Thursday, 8 March 2012

Judith Hermann and Matthias Politycki Longlisted for Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

Today is International Women's Day. The fifteen titles on the longlist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize include two books written by women. Women do, however, make up two thirds of the translators. Two out of five judges are women. Michael Orthofer of the Complete Review has commented that men are translated more often than women, but that it's women who tend to do the translating. These figures would appear to back that up.

Anyway, enough gloom and doom, for one of those women writers is German and she is the lovely Judith Hermann, with her book of interlocking stories called Alice, translated by Margot Bettauer Dembo. And I like Judith Hermann, she's cool and writes interesting stuff.

And another of the writers is another German and he is Matthias Politycki, for Next World Novella, translated by Anthea Bell. You can read my review here. I've never met him so I don't know if I like him but I know somebody who lives down his road.

My fingers are crossed for all four. Perhaps I can cheer myself up by seeing the list as a confirmation of women's leading role in bringing international literature into English, while simultaneously avoiding midwifery metaphors.

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