The International Booker Prize is awarded annually to the best book written in any language, translated into English, and published in the UK or Ireland. It comes with a whopping £50,000—shared equally between the author and translator. This year, the judges read 124 books in 30 languages.
In a touching tribute video, the committee heralded the importance of the translator, the essential bridge between worlds. On Facebook Live, we heard from the authors and translators on the shortlist. We heard Farsi, Spanish, German, Japanese, and Dutch. And then we heard the translators speak about their relationship with the text. While I generally don’t recommend reading online comments (it’s usually depressing), these were so darn wholesome: readers bursting with excitement over the announcement, sending out the drumroll emoji, rooting on their favorite title, and declaring all the authors winners.
Unfortunately, there can only be one! And this year, it’s Marieke Lucas Rijneveld’s The Discomfort of the Evening, translated from the Dutch by Michele Hutchison.