14th March, 2023
By Nehru Odeh
The longlist of the 2023 International Booker Prize has been announced. The £50,000 prize is awarded annually for a novel or short story collection written originally in any language, translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. The prize money is split equally between the author and translator of the winning book.
The shortlist of six books will be announced at London Book Fair on 18 April, with the winner announced at a London ceremony on 23 May.
According to French Moroccan novelist and chair of judges Leïla Slimani, the list, which was chosen from 134 books published between 1 May 2022 and 30 April 2023 and submitted to the prize by publishers “celebrates the variety and diversity of literary production today.”
Slimani also said the list was a “celebration of the power of language and of authors who wanted to push formal inquiry as far as possible.”
‘Through literature we experience the fact that we are, at the end of the day, just human beings. We cry the same. We are moved by the same things. We are all afraid, we all fall in love and we have the same emotions. And this is the point of translation, that all over the world we can understand an emotion.
“What was very rewarding about this experience was reading books from all over the world, with an extraordinary variety of form and content.
“Each of the judges had different tastes and that is what we have tried to reflect on this list.
“It celebrates the variety and diversity of literary production today, the different ways in which the novel can be viewed. We wanted to give the reader the chance to discover this and to find something that will move or disturb them.
‘The list is also a celebration of the power of language and of authors who wanted to push formal enquiry as far as possible. We wanted to celebrate literary ambition, panache, originality and of course, through this, the talent of translators who have been able to convey all of this with great skill.”