These are the 6 books you have to read in April

The International Booker Prize shortlist has been announced for 2020. Picture: The Booker Prize

The International Booker Prize shortlist has been announced for 2020. Picture: The Booker Prize - Credit: The Booker Prize

The shortlist for the International Booker Prize has been announced - it’s the ideal reading list for while you’re in isolation.

The International Booker Prize has announced its shortlist for the 2020 edition of the coveted award – with six books making the cut.

The prize is awarded annually to a book that is translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. Its aims are to encourage more publishing and reading of global fiction, as well as promoting the work of translators. Both novels and short-story collections are eligible.

The 2020 announcement was made across its digital channels including Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and The Booker Prizes website.

Celebrating the best in the world of translated fiction from around the world, 124 books were considered by the judges this year, and whittled down to 13 to create the longlist which was revealed back in February.


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The full shortlist of six nominees is as follows:

The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree by Shokoofeh Azar (Farsi; Iran), translated by Anonymous, published by Europa Editions.

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The Adventures of China Iron by Gabriela Cabezón Cámara (Spanish; Argentina), translated by Iona Macintyre and Fiona Mackintosh, published by Charco Press.

Tyll by Daniel Kehlmann (German; German), translated by Ross Benjamin, published by Quercus.

Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor (Spanish; Mexico), translated by Sophie Hughes, Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions.

The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa (Japanese; Japan), translated by Stephen Snyder, published by Harvill Secker.

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld (Dutch; Netherlands), translated by Michele Hutchison, published by Faber & Faber.

This year’s panel comprised of five judges, chaired by Ted Hodgkinson, head of literature and Spoken Word at Southbank Centre. He was accompanied by Lucie Campos, director of the Villa Gillet, France’s centre for international writing; Man Booker International prize-winning translator and writer Jennifer Croft; Man Booker prize longlisted author Valeria Luiselli; and writer, poet and musician Jeet Thayil, whose novel Narcopolis was shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2012.

Ted Hodgkinson said: “Each of our shortlisted books restlessly reinvents received narratives, from foundational myths to family folklore, plunging us into discomforting and elating encounters with selves in a state of transition.

“Whether capturing a deftly imagined dystopia or incandescent flows of language, these are tremendous feats of translation, which in these isolating times, represent the pinnacle of an art-form rooted in dialogue. Our shortlist transcends this unprecedented moment, immersing us in expansively imagined lives that hold enduring fascination.”

The winning prize is £50,000 – split equally between the author and translator – with each shortlisted author and translator also receiving £1,000. This brings the total value of the prize to £62,000. The Booker prizes are sponsored by charitable foundation Crankstart.

Last year’s accolade was awarded to Celestial Bodies, written by Jokha Alharthi and translated by Marilyn Booth from Arabic and published by Sandstone Press.

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