What do the six translators whose work has been shortlisted for the 2022 International Booker Prize have to say about their books? One of them will be declared the winner, along with the writer of the book, on May 26, 2022.

Geetanjali Shree’s Ret Samadhi, translated into English as Tomb of Sand by Daisy Rockwell, is the first South Asian book to make the shortlist. A sprawling saga of love and loss, it reflects on the destructive impact of borders – between religions, countries, and genders.

Anton Hur is the only translator this time to have been longlisted for two translations, of which Cursed Bunny made it to the shortlist. It is a genre-defying collection of short stories that blur the lines between magical realism, horror, and science fiction.

Elena Knows is the first time both translator Frances Riddle and author Claudia Piñeiro have been nominated for the International Booker Prize. The book interweaves crime fiction with tales of morality to critique the dismissive attitudes toward caregivers, people with disabilities, and women.

OlgaTokarczuk and Jennifer Croft are an unstoppable force. Winners of the International Booker Prize in 2018, the formidable duo are back with another shortlisted title. The Books of Jacob is Tokarczuk’s portrayal of Enlightenment Europe as she imagines it – on the cusp of change, searching for certainty, and longing for transcendence.

Mieko Kawakami is a person of many talents. She was a full-time singer-songwriter before she decided to pursue writing. Her shortlisted book, Heaven, was first published in Japanese in 2009 and translated into English by Sam Bett and David Boyd in 2021. Heaven is a haunting novel of the violence that we are often subjected to in our formative years and the unexpected cruelty of children.

A prolific playwright and author, Jon Fosse’s A New Name: Septology VI-VII translated into English by Damion Searls, is in the running to win the International Booker Prize. A New Name is the final instalment of Septology, Fosse’s magnum opus. The final book in the series is an exploration of the human condition, in all its ordinary and uniqueness.

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2022 International Booker Prize: A reader’s guide to the six translated books on the shortlist