I think that many of you will be aware by now that the longlist for the 2012 IFFP (Independent Foreign Fiction Prize) has been announced, and regular readers of my blog will understand that this is one of the year's more interesting literary prizes for Tony's Reading List. While I'm not committing myself to reading the whole list (that would be very silly and would be tempting fate in a way guaranteed to bring down retribution from various gods), I am hoping to make serious inroads into the fifteen works chosen, so here is a brief overview of the current state of play...
Books I've already read and reviewed:
• 1Q84: Books 1 and 2 by Haruki Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin (Harvill Secker)
• Next World Novella by Matthias Politycki, translated from the German by Anthea Bell (Peirene Press)***
• Please Look After Mother by Kyung-sook Shin, translated from the Korean by Shin Chi-Young Kim (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)
Books I have on order at my local library:
• Dream of Ding Village by Yan Lianke, translated from the Chinese by Cindy Carter (Corsair)
• From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón, translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb (Telegram Books)
• The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco, translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon (Harvill Secker)
• Seven Houses in France by Bernardo Atxaga, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa (Harvill Secker)
Books I can't get at the library and may buy:
• Alice by Judith Hermann, translated from the German by Margot Bettauer Dembo (The Clerkenwell Press)***
• New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani, translated from the Italian by Judith Landry (Dedalus)
Books I may consider if they get to the shortlist stage:
• Blooms of Darkness by Aharon Appelfeld, translated from the Hebrew by Jeffrey M. Green (Alma Books)
• The Emperor of Lies by Steve Sem-Sandberg, translated from the Swedish by Sarah Death (Faber & Faber)
• Hate: A Romance by Tristan Garcia, translated from the French by Marion Duvert and Lorin Stein (Faber & Faber)***
• Parallel Stories by Peter Nadas, translated from the Hungarian by Imre Goldstein (Jonathan Cape)
• Professor Andersen's Night by Dag Solstad, translated from the Norwegian by Agnes Scott Langeland (Harvill Secker)• Scenes From Village Life by Amos Oz, translated from the Hebrew by Nicholas De Lange (Chatto & Windus)
***Please note that any books in French or German will be read in the original, not the translation...
It's a big ask, but I'll do my best. If any publisher wants to donate review copies, that would be lovely too!
And if you're looking for more quality reviews of this longlist, you could do worse than stop by the Winston's Dad blog and see what Stu and his sterling selection of shadow panelists make of this year's choices. That's quite enough blathering on for now though - it's about time I cracked open another book...