Two well-renowned Israeli authors, Amos Oz and David Grossman, and an Argentine first-time novelist are among the shortlisted finalists for this year's Man Booker International Prize for fiction.
Finalists for the most prestigious literature prize in the English language literature were announced Thursday in London. Three European writers, two from Israel and one from Argentina are vying for the 50,000-pound (60,000-euro) prize awarded to a work of fiction translated into English and published in Britain.
Decorated Israeli writer David Grossman ("A Horse Walks Into a Bar"), who won the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade in 2010, joins compatriot novelist Amos Oz on the shortlist, the latter making it for the second time for his coming-of-age novel, "Judas," set in Jerusalem in 1959.
The other non-European author picked by the five judges is upcoming Argentinian writer Samanta Schweblin, whose short, impressionistic and unsettling first novel "Fever Dream" has garnered highly favorable reviews.
French writer Mathias Enard's insomniac odyssey "Compass," Norwegian author Roy Jacobsen's island family epic "The Unseen," and Danish novelist Dorthe Nors' tale of driving lessons and self-doubt, "Mirror, Shoulder, Signal," are the three European contenders.
Judging panel chair, Nick Barley, who is also the Edinburgh International Book Festival director, praised a shortlist that "spans the epic and the everyday."
"From fevered dreams to sleepless nights, from remote islands to overwhelming cities, these wonderful novels shine a light on compelling individuals struggling to make sense of their place in a complex world," he said.
"It's been an exceptionally strong year for translated fiction," Barley added. The Man Booker prize money is divided between the author and the translator of the winning entry.
Barley also said that the Man Booker finalists were an important barometer of the times. "In these times when walls are being built, this explosion of brilliant ideas from around the world arriving into the English language feels more important than ever," he said. "I'd like to send Donald Trump this shortlist for his birthday."
The winner of the 2017 prize will be announced on June 14 at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.
The panel of judges for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize includes translator Daniel Hahn, award-winning poet Helen Mort, Turkish author and academic Elif Shafak, and Nigerian-born writer Chika Unigwe.
South Korean author Han Kang won the 2016 prize for "The Vegetarian."
dg/sb/eg (AP, AFPE)