The ten Man Booker International Prize Finalists are:

  • U R Ananthamurthy (India)
  • Aharon Appelfeld (Israel)
  • Lydia Davis (USA)
  • Intizar Husain (Pakistan)
  • Yan Lianke (China)
  • Marie NDiaye (France)
  • Josip Novakovich (Canada)
  • Marilynne Robinson (USA)
  • Vladimir Sorokin (Russia)
  • Peter Stamm (Switzerland)

This marks the second time in a row that there have been no Latin American authors, not that that’s at all surprising given the judges’ backgrounds. I am pleased to see Lydia Davis and Marilynne Robinson on the list, as I think they are two of the best writers in the United States.

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By | 2013-01-24T12:17:24+00:00 January 24th, 2013|Categories: Uncategorized|12 Comments


  1. stujallen January 24, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    yes and also no African writers as well ,all the best stu

  2. Trevor January 24, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Ah, I was expecting there to be no Latin American authors but, due to Aminata Forna’s involvement, I expected an African author. I didn’t even register there wasn’t one. Strange. It seems the other four judges got authors in their particular areas.

  3. Lisa Hill January 24, 2013 at 9:42 pm

    Well, there aren’t any Australian authors either, come to that. My contenders would be David Malouf, Gerald Murnane, Brian Castro, Shirley Hazzard, Christopher Koch, Elliot Perlman, Susan Johnson, Kim SCott and from New Zealand Fiona Kidman.
    But I think it’s a good list, an interesting list, that introduces us to new authors. Well, mostly new. Thanks to Shadow Jury Duty I’ve read & reviewed Yan Lianke (2) and also Aharon Appelfeld and admired them immensely. So on the strength of these judge’s judgement I’ve ordered all the others except Robinson (because I read Gilead and didn’t like it).

  4. Lee Monks January 31, 2013 at 5:59 am

    There are some fine writers on that list but only one Lydia Davis, who is a genius, so I hope she wins. It’d prompt a few people to try her out as well: my attempts have all failed thus far. She’s pigeonholed as pointedly quirky or whatever.

  5. Trevor January 31, 2013 at 11:45 am

    Not at all, Lee, your attempts succeeded in getting me to read Davis, and I agree with you (though I’d say a few others on the list are geniuses, too). In fact, I’m hoping to start covering her Collected Stories relatively soon. I do think it’s a shame some don’t think she’s worthy of this award because she hasn’t written many novels.

  6. KevinfromCanada January 31, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    I’d felt guilty as a Canadian that I had never heard about Novakovitch, but am feeling less so now that his personal history has been documented.

    Actually, when the short list was announced, he still didn’t have landed immigrant status in Canada — that arrived a few days later. Turns out he had departed the U.S. for Canada because he had problems with the leadership of George W. Bush.

    All English-language nations have their famous emigre-writers, but I’d suggest Novakovitch may be the harbinger of a new version. Passports from Yugoslavia, Croatia and the United States all came before the Canadian one, once he gets it.

    None of which is a commentary on his fiction which, I admit, I have read. Given my high rating of The Bridge on the Drina, I am inclined to give his novel a try.

  7. Trevor January 31, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    I hadn’t looked into his history, Kevin, but that certainly is strange. Well, if he wins he’ll be the second Canadian to do so!

  8. Lee Monks January 31, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Yes, in no way was my comment a detraction from other authors’ merits: I just have a serious love of Davis work. And I’m delighted my encouragement led to your checking Davis out, if that’s the case. It’s true she’s an acquired taste: one friend gave up after perhaps two stories, irked by the tenor it seemed.

  9. Liz at Literary Masters March 20, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Can anyone recommend a specific title by Lydia Davis? I’d like to give her a try, but would prefer a novel to short stories. Is The End of the Story her only novel? Also, any idea when the prize will be awarded?

  10. Trevor March 20, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Hi Liz.

    The prize will be awarded on May 22, so there’s still plenty of time for folks to get familiar with a few of the authors :) .

    As for Lydia Davis, I actually have never read The End of the Story, which I believe is her only novel. I highly recommend her short stories, though. That’s what she’s known for and they’re strange and wonderful. They are also incredibly varied.

    Also, she’s a great translator. I haven’t read her new translation of Madame Bovary, but her translation of No Tomorrow is superb (and is what we’ll be talking about on our next podcast).

    If you do chase down her novel, I’d love to hear your thoughts on it :)

  11. Trevor March 20, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Oh, and you asked for a specific title. The best bang for your buck is The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, a 750-page beast.

  12. Liz at Literary Masters March 20, 2013 at 6:41 pm

    Excellent–thanks so much.

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