2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Longlist

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize was inaugurated by British newspaper The Independent to honour contemporary fiction in translation in the United Kingdom. The award was first launched in 1990 and ran for five years before falling into abeyance. It was revived in 2001 with the financial support of Arts Council England. Beginning in 2011 the administration of the prize was taken over by Booktrust, but retaining the “Independent” in the name. The 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist was announced.

A Man in Love (published as My Struggle: Vol. 2 in the United States), by Karl Ove Knausgaard; tr. from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett

This is a book about leaving your wife and everything you know.

A Meal in Winter, by Hubert Mingarelli; tr. from the French by Sam Taylor

One morning, in the dead of winter, three German soldiers are dispatched into the
frozen Polish countryside.

Back to Back, by Julia Franck; tr. from the German by Anthea Bell

Heartbreaking and shocking, Back to Back is a dark fairytale of East Germany.

Brief Loves that Live Forever, by Andreï Makine; tr. form the French by Geoffrey Strachan

In Soviet Russia the desire for freedom is also a desire for the freedom to love.

Butterflies in November, by Auður Ava Ólafsdóttir; tr. from the Icelandic by Brian FitzGibbon

Blackly comic and uniquely moving, Butterflies in November is an extraordinary, hilarious tale of motherhood, relationships and the legacy of life’s mistakes.

The Corpse Washer, by Sinan Antoon; tr. from the Arabic by the author

Young Jawad, born to a traditional Shi’ite family of corpse washers and shrouders in
Baghdad, decides to abandon the family tradition.

The Dark Road, by Ma Jian; tr. from the Chinese by Flora Drew

a young peasant woman born in the remote heart of China, is married to Kongzi,
a village school teacher, and a distant descendant of Confucius.

Exposure, by Sayed Kashua; tr. from the Hebrew by Mitch Ginsberg

In Jerusalem, two Arabs are on the hunt for the same identity.

The Infatuations, by Javier Marías; tr. from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa

It is a murder novel as a metaphysical enquiry, addressing existential questions of life, death, love and morality.

The Iraqi Christ, by Hassan Blasim; tr. from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright

From legends of the desert to horrors of the forest, Blasim’s stories blend the
fantastic with the everyday, the surreal with the all-too-real.

The Mussell Feast, by Birgit Vanderbeke; tr. from the German by Jamie


The German book that has shaped an entire generation.

Revenge, by Yoko Ogawa; tr. form the Japanese by Stephen Snyder

Filled with breathtaking images, Ogawa provides us with a slice of life that is resplendent in its chaos, enthralling in its passion and chilling in its cruelty.

The Sorrow of Angels, by Jón Kalman Stefansson; tr. from the Icelandic by Philip Roughton

The Sorrow of Angels is a timeless literary masterpiece; in extraordinarily powerful language it brings the struggle between man and nature tangibly to life.

Strange Weather in Tokyo, by Hiromi Kawakami; tr. form the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell

Perfectly constructed, funny, and moving, Strange Weather in Tokyo is a tale of modern Japan and old-fashioned romance.

Ten, by Andrej Longo; tr. from the Italian by Howard Curtis

The Mafia and the Ten Commandments meet in these interlinked short stories about
the undebelly of Naples.