Man Booker Finalists, (Just about) All in One Place

By Susan Harris

There are many reasons to be excited about the Man Booker International Prize Finalists' List announced Tuesday. The ten authors come from ten different countries, six of which—Libya, Mozambique, Guadeloupe, Hungary, South Africa, and Congo—appear for the first time; and eight of the ten write in languages other than English. We're delighted that six of those eight appear in our pages. César Aira's Literary Conference sees an impoverished translator finding a pirate's treasure. Congolese novelist Alain Mabanckou contributes excerpts from African Psycho, Broken Glass, and Blue, White, Red. Take a deep breath before reading László Krasznahorkai's headlong single-sentence story, "Ultimo Lobo". Mozambique's Mia Couto swings from elegy to whimsy with "Old Man with Garden at the Rear End of Time" and "The Fat Indian Girl."  Libyan writer Ibrahim al-Koni's "Right Course," from his Seven Veils of Seth, reveals the malice of camels; Marlene van Niekerk's Agaat subverts the tradition of the Afrikaans farm novel. The winner, who'll receive a thumping £60,000, will be announced May 19. Congratulations and good luck to all. 


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