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The Longlist for the 2023 International Booker Prize Has Been Announced

These 13 contenders for one of the most prestigious book prizes in the world make up a selection of the best literature in translation published during the past year.
Tertulia •
Mar 14th, 2023

Each year, the judging panel of the International Booker Prize takes on the tremendously ambitious task of selecting the best of the world's literature in translation. The panel's longlist this year includes works translated from 11 different languages—including three languages appearing on the prize list for the first time in history: Bulgarian, Catalan and Tamil.

From a Korean fairy tale to an Indian melodrama to an East German answer to Trainspotting, the selections face stiff competition for the prize, which will be announced on May 23 along with the distribution of a £50,000 award to be shared equally between the winning author and translator. Shortlisted authors and translators (to be announced on April 18) get £2,500.

Here is this year's longlist along with a short description of each book provided by the International Booker Prize.

Ninth Building

A fascinating collection of vignettes based on the author’s life in China during the Cultural Revolution.

By Zou Jingzhi, translated from the Chinese by Jeremy Tiang | Releases 4/11; preorder now available

A System So Magnificent It Is Blinding

This joyful family saga about free will, forgiveness and interconnection poses a question: are we free to create our own destinies or are we just part of a system beyond our control? 

By Amanda Svensson, translated from the Swedish by Nichola Smalley

Still Born

Guadalupe Nettel’s gripping and insightful fourth novel explores one of life’s most consequential decisions – whether or not to have children. 

By Guadalupe Nettel, translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey | Releases 8/8; preorder available


Young love is pitted against social discrimination in Perumal Murugan’s powerful and compelling novel, set in the rural Tamil Nadu of 1980s.

By Perumal Murugan, translated from the Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan

While We Were Dreaming

Startlingly raw and deeply moving, this extraordinary debut novel from one of Germany’s most ambitious writers is full of passion, hope and despair.  

By Clemens Meyer, translated from the German by Katy Derbyshire | Releases 3/30; preorder available

Is Mother Dead

"To mother is to murder, or close enough," thinks Johanna, as she looks at the spelling of the two words in Norwegian. 

By Vigdis Hjorth, translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund

Time Shelter

A "clinic for the past" offers a promising treatment for Alzheimer's sufferers: each floor reproduces a decade in minute detail, transporting patients back in time. 

By Georgi Gospodinov, translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel

The Gospel According to the New World

A miracle baby is rumored to be the child of God. Award-winning Caribbean author Maryse Condé follows his journey in search of his origins and mission. 

By Maryse Condé, translated from the French by Richard Philcox


An adventure-satire of epic proportions, which sheds new light on the changes Korea experienced in its rapid transition from pre-modern to post-modern society. 

By Cheon Myeong-kwan, translated from the Korean by Chi-Young Kim | Releases 4/25; preorder available


Eva Baltasar demonstrates her pre-eminence as a chronicler of queer voices navigating a hostile world in prose as brittle and beautiful as an ancient saga.  

By Eva Baltasar, translated from the Catalan by Julia Sanches

The Birthday Party

This gripping tale of the violent irruptions of the past into the present, from a major contemporary French writer, is a deft unravelling of the stories we hide from others and from ourselves. 

By Laurent Mauvignier, translated from the French by Daniel Levin Becker

Jimi Hendrix Live in Lviv

Shot through with Kurkov’s unique brand of black humor and vodka-fueled magic realism, Jimi Hendrix Live in Lviv is an affectionate portrait of one of the world’s most intriguing cities.  

By Andrey Kurkov, translated from the Russian by Reuben Woolley (Not Yet Available in the U.S.)

Standing Heavy

A unique insight into everything that passes under a security guard's gaze, which also serves as a searingly witty deconstruction of colonial legacies and capitalist consumption. 

By GauZ', translated from the French by Frank Wynne (Not Yet Available in the U.S.)

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