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Press Release: Prizes and Awards
Shortlist Announced For The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2010

Posted at 10:24AM Thursday 15 Apr 2010

Thursday 15th April 2010: The shortlist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2010, in association with Champagne Taittinger, has been announced today.

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize celebrates an exceptional work of fiction by a living author which has been translated into English from any other language and published in the United Kingdom in the last year. Uniquely, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize acknowledges both the novelist and the translator equally, recognising the importance of the translator in their ability to bridge the gap between languages and cultures.

This year's shortlist reflects the international scope of the prize and includes writers working in Bengali, French, German and Italian.

Six contenders have been shortlisted for the prize, worth £10,000. They are:

Brodeck's Report by Philippe Claudel, translated by John Cullen from the French, published by MacLehose Press

The Blind Side of the Heart by Julia Franck translated by Anthea Bell from the German, published by Harvill Secker

Fists by Pietro Grossi, translated by Howard Curtis from the Italian, published by Pushkin Press

Broken Glass by Alain Manbanckou, translated by Helen Stevenson from the French, published by Serpent's Tail

The Dark Side of Love by Rafik Schami, translated by Anthea Bell from the German, published by Arabia Books

Chowringhee by Sankar, translated by Arunava Sinha from the Bengali, published by Atlantic Books

The shortlist features two novels translated from French, Brodeck's Report by BAFTA winning writer, Philippe Claudel, and Broken Glass by Congolese author, Alain Mabanckou, translated by John Cullen and Helen Stevenson respectively; and a double nominee, Anthea Bell, for her translations from German of the international bestseller and winner of the Deutscher Buchpreis, The Blind Side of the Heart by Julia Franck, and The Dark Side of Love by multi-award winning Arabic author Rafik Schami. Pietro Grossi is shortlisted for Fists, three epic stories of the everyday, translated from Italian by Howard Curtis and bestselling Bengali writer, Sankar, completes the line up with his epic saga, Chowringhee, translated by Arunava Sinha.

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize ran previously between 1990 and 1995 and 2010 marks the tenth year since the Prize was revived with the support of Arts Council England in 2001.

Boyd Tonkin, Literary Editor of The Independent and Chair of the judging panel commented, "As the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize celebrates ten years in its present form, our shortlist proves why this award has a unique place in Britain's literary landscape. This varied list of outstanding works, in equally fine translations, introduces readers to places, people and stories that will bring excitement and delight."

He continues, "These books' settings stretch from Congo to Berlin to Calcutta. Their forms range from a linked trio of sporting stories to an eerie historical fable and a multi-generational family saga. What unites them is the compelling power of their authors' imagination - and the commanding skill of their translators. The judges hope that more readers than ever before will join them on this exhilarating global trip."

Antonia Byatt, Director, Literature Strategy, Arts Council England added: "I'm delighted that the shortlist this year offers such a rich choice for readers to explore.  This year's fiction in translation covers a variety of styles and genres, from innovative comedy to pithy short stories to complex novels exploring the darker sides of human nature.  It's fantastic to see so many languages and countries represented – France, Italy, Germany, Syria, India and The Congo – proving that great writing is thriving across the world."

The overall winner will be announced on Thursday 13th May 2010 at an awards ceremony at the Royal Institute of British Architects in central London. The winning author and translator will be awarded £5,000 each and a limited edition magnum of Champagne Taittinger.

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