IFFP 2013 – Shortlist Predictions

We started out with sixteen titles longlisted for the 2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, and tomorrow will see ten of the works fall by the wayside, leaving us with six heavyweights to battle it out for the prize.  In a longlist which I believe to be stronger than was the case in 2012, there are bound to be a few surprises – and I’m sure some of my early favourites will be hitting the canvas before the final bell…

Anyway, so far I’ve managed to get through fifteen of the sixteen longlisted titles (sadly, I’m still waiting to get a copy of Satantango), so I have a good idea of who I think deserves to progress to the next stage.  Now, as for other people (including the real jury), I’m not quite so sure 😉

Today, I’ll be announcing two shortlists: one made up of the books I think deserve to make the cut; the other composed of the titles I suspect the real judges will opt for.  Not having read Satantango (which I’m expecting to make both lists), I’m adding a reserve title, just in case Krasznahorkai’s novel doesn’t live up to expectations.  And the nominees are (links to my reviews, where available):

Tony’s Preferred Shortlist
The Fall of the Stone City by Ismail Kadare
Satantango by László Krasznahorkai
Tony’s Predicted Shortlist
As you can see, three of the books appear on both lists, so expect those to be the ones that miss the cut 😉  Was I right?  Well, we’ll soon find out…  Later this week, I’ll be having a look at the real shortlist, and (as if that wasn’t exciting enough) I’ll also be comparing it to the six chosen by our collective Shadow Panel!  As was the case last year, we will be choosing our winner from our own shortlist, not the official one (and last year, the two lists were very different…).  The finish post is in sight…
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16 thoughts on “IFFP 2013 – Shortlist Predictions

  1. Your read-through of this longlist is just incredible. Seriously, it's made me want to read about half of these books – coincidentally enough, many of those that made it to your preferred shortlist! Hmmm…

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  2. Miguel – This is my big once-a-year sweep of what was big over the past twelve months; once this is over, I'll probably slip behind again. I'm actually wanting to try some Saramago next (I have a copy of 'Blindness' waiting for me at the library), so I'll be diving back into the past again soon…

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  3. I read the whole longlist (and the BTFA longlist) and agree with your predicted shortlist except I so liked Khaled Khalifa: In Praise of Hatred that it is on both my preferred and expected shortlist. For my preferred, I would also remove the Binet and put Kadare or Vásquez in its place.-lascosas

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  4. I don't know if they always coincide (what's the fun in always agreeing?), but you do an excellent job of making my want-to-read lists longer. Whether or not I'll ever be able to get to all these books is a whole other issue…

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  5. Lascosas – Wow, that's a lot of reading – congratulations 🙂 As I say in my post (not yet published), I started off really liking 'In Praise of Hatred', but it just got a little samey and one dimensional for me the longer it went on. I could well see it being championed though…

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  6. Rise – Completely invented, of course 😉 Seriously though, I was looking at previous form, the type of books panels like to choose and trying to iron out my prejudices (e.g. against WW2 books). I doubt I'll have done a better job than if I'd simply picked names out of a hat though…

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  7. Stu – The expression you used was 'marmite' books, and I think that this is where a couple will suffer (e.g. 'HHhH' and 'A Death in the Family'). Sometimes it just depends who is picking the shortlist and what their reaction was…

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  8. Well done to read so many to be able to come to this conclusion! I prefer your preferred list. I hope to see how many of your predictions came true.

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  9. Oops, the shortlist has just been announced! 4 from your preferred list. That's amazing. You should have stuck to your preferred list. The judges think very similar to you. Well done again. 🙂

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  10. Jo – Well, it's hard to second-guess judges, and that was proven yet again with this list! I'll be posting again on Friday with our Shadow Panel List – and commenting on the real one…

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