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Japanese Women Writers Make The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Shortlist

Posted at 7:58AM Tuesday 08 Apr 2014

Japanese women writers make the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize shortlist for the first time in its 24 -year history. The two women, Hiromi Kawakami and the 'Japanese Angela Carter' Yoko Ogawa, vie with exiled Iraqi novelist Hassan Blasim, bestselling Norwegian writer Karl Ove Knausgaard, French author Hubert Mingarelli and German writer Birgit Vanderbeke.

Half of the shortlist is female, which is encouraging given the prevalence of translated fiction from male writers. Birgit Vanderbeke joins the two Japanese women with her debut novel The Mussel Feast; this modern German classic first appeared in 1990 but is now published in English for the first time.

Press release

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