‘The Language and Literature’s Power’
A record year for submissions and a two-and-a-half-fold increase in the money for each shortlisted title are highlights of this year’s International Booker Prize, which announced its 2022 longlist of 13 titles this morning (March 10).
The programme offers a piece in Hindi for the first time, having been translated from 11 languages and 12 nations across four continents.
The total value of the prize has been increased to £80,000 (US$105,368) this year. The increase is due to an increase in the prize money from £1,000 to a more generous £2,500 (US$3,290) for each of the award’s shortlisted authors and translators, who will be unveiled on April 7 during the London Book Fair (April 5 to 7).
The translator and author who win will share £50,000 (US$65,835). The winners will be announced on May 25 at London’s One Marylebone suite of event venues, which was renovated from John Soane’s 1828 Holy Trinity Church.
As readers of Publishing Perspectives are aware, today’s longlist announcement is not for the Booker Prize for Fiction. The International Booker Prize is the younger sister of the Booker Prize for Fiction, founded in 2005 to recognise both author and translator for a single work of fiction translated into English and published in the United Kingdom or Ireland.
The International Booker Prize’s Economic Impact
One of the most valuable things the Booker Foundation provides to the publishing business is an understanding of the impact of its awards on sales. In an industry saturated with awards, shockingly few programmes provide this information. While increased sales are frequently touted as a reason for the proliferation of prize programmes in the book industry, the actual bookselling efficacy of the majority of awards is rarely backed up by publicly available statistics.
We continue to hope that more of the industry’s numerous awards will follow the Booker program’s lead and provide such data. Indeed, the Booker team’s longer-term and more detailed insights would be welcomed as well.
- The foundation claims that following the announcement of the 2021 International Booker Prize winner, At Night All Blood Is Black, authored by David Diop and translated by Anna Moschovakis, the book’s publisher, Pushkin Press, immediately ordered a five-figure reprint.
- At Night All Blood Is Black sales increased 477 percent in the week following the winning announcement.
Former US President Barack Obama, who is well-known for his devotion to both Booker prizes, placed At Night All Blood Is Black atop his summer reading list.
Honoring Authors and Translators Equally
This prize, which adheres closely to a portion of Publishing Perspectives’ internationalist goal, is designed to “promote the publication and reading of high-quality works of imagination from throughout the world, as well as to elevate the role of translators.” Both novels and collections of short stories are acceptable. And the award is notable for being among the first to distribute honour equally between translators and authors, a practise that is now echoed in the United States’ National Book Awards’ translation category.
Two former award-winning author-translator teams return this year: Olga Tokarczuk and Jennifer Croft; and David Grossman and Jessica Cohen.
Croft is the translator who, in collaboration with author Mark Haddon and the Society of Authors, launched the critical #TranslatorsOnTheCover campaign on International Translation Day 2021, urging publishers to give equal credit to translators and authors (as the International Booker does), by including both the author’s and translator’s names on the covers of translated works. Today, not every publisher on the Booker shortlist does this.
Tilted Axis Press, an independent publisher, features on the International Booker Prize longlist for the first time this year, with three titles. Deborah Smith, a recipient of the International Booker Prize, founded Tilted Axis.
Fitzcarraldo Editions, a well-known translation business, is also represented on the longlist with three titles. The big publishers are represented this year by Penguin Random House, Hachette, and Pan Macmillan, each presenting a single title from one of their imprints or divisions.
Translator Anton Hur has been nominated for two awards this year.
The jury for this year’s International Booker Prize began with that record-breaking opening pool of submissions, which totaled 135 entries.
International Booker Prize 2022 Longlist
|Title||Author||Translator||Original Language||Author Residence||Publisher or Imprint|
|Cursed Bunny||Bora Chung||Anton Hur||Korean||South Korea||Honford Star|
|After the Sun||Jonas Eika||Sherilyn Nicolette Hellberg||Danish||Denmark||Lolli Editions|
|A New Name: Septology VI-VII||Jon Fosse||Damion Searls||Norwegian||Norway||Fitzcarraldo Editions|
|More Than I Love My Life||David Grossman||Jessica Cohen||Hebrew||Israel||Penguin Random House UK/Jonathan Cape|
|The Book of Mother||Violaine Huisman||Leslie Camhi||French||France||Hachette UK/Little, Brown/Virago|
|Heaven||Mieko Kawakami||Samuel Bett and David Boyd||Japanese||Japan||Pan Macmillan/Picador|
|Paradais||Fernanda Melchor||Sophie Hughes||Spanish||Mexico||Fitzcarraldo Editions|
|Love in the Big City||Sang Young Park||Anton Hur||Korean||South Korea||Tilted Axis Press|
|Happy Stories, Mostly||Norman Erikson Pasaribu||Tiffany Tsao||Indonesian||Indonesia||Tilted Axis Press|
|Elena Knows||Claudia Piñeiro||Frances Riddle||Spanish||Argentina||Charco Press|
|Phenotypes||Paulo Scott||Daniel Hahn||Portuguese||Brazil||And Other Stories|
|Tomb of Sand||Geetanjali Shree||Daisy Rockwell||Hindi||India||Tilted Axis Press|
|The Books of Jacob||Olga Tokarczuk||Jennifer Croft||Polish||Poland||Fitzcarraldo Editions|
‘From the Intimate to the Epic’: Frank Wynne
For the first time, the International Booker Prize jury will be chaired by a translator, Frank Wynne.
Wynne is joined by the following individuals:
- Author and academic Merve Emre
- Writer and lawyer Petina Gappah
- Writer, comedian a presenter in television, radio, and podcasts Viv Groskop
- Translator and author Jeremy Tiang
Wynne is cited as saying, “[Jorge Luis] Borges famously claimed that paradise would be ‘a kind of library,’ and spending the last year in the company of some of the world’s greatest writers and their equally excellent translators has been a kind of heaven.”
“From the intimate to the epic, the numinous to the profane, the works that comprise a hotly contested longlist trace a ring around the globe.
“These thirteen publications from twelve countries and eleven languages span the breadth and depth of human experience and serve as a monument to the language and literary powers.”
This is the 45th awards report released by Publishing Perspectives in the 49 days since our 2022 activities began on January 3.
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