Know more about the Books shortlisted for the International Booker Prize 2020

Chirdeep Malhotra . Updated: 5/26/2020 2:33:41 AM Books and Authors

The six shortlisted books for International Booker Prize 2020

The judges of the 2020 International Booker Prize announced the six shortlisted books for the prize, digitally on 2 April. The International Booker Prize celebrates the finest translated fiction from around the world. This year’s shortlist features six titles translated from five languages: Spanish, German, Dutch, Farsi and Japanese. The shortlisted authors hail from six countries and their books examine humanity’s need to understand the world through narrative, either through sharing our own stories, through understanding our histories and origins, or through processing trauma and grief. You can read more about the shortlisted books here. Pick up any book from this shortlist which interests you and indulge in reading pleasure.

1.) The Enlightenment of The Greengage Tree

By Shokoofeh Azar, Translated by Anonymous

Set in Iran in the decade following the 1979 Islamic Revolution, this moving, richly imagined novel is narrated by the ghost of Bahar, a thirteen-year-old girl, whose family is compelled to flee their home in Tehran for a new life in a small village, hoping in this way to preserve both their intellectual freedom and their lives. But they soon find themselves caught up in the post-revolutionary chaos that sweeps across their ancient land and its people. Bahar’s mother, after a tragic loss, will embark on a long, eventful journey in search of meaning in a world swept up in the post-revolutionary madness.

2.) The Adventures of China Iron

By Gabriela Cabezón Cámara, Translated by Iona Macintyre and Fiona Mackintosh

This book takes the reader from the turbulent frontier culture of the pampas deep into indigenous territories. It charts the adventures of Mrs. China Iron, Martín Fierro’s abandoned wife, in her travels across the pampas in a covered wagon with her new-found friend, soon to become lover, a Scottish woman named Liz. The narrative moves through the Argentinian landscape, charting the flora and fauna of the Pampas, Gaucho culture, Argentinian nation-building and British colonial projects.

3.) Tyll

By Daniel Kehlmann, Translated by Ross Benjamin

The book is set in early 17th-century Europe, during the thirty years’ war, a sectarian power struggle over the Holy Roman Empire. The narrative follows Tyll Ulenspiegel, as he travels through a continent devastated by the Thirty Years’ War, and encounters along the way a hangman, a fraudulent Jesuit scholar, and the exiled King Frederick and Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia.

4.) Hurricane Season

By Fernanda Melchor, Translated by Sophie Hughes

The Witch is dead. And the discovery of her corpse―by a group of children playing near the irrigation canals―propels the whole village into an investigation of how and why this murder occurred. Hurricane Season takes place in a world filled with mythology and violence―real violence, the kind that seeps into the soil, poisoning everything around: it’s a world that becomes more terrifying and more terrifyingly real the deeper you explore it. The novel unfolds in a dazzling linguistic torrent, forming a lasting portrait of a damned Mexican village.

5.) The Memory Police

By Yoko Ogawa, Translated by Stephen Snyder

This book is a haunting Orwellian novel about the terrors of state surveillance, from the acclaimed author of The Housekeeper and the Professor.
On an unnamed island off an unnamed coast, objects are disappearing: first hats, then ribbons, birds, roses—until things become much more serious. Most of the island’s inhabitants are oblivious to these changes, while those few imbued with the power to recall the lost objects live in fear of the draconian Memory Police, who are committed to ensuring that what has disappeared remains forgotten.
When a young woman who is struggling to maintain her career as a novelist discovers that her editor is in danger from the Memory Police, she concocts a plan to hide him beneath her floorboards. As fear and loss close in around them, they cling to her writing as the last way of preserving the past.

6.) The Discomfort of Evening

By Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, Translated by Michele Hutchison

Jas lives with her devout farming family in the rural Netherlands. One winter’s day, her older brother joins an ice skating trip; resentful at being left alone, she makes a perverse plea to God; he never returns. As grief overwhelms the farm, Jas succumbs to a vortex of increasingly disturbing fantasies, watching her family disintegrate into a darkness that threatens to derail them all.
A bestselling sensation in the Netherlands by a prize-winning young poet, Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s debut novel lays everything bare. It is a world of language unlike any other, which Michele Hutchison’s striking translation captures in all its wild, violent beauty. Studded with unforgettable images – visceral, raw, surreal –The Discomfort of Evening is a radical reading experience that will leave you changed forever.

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