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Bundu by Chris Barnard and Translator Michiel Heyns Shortlisted for Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

BunduAlert! Chris Barnard’s novel Bundu, that was translated from Afrikaans by master translator by Michiel Heyns, has made the shortlist of this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (IFFP).

Also on the shortlist is The Fall of the Stone City by Man Booker International Prize winner Ismail Kadare, translated by John Hodgson and The Detour by Dutch winner of the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Gerbrand Bakker, translated by David Colmer. Anne McLean, who has won the IFFP twice previously, is in the running again for her translation of Enrique Vila-Matas’s Dublinesque. Trieste by Croatian author Daša Drndić, translated by Ellen Elias-Bursac, and Traveller of the Century by Andrés Neuman, translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza GarciaAndrés, complete the list.

The winning author and translator will be announced on 20 May and will each walk away with £5 000 in prize money. According to IFFP judge and award-winning novelist Elif Shafak it “was a beautiful challenge to be on the judging panel. Our shortlist reflects a mesmerizing diversity of styles, genres and languages around the globe.”

His fellow judge Boyd Tonkin says about Bundu: “Compact, colourful, freighted with great issues but written (and translated) with pace and grace, Bundu should introduce UK readers to a giant of South African fiction. A playwright, song- and screenwriter as well as novelist, Chris Barnard helped lead the Sixties revival of literature in Afrikaans.”

Andrés Neuman adds some fire to this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Shortlist with his epic novel Traveller of the Century, which explores an affair between the hearts, minds and bodies of two literary translators. Together they build a language of understanding as they work to translate European poetry, whilst continuing a secret sexual relationship, leading them to ask if translation itself is an act of love. The full shortlist sees diverse themes of history, war and love battling it out for the £10,000 Prize, to be announced on 20 May.

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