2021 International Booker Prize announces shortlist of 6

The 2021 International Booker Prize has made a shortlist of six writers saying it is “delighted to announce the six novels” in the prestigious award which celebrates the finest translated fiction from around the world.

The full shortlist is:

At Night All Blood is Black by David Diop, translated from French by Anna Moschovakis, Pushkin Press

The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enríquez, translated from Spanish by Megan McDowell, Granta Books

When We Cease to Understand the World by Benjamín Labatut, translated from Spanish by Adrian Nathan West, Pushkin Press

The Employees by Olga Ravn, translated from Danish by Martin Aitken, Lolli Editions

In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, translated from Russian by Sasha Dugdale, Fitzcarraldo Editions

The War of the Poor by Éric Vuillard, translated from French by Mark Polizzotti, Pan Macmillan, Picador

Selected by the 2021 judging panel consisting of: cultural historian and novelist, Lucy Hughes-Hallett (chair); journalist and writer, Aida Edemariam; Man Booker shortlisted novelist, Neel Mukherjee; Professor of the History of Slavery, Olivette Otele; and poet, translator and biographer, George Szirtes.

According to the announcement, the six writers on this year’s shortlist have been praised by figures as wide ranging as Phillip Pullman, Patti Smith, Sarah Waters, Dave Eggers, Geoff Dyer and Philippe Sands.

Revolutionary in form, in content and in point of view, the books on this year’s shortlist are all urgent, energetic and wildly original works of literature.

The winner of the 2021 International Booker Prize will be announced on June 2, 2021 in a virtual celebration from Coventry, City of Culture 2021.

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