With March drawing ever closer, those of you in the northern hemisphere are, no doubt, looking forward to warmer weather (while we in the south make the most of the last days of summer…). However, quite apart from the joys of spring/autumn, there’s a lot to look forward to over the coming months with the 2016 Man Booker International Prize, the first edition of the revamped prize taking over from the International Foreign Fiction Prize, finally springing (!) into action.
Last week, I put forward a few suggestions as to what might be on the longlist, but this week it’s finally time to unveil a rather different list, namely the people who will be watching from the shadows, scrutinising the decisions of those on the real panel, and (most likely) frowning at their foolishness. Ladies and gentlemen: here is your 2016 Shadow Panel!
Stu Allen is returning to chair the first Man Booker International Prize shadow jury after hosting four shadow IFFP juries. He blogs out of Winstonsdad’s Blog, home to 500-plus translated books in review. He can be found on twitter (@stujallen), where he also started the successful translated fiction hashtag #TranslationThurs over five years ago.
Tony Malone is an Anglo-Australian reviewer with a particular focus on German, Japanese and Korean fiction. He blogs at Tony’s Reading List, and his reviews have also appeared at Words Without Borders, Necessary Fiction and Shiny New Books. Based in Melbourne, he teaches ESL to prospective university students when he’s not reading and reviewing. He can also be found on Twitter @tony_malone
Clare started blogging at A Little Blog of Books four years ago. When she’s not doing her day job in London, she blogs mostly about contemporary literary fiction and particularly enjoys reading books by French and Japanese authors. Twitter: @littleblogbooks
Tony Messenger is addicted to lists, and books – put the two together (especially translated works) and the bookshelves sigh under the weight of new purchases as the “to be read” piles grow and the voracious all-night reading continues. Another Tony from Melbourne Australia, @Messy_tony (his Twitter handle) may sometimes be mistaken for the more famous Malone Tony but rest assured they’re two different people. Messy Tony can be found at Messengers Booker (and more) and at Messenger’s Booker on Facebook – with a blog containing the word “booker” why wouldn’t he read this list?
Lori Feathers lives in Dallas, Texas, and is a freelance book critic and member of the National Book Critics Circle. Her recent reviews can be found at Words Without Borders, Full Stop, World Literature Today, Three Percent, Rain Taxi and on Twitter @LoriFeathers
Bellezza is a blogger from Chicago, Illinois, who has been writing Dolce Bellezza for ten years. She has run the Japanese Literature Challenge for 9 years, and her reviews can be found on publisher sites such as Penguin Random House, Simon and Schuster, Peirene Press, and SoHo Press. It is her great joy to participate in the shadow jury for the Man Booker International Prize with fellow participants who are experts in translated literature.
David Hebblethwaite is a book blogger and reviewer from the north of England, now based in the south. He has written about translated fiction for Words Without Borders, Shiny New Books, Strange Horizons, and We Love This Book. He blogs at David’s Book World and tweets as @David_Heb.
Grant Rintoul is a Scottish reviewer who lives on the coast not far from the 39 steps said to have inspired Buchan’s novel. Luckily the weather is generally ideal for reading. He blogs at 1streading, so-called as he rarely has time to look at anything twice. He can sometimes be found on Twitter @GrantRintoul
So, having introduced the brave souls who will be shadowing the real judges, all that remains is to see what books we’ll be reading. The longlist announcement is only a few weeks away now – and then the fun and games can really begin!