Man Booker International Prize 2017 – långa listan


Vi är lite sena på bollen men Man Booker International Prize har offentliggjort sin långa lista med 13 namn. Eller rättare sagt, 26 namn, eftersom priset delas mellan författaren och översättaren.

Och vilka namn! Mathias Enard, en av Frankrikes stora stjärnor, bör inte ha några svårigheter att gå vidare till korta listan. Många författare är också sverigeaktuella, som israelen David Grossman och argentinskan Samanta Schweblin. Albanen Ismail Kadare och Amos Oz brukar nämnas i Nobelprissammanhang och de bör också kunna erövra varsin plats på korta listan.

Om Norden vore ett land, så skulle det dominera listan, efterson det finns en norrman, en islänning och en danska på listan. Även om jag bara har läst Dorthe Nors noveller så håller jag lite extra på henne. Juryn har plockat fram riktigt spännande namn i år.

105.Mathias Enard-Compass

Mathias Enard (Frankrike), Charlotte Mandell, Compass (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

Citerat ur förlagets presentation: ”As night falls over Vienna, Franz Ritter, an insomniac musicologist, takes to his sickbed with an unspecified illness and spends a restless night drifting between dreams and memories, revisiting the important chapters of his life: his ongoing fascination with the Middle East and his numerous travels to Istanbul, Aleppo, Damascus, and Tehran, as well as the various writers, artists, musicians, academics, orientalists, and explorers who populate this vast dreamscape. At the centre of these memories is his elusive, unrequited love, Sarah, a fiercely intelligent French scholar caught in the intricate tension between Europe and the Middle East. An immersive, nocturnal, musical novel, full of generous erudition and bittersweet humour, Compass is a journey and a declaration of admiration, a quest for the otherness inside us all and a hand reaching out – like a bridge between West and East, yesterday and tomorrow. Winner of the 2015 Prix Goncourt, this is Mathias Enard’s most ambitious novel since Zone.”


Wioletta Greg (Polen), Eliza Marciniak, Swallowing Mercury (Portobello Books)

Ur förlagets beskrivning: ”Wiola lives in a close-knit agricultural community. Wiola has a black cat called Blackie. Wiola’s father was a deserter but now he is a taxidermist. Wiola’s mother tells her that killing spiders brings on storms. Wiola must never enter the seamstress’s ‘secret’ room. Wiola collects matchbox labels. Wiola is a good Catholic girl brought up with fables and nurtured on superstition. Wiola lives in a Poland that is both very recent and lost in time.”


David Grossman (Israel), Jessica Cohen, A Horse Walks Into a Bar (Jonathan Cape)

Ur förlagets beskrivning: ”The setting is a comedy club in a small Israeli town. An audience that has come expecting an evening of amusement instead sees a comedian falling apart on stage; an act of disintegration, a man crumbling, as a matter of choice, before their eyes. They could get up and leave, or boo and whistle and drive him from the stage, if they were not so drawn to glimpse his personal hell. Dovaleh G, a veteran stand-up comic – charming, erratic, repellent – exposes a wound he has been living with for years: a fateful and gruesome choice he had to make between the two people who were dearest to him.”

16.Stefan Hertmans-War and Turpentine

Stefan Hertmans (Belgien), David McKay, War and Turpentine (Harvill Secker)

Ur förlagets presentation: ”Shortly before his death at the age of 90, Stefan Hertmans’ grandfather Urbain gave his grandson a set of notebooks. […] As Stefan began to read, he found himself drawn into a conversation across the centuries, as Urbain – so quiet and reserved in life – revealed his eloquence and his private passions on the page. Gradually, as he learned of his grandfather’s heroics in the First World War, the loss of his great love, and his later years spent seeking solace in art and painting, a portrait emerged of the grandfather he had never fully known.” Den här boken fanns med på åtskilliga listor över förra årets bästa böcker, bland dem New York Times lista över de 10 bästa.

78.Roy Jacobsen-The Unseen

Roy Jacobsen (Norge), Don Bartlett, Don Shaw, The Unseen (MacLehose)

Citerat ur förlagets beskrivning: ”The Unseen was a huge bestseller in Roy Jacobsen’s native Norway when it was published to great acclaim in 2011. It is about a family that lives on an island just off the Norwegian coast at the beginning of the twentieth century. About a girl who, her parents fear, might not be quite right, but who proves herself more capable and resourceful than anyone else. And there is a wonderful contradiction at its heart – island life is tough, a slog, but Jacobsen’s prose is delicate and beautiful:

Nobody can leave an island. An island is a cosmos in a nutshell, where the stars slumber in the grasss beneath the snow. But occasionally someone tries …”

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Ismail Kadare (Albanien), John Hodgson, The Traitor’s Niche (Harvill Secker)

Ur förlagets beskrivning: ”At the heart of the Ottoman Empire, in the main square of Constantinople, a niche is carved into ancient stone. Here, the sultan displays the severed heads of his adversaries. People flock to see the latest head and gossip about the state of the empire: the province of Albania is demanding independence again, and the niche awaits a new trophy… […] The Traitor’s Niche is a surreal tale of rebellion and tyranny, in a land where armies carry scarecrows, state officials ban entire languages, and the act of forgetting is more complicated than remembering.”

86.Jon Kalman Stefansson-Fish Have No Feet

Jon Kalman Stefansson (Island), Phil Roughton, Fish Have No Feet (MacLehose)

Ur förlagets beskrivning: ”Fish Have No Feet is the first part in a new series by Jón Kalman Stefánsson. It is a timeslip novel that sets a writer’s return to present-day Keflavik – perhaps the darkest place in Iceland, surrounded by black lava fields and hemmed in by a sea that may not be fished – against the story of his grandparents’ struggle to survive in a village on the eastern coast.”


17.Yan Lianke-The Explosion Chronicles

Yan Lianke (Kina), Carlos Rojas, The Explosion Chronicles (Chatto & Windus)

Citerat ur förlagets presentation: ”With the Yi River on one side and the Balou Mountains on the other, the village of Explosion was founded a thousand years ago by refugees fleeing a volcanic eruption. But in the post-Mao era, the name takes on a new significance as the rural community grows explosively from a small village to a town to a city to a vast megalopolis. […] Brimming with absurdity, intelligence and wit, The Explosion Chronicles considers the high stakes of passion and power, the consequences of corruption and greed, the dynamics of love and hate, as well as the seemingly boundless excesses of capitalist culture.”

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Alain Mabanckou (Frankrike), Helen Stevenson, Black Moses (Serpent’s Tail)

”Africa’s Samuel Beckett … one of the continent’s greatest living writers”
The Guardian

43.Clemens Meyer-Bricks and Mortar

Clemens Meyer (Tyskland), Katy Derbyshire, Bricks and Mortar (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

”A journey to the end of the night for 20/21st century Germany. Meyer reworks Döblin and Céline into a modern epic prose film with endless tracking shots of the gash of urban life, bought flesh and the financial transaction (the business of sex); memory as unspooling corrupted tape; journeys as migrations, as random as history and its splittings.”
— Chris Petit, author of Robinson

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Dorthe Nors (Danmark), Misha Hoekstra, Mirror, Shoulder, Signal (Pushkin Press)

Citerat ur förlagets presentation: ”Mirror, Shoulder, Signal is a poignant, sharp-witted tale of one woman’s journey in search of herself when there’s no one to ask for directions.” Det här är något så ovanligt som en roman om en 40-årig kvinna, som inte definieras utifrån sitt äktenskap eller mödraskap.

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Amos Oz (Israel), Nicholas de Lange, Judas (Chatto & Windus)

Ur förlagets presentation: ”Set in the still-divided Jerusalem of 1959–60, Judas is an exquisite love story and coming-of-age tale, and a radical rethinking of the concept of treason. It is a novel steeped in desire and curiosity from one of Israel’s greatest living writers.”

111.Samanta Schweblin-Fever Dream

Samanta Schweblin (Argentina), Megan McDowell, Fever Dream (Oneworld)

Ur förlagets presentation: ”One of the freshest new voices to come out of the Spanish language, Samanta Schweblin creates an aura of strange and deeply unsettling psychological menace in this cautionary tale of maternal love, broken souls and the power and desperation of family.”

Det är roligt att det finns med så många böcker från små förlag, inte mindre än två från Fitzcarraldo Editions respektive MacLehose. Det är på sätt och vis logiskt. Jag har läst någonstans att den översatta litteraturen utgör 3% av den totala utgivningen, och det är till stor del de lite mindre förlagen som står för den.

Att vara Nobelpristippad, som Amos Oz och Ismail Kadare, är ingen garanti för att gå vidare till korta listan. Jag tycker att det är oerhört svårtippat, men jag tror att Oz och Kadare går vidare tillsammans med Dorthe Nors, Mathias Enard, David Grossman och Yan Lianke. Det är bara en gissning – juryn kanske droppar ett par tungviktare för att undvika förutsägbarhet? J.M. Coetzee gick ju exempelvis inte vidare till Man Booker-prisets korta lista förra året. Och det vore ingen direkt skräll om Stefan HertmansAlain Mabanckou eller Samanta Schweblin knep platser på årets korta lista.

Vilka tror/hoppas du kommer att gå vidare?

Korta listan offentliggörs 20/4 och vinnaren utses 14/6.

Ola Wihlke

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