longlist  , a few more reviews to go up yet .So there will be a lot of IFFP love from this blog .

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