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Judges for Man Booker International Prize Announce Finalists

By David Varno

Man Booker JudgesThe judges for the 2009 Man Booker International Prize announced their shortlist this morning, in a press conference at The Humanities and Social Science Library on 42nd St.

Ukranian writer Andrey Kurkov, one of the three judges, was asked by an audience member if he was interested specifically in championing books from parts of the former Soviet Union. íI have a lot of admiration for authors from Russia and other parts of Eastern Europe,ë Kurkov said, íbut I'm interested in good authors from any country,ë he added spiritedly.

Three of the fourteen authors chosen are from that region, and two, Dubravka Ugresic (Croatia) and Ludmila Ulitskaya (Russia), have been published in Words Without Borders. See their work here:

Excerpt from "The Ministry of Pain," by Dubravka Ugre…ic, translated from the Croatian by Michael Henry Heim

"Pears from Gudauty," by Ludmila Ulitskaya, translated from the Russian by Arch Tait

After reading down the list, chair of judges Jane Smiley had this to say:

íThis award is new, and its direction is being reshaped in each iteration. One of our hopes is that the award will generate interest in translated and translatable work, that publishers will say èyes, there's this market here.'

Complete shortlist:

Peter Carey (Australia)

Evan S. Connell (USA)

Mahasweta Devi (Bangladesh)

E.L. Doctorow (USA)

James Kelman (UK)

Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru)

Arno…t Lustig (Czechoslovakia)

Alice Munro (Canada)

V.S. Naipaul (Trinidad/India)

Joyce Carol Oates (USA)

Antonio Tabucchi (Italy)

Ngugi Wa Thiong'O (Kenya)

Dubravka Ugresic (Croatia)

Ludmila Ulitskaya (Russia)

Published Mar 19, 2009   Copyright 2009 David Varno

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