At London Book Fair: The International Booker Prize 2023 Shortlist

In News by Porter Anderson

The International Booker Prize shortlist again this year is announced at London Book Fair: ‘Questioning the narrative.’

Author and International Booker Prize jury chair Leïla Slimani announces the 2023 shortlist at London Book Fair on its opening day, April 18. Image: Booker Prize Foundation

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

See also today: The Booker Prize Foundation’s New Nielsen Findings on Translation Buyers

Slimani: ‘Sensual Books’
In announcing today (April 18) at London Book Fair its 2023 International Booker Prize shortlist, the Booker Prize Foundation pointed to new research provided by Nielsen Book on buyers of translated fiction in the United Kingdom. You can find a separate article on that data here.

Publishing Perspectives readers know, of course, that there are too Booker prizes. This one is not the Booker Prize for Fiction, but the International Booker Prize, focused on translation.

Its £50,000 prize (US$62,134) is to be split into £25,000 (US$31,067) each for the author and for the translator—or divided equally between multiple translators. There also is a purse of £5,000 (US$6,213) for each of the shortlisted titles: £2,500 (US$3,106) each for the author and for the translator or, again, divided equally between multiple translators.

In terms of its shortlist announcement, made in the Tech Theatre area of London Book Fair at Olympia, this morning by jury chair and author Leïla Slimani. The six titles on this year’s shortlist include two author debuts—Whale by Cheon Myeong-kwan, translated by Chi-Young Kim; and Standing Heavy by GauZ’, translated by Frank Wynne.

Also brought over from the longlist, Maryse Condé’s The Gospel According to the New World is the work of the oldest writer to capture International Booker Prize attention.

And included in this shortlist are the program’s first two nominated books translated from Bulgarian and Catalan. Our article on the longlist is here.

The jury’s selection of the 13 longlisted International Booker Prize titles was made from an original pool of 134 books published between May 1 of last year and April 30. Submissions are made by publishers.

International Booker Prize 2022 Shortlist

Image: Booker Prize Foundation


Title Original Language Author Author Nationality Translator Translator Nationality UK Publisher/Imprint
Boulder Catalan Eva Baltasar Catalan Julia Sanches Brazilian And Other Stories
Whale Korean Cheon Myeong-Kwan Korean Chi-Young Kim Korean-American Europa Editions
The Gospel According to the New World French Maryse Condé French Richard Philcox British World Editions
Standing Heavy French GauZ’ Ivorian Frank Wynne Irish Hachette/MacLehose Press
Time Shelter Bulgarian Georgi Gospodinov Bulgarian Angela Rodel American Hachette/Weidenfeld & Nicholson
Still Born Spanish Guadalupe Nettel Mexican Rosalind Harvey British Fitzcarraldo Editions
Slimani: ‘Nicely Perverse”

As we reported in August, the jury for this year’s International Booker Prize comprises Leïla Slimani, chair; Uilleam BlackerTan Twan Eng; Parul Sehgal; and Frederick Studemann.

Referring to the shortlist as “cool” and “sexy,” Slimani said, “These books are all bold, subversive, nicely perverse. There is something sneaky about a lot of them. I also feel that these are sensual books, where the question of the body is important. What is it like to have a body? How do you write about the experience of the body?

“These are not abstract or theoretical books, but on the contrary, very grounded books, about people, places, moments. All these authors also question the narrative and what it means to write a novel today.”

The winner of the International Booker Prize 2023 is expected to be announced at a ceremony at Sky Garden in London on May 23.

Here’s the recording of Slimani’s announcement of the shortlist at London Book Fair.

More from Publishing Perspectives on both Booker Prize programs is here. More on the International Booker Prize is here, more on translation is here, and more from us on international publishing and book awards programs in general is here. More on London Book Fair, which runs through Thursday (April 18) is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.