2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Longlist announced

Posted on 12th March 2015 by Rob Chilver
Today the longlist for the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize was announced.

Now in its 25th year, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is managed by reading charity Booktrust and sets out to honour contemporary fiction in translation. The £10,000 prize money is divided equally between author and translator,recognising the importance of the translator in their ability to bridge the gap between languages and cultures.

Haruki Murakami and Karl Ove Knausgaard are among 15 authors on the longlist for the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. Both authors have been longlisted twice before and face fierce competition from other award-winning international names including Italian Marcello Fois and Belgian author Erwin Mortier.

The longlist authors and books are:

The Ravens by Tomas Bannerhed translated from the Swedish by Sarah Death 

The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky

Bloodlines by Marcello Fois translated from the Italian by Silvester Mazzarella 

In the Beginning Was the Sea by Tomás González translated from the Spanish by Frank Wynne

The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov translated from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield

F by Daniel Kehlmann, translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway (Quercus)

Boyhood Island by Karl Ove Knausgaard translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett

By Night the Mountain Burns by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel translated from the Spanish by Jethro Soutar

The Investigation by Jung-Myung Lee translated from the Korean by Chi-Young Kim 

While the Gods Were Sleeping by Erwin Mortier translated from the Dutch by Paul Vincent**

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami translated from the Japanese by Philip Gabriel 

The Giraffe’s Neck by Judith Schalansky translated from the German by Shaun Whiteside 

Tiger Milk by Stefanie de Velasco translated from the German by Tim Mohr

Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch 

The Last Lover by Can Xue translated from the Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen 

This year’s 15-strong longlist, was chosen by a panel of five judges from 111 titles from 28 source languages.  The judges are: 

  • Cristina Fuentes La Roche is the Director of Hay Festival Americas, replacing Rosie Goldsmith who has sadly had to withdraw for personal reasons
  • Antonia Lloyd-Jones is a full-time translator of Polish literature
  • Richard Mansell is Senior Lecturer in Translation at the University of Exeter
  • Helen Oyeyemi is the author of five novels, including White is for Witching, Mr Fox and Boy, Snow, Bird.
  • Boyd Tonkin is a senior writer and columnist for The Independent, and has been a longstanding judge of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize since 2000.

Claire Shanahan, Booktrust’s Head of Arts and non-voting chair of the judges, says: ‘We are delighted to present the very best of the latest fiction from around the world; over its 25-year history, the IFFP has established itself as a hallmark of quality. This list highlights voices unheard n English before, beside writers of cult-status Knausgaard and Murakami who have an army of devoted and passionate fans. In this wide tapestry of culture and knowledge, there is something for every reader in order to gain a deeper understanding of who they are and the place they have in the world – or simply be entertained.’

Boyd Tonkin, judge, and columnist and senior writer at The Independent says: ‘With its spread of well-known global names and fresh talent, this outstanding longlist will introduce readers to old favourites and new discoveries. All arrive in first-rate translations that give a platform for this precious but sometimes under-valued art. I’m delighted that fiction from east Asia has such a strong presence. And the remarkable crop of German contenders shows that, in the 25th anniversary year of the Berlin Wall’s fall, UK publishers paid well-deserved attention to the country’s robust and vibrant literary scene.’

The shortlist will be unveiled on Thursday 9th April with the winner announced on Wednesday 27th May.


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