International Booker Prize longlist 2023


Win a set of all 13 books on the International Booker Prize 2023 longlist

In our latest competition, we’re offering the chance to win one of five bundles including all 13 longlisted titles in contention for this year’s International Booker Prize 

This competition is now closed. 

Publication date and time: Published

To celebrate the announcement of the International Booker Prize 2023 longlist, we are giving you the chance to win a set of all 13 novels that are in contention for this year’s prize. 

The International Booker Prize, which highlights fiction from across the globe, translated into English, continues to build in importance and popularity every year. The shortlist of six books will be announced on April 18, with the winning title announced at a ceremony in London on May 23, 2023.

Chair of Judges Leïla Slimani said this year’s list ’celebrates the variety and diversity of literary production today, the different ways in which the novel can be viewed. We wanted to give the reader the chance to discover this and to find something that will move or disturb them.’

To be in with a chance of winning one set of books, simply enter your details below by 12:00 GMT on Friday, March 31, 2023. This competition is open to readers anywhere in the world.

International Booker Prize 2023 longlist books

Terms and conditions

This competition is a free draw, with only one entry allowed per person, and we reserve the right to disqualify any entries where we suspect one person has used a number of different email addresses. Use or attempted use of any automated or other non-manual entry methods is prohibited.  

The draw is governed by our general rules for competitions, available here, but the following specifics also apply (and take precedence should there be any contradiction or ambiguity): 

  • There will be 5 winners, selected at random from entries received before 12:00 GMT (UK time) on Friday, March 31, 2023. Entries received after this time will not be eligible.  

  • Each winner will receive the thirteen titles (in their UK editions) on the International Booker Prize 2023 longlist. 

  • Entrants must be 18 or over, and we reserve the right to ask for proof of age at any point in the competition. 

  • The competition is open to those resident in or outside the UK subject to the proviso that an entry is not eligible if it is from a resident in a country or jurisdiction where this free draw may breach any local law or regulation.     

  • Winners will be notified by email no later than midday GMT (UK time) on Wednesday, April 5, 2023, and must promptly provide a fully operative postal address for delivery of their prize. If we have not received this within 7 days of us notifying a winner, we will have no obligation to deliver the prize and at our sole discretion, we may select a further winner to receive the prize concerned or simply decide not to give it.  

  • We may in due course and at our sole discretion publicise the names of the winners and their location (in general terms, not specific addresses) on our website and/or social media channels and by entering the competition an entrant agrees to this publicity should they be a prize-winner.  

  • We can only undertake to do what is reasonable in all the circumstances to deliver the prize to a location outside the UK.   

  • We will send all the longlisted titles together. The contemporary nature of the works which are eligible for the International Booker Prize 2023 means that at the point of announcement of the longlist titles may not yet be published in UK (they do not have to be published until April 30, 2023) and we will not despatch books to the winners until all the longlist titles have been published and received by us. While we will do what is reasonable to send the complete longlist to winners promptly after this, we cannot give any guarantee as to when this will be, and in entering the competition you should not rely on any expectations you may otherwise have as to the date of delivery of the prizes. 

  • Bearing in mind, among other things, the value of the prize itself in relation to cost of delivery, we reserve the right (and this is determined at our sole discretion) to ask a winner to provide an alternative address for delivery to a person/location where the cost is proportionate.  

  • Winners are responsible for any taxes or duties they may have to pay in order to take receipt of their prize.  

  • We are not responsible for any damage to the prize in the course of delivery; while we will consider a request for a replacement (if available) if the prize arrives in a seriously damaged state, this is solely in our discretion depending on the particular circumstances.  

  • These terms and conditions are governed by, and construed in accordance with, the laws of England & Wales, and the courts of England & Wales shall have exclusive jurisdiction in relation determining any question or issue in relation to them. 

What our judges said about the longlist

Thirteen extraordinary titles made the longlist. Discover more about each of the books here, and what the judging panel thought of them.

Boulder by Eva Baltasar, translated from Catalan by Julia Sanches

Boulder is a sensuous, sexy, intense book. Eva Baltasar condenses the sensations and experiences of a dozen more ordinary novels into just over 100 pages of exhilarating prose. An incisive story of queer love and motherhood that slices open the dilemmas of exchanging independence for intimacy.’

Whale by Cheon Myeong-kwan, translated from Korean by Chi-Young Kim

‘A carnivalesque fairy tale that celebrates independence and enterprise, a picaresque quest through Korea’s landscapes and history, Whale is a riot of a book. Cheon Myeong-Kwan’s vivid characters are foolish but wise, awful but endearing, and always irrepressible. This is a hymn to restlessness and self-transformation.’

The Gospel According to the New World by Maryse Condé, translated from French by Richard Philcox

‘Maryse Condé is one of the greatest Francophone authors and the great voice of the Caribbean. In this book she proves again what a gifted storyteller she is. The narration is lively and fluid, and we feel carried away by this story as we do by the fables of our childhood. She takes liberties, finding references in the Bible as well as in Caribbean myths. The book borrows from the tradition of magical realism and draws us into a world full of colour and life. This is a book that succeeds in mixing humour with poetry, and depth with lightness.’

Standing Heavy by GauZ’, translated from French by Frank Wynne

‘A sharp and satirical take on the legacies of French colonial history and life in Paris today. Told in a fast-paced, and fluently translated, style of shifting perspectives, Standing Heavy carries us through the decades – from the youthful optimism of the decolonisation of the 1960s to the banal realities of daily shift work on the margins of contemporary consumer society – to deliver a fresh perspective on France that is critical, funny and human.’

Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated from Bulgarian by Angela Rodel

‘A wide-ranging, thought-provoking, macabre and humorous novel about nationality, identity and ageing, and about the healing and destructive power of memory. It asks the question: what is our place in 20th century history, when that history seems to be constantly shifting? “Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be,” they say, and this book shows us – in moving, funny and disturbing ways – how and why.’

Is Mother Dead by Vigdis Hjorth, translated from Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund

‘This is a dark, chilling book. One of its tricks is to rely on a narrator who is an anti-heroine, and who can be annoying because of her narcissism and her malice. That’s what makes her real and what makes us care about her. This novel provides a very fine and cruel understanding of family relationships: the violence of the mother-daughter dynamic, which reminds us of Marguerite Duras; the impossibility of getting to know each other within the same family; family life as a prison of secrets and silence. Vigdis Hjorth manages to create a lot of suspense – a thriller-like tension – and what is amazing is that you never really know whose side you are on.’

International Booker Prize longlist 2023

Jimi Hendrix Live in Lviv by Andrey Kurkov, translated from Russian by Reuben Woolley

‘The escapades of Andrey Kurkov’s loveable eccentrics provide a frame for an intriguing portrait of Lviv in the 2000s, a melancholy borderland city that finds itself recalling a troubled past as it sits on the cusp of an uncertain future. This is a book full of magic that is always grounded, cosiness that is always on the edge of being unsettled, and dark humour that is always affectionate.’

The Birthday Party by Laurent Mauvignier, translated from French by Daniel Levin Becker

‘This impressive and fascinating book reconciles two primal feelings: empathy and dread. It is a very scary book, rooted in the traditions of horror. It is as scary as when we listened to stories about ogres and wolves as children. The writing is formidable. The slow rhythm of the sentences creates tension as much as the situation itself. Laurent Mauvignier also describes brilliantly an abandoned rural France where there is a sense of marginalisation and humiliation.’

While We Were Dreaming by Clemens Meyer, translated from German by Katy Derbyshire

‘As walls fall and political systems collapse, a group of youngsters in Leipzig are pitched into a helter-skelter world of partying, violence, drugs, crime and techno music. Energetic, blunt and hard-charging, While We Were Dreaming skilfully captures with pathos and anger the sense of what happens when all the certainties of the grown-up world evaporate and the future is up for grabs. The story of German unification as it did not appear on your TV screen.’

Pyre by Perumal Murugan, translated from Tamil by Aniruddhan Vasudevan

‘An intercaste couple elopes, setting in motion a story of terrifying foreboding. Perumal Murugan is a great anatomist of power and, in particular, of the deep, deforming rot of caste hatred and violence. With flashes of fable, his novel tells a story specific and universal: how flammable are fear and the distrust of others.’

Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated from Spanish by Rosalind Harvey

‘Two best friends share an aversion to “the human shackles” of motherhood, only to discover that life has other plans. With a twisty, enveloping plot, the novel poses some of the knottiest questions about freedom, disability, and dependence – all in language so blunt it burns.’

A System So Magnificent It Is Blinding by Amanda Svensson, translated from Swedish by Nichola Smalley

‘When a set of adult triplets learns that one of them might have been switched in the hospital after their birth, each of them becomes convinced that they are the changeling. Amanda Svensson’s raucous, sprawling debut takes on the enigmas of our origins, riddles of human consciousness and animal cognition, doomsday cults, and the most bedevilling of mysteries – the minds and choices of our closest intimates.’

Ninth Building by Zou Jingzhi, translated from Chinese by Jeremy Tiang

‘A kaleidoscopic and understated collection of interlocking tales of life in an apartment building under the Cultural Revolution – the daily tedium of its inhabitants, lit by brief and tenuous moments of shared humanity.’

International Booker Prize longlist 2023