Six things you need to know about the International Booker Prize 2023 shortlist
As the International Booker Prize 2023 shortlist is announced, we’ve pulled together the most interesting facts and trends that have emerged in this year’s selection
In our latest competition, we’re offering you the chance to win one of five bundles made up of all six shortlisted titles in contention for this year’s International Booker Prize
This competition is now closed.
To celebrate the announcement of the International Booker Prize 2023 shortlist, we are giving you the chance to win a set of all six novels that are in contention for this year’s prize.
The International Booker Prize, which highlights fiction from across the globe, translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland, continues to build in importance and popularity every year. The shortlist of six books was announced on April 18, with the winning title to be announced at a ceremony in London on May 23, 2023.
Chair of Judges Leïla Slimani said this year’s shortlisted books ‘are all bold, subversive and nicely perverse’ while calling it ‘a list of remarkable variety’, where readers ‘will find poetry, fantasy, eroticism and metaphysics’.
We have five sets of the shortlisted books up for grabs. To be in with a chance of winning one of them, simply enter your details below by 12:00 BST (UK time) on Friday, April 28, 2023. This competition is open to readers anywhere in the world.
Read more about this year’s International Booker Prize here.
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 BST (UK time) on Friday, April 28, 2023. Entries received after this time will not be eligible.
Each winner will receive the six titles (in their UK editions) on the International Booker Prize 2023 shortlist.
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 BST (UK time) on Wednesday, May 3, 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.
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.
Boulder by Eva Baltasar, translated from Catalan by Julia Sanches
‘A very intense, poetic, sensual book about all kinds of appetites. A feverish exploration of desire, a vibrant love story between two women, lyrical and simmering, written with lucidity and great freedom of tone. An impressive work of translation.’
Whale by Cheon Myeong-kwan, translated from Korean by Chi-Young Kim
‘This book will fill you with awe. You’ve never read a plot like it: just read it, and be swept away by the sheer joy and energy of the storytelling. It reminded some of us of a seventies comedy show: Cheon Myeong-Kwan has built a believable story out of preposterous situations. The characters aren’t nice – but they’re irresistible. It’s a book to be swallowed by and to live inside for a while. And the ending is so moving it will have you in bits.’
The Gospel According to the New World by Maryse Condé, translated from French by Richard Philcox
‘A joyful and optimistic book by a great storyteller, about the possibility of changing the world. Maryse Condé plays with our need to believe in a messiah, and retells one of the oldest stories with a lot of irony. It’s a deceptively simple novel full of wisdom, generosity of spirit and the writer’s palpable tenderness towards the world and her craft.’
Standing Heavy by GauZ’, translated from French by Frank Wynne
‘This book is about the anti-flâneurs: not the rich white men who roam the boulevards of Paris but poorly paid Black men whose jobs require them to stand still. As a security guard, the Ivorian protagonist of Standing Heavy is invisible but sees everything. Told in a fragmentary style – as if from different camera angles – this is the story of colonialism and consumerism, of the specifics of power, and of the hope of the sixties diminishing as society turns cynical and corrupt.’
Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated from Bulgarian by Angela Rodel
‘The conceit – a time clinic – will make you want to burst out laughing, and it’s full of lines you’ll want to copy out. It’s an inventive novel with an unexpectedly cheeky tone to it. But it’s also a subversive masterclass in the absurdities of national identity: so relevant now. Part of a tradition of East Central Europe that includes Milan Kundera, Dubravka Ugrešić and Danilo Kiš, it’s a fresh staging of old questions: the danger of selective memory, the inheritance of trauma, and how nostalgia can take a grip on society and become a comfort blanket – or a cancer.’
Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated from Spanish by Rosalind Harvey
‘The plot grabs you so organically it’s as though you’ve been abducted by reading – you feel like you live with these characters. At the end of the book you’ll want to call a friend and ask them to read it too, because none of it is black and white. In writing about how difficult it is to be a mother, Nettel balances empathy and cruelty, and deals brilliantly with all the moral complexity of maternity. The product of a deep wisdom, it’s honest, unsentimental and compassionate about the choices we think we’re making, and the choices that are foisted upon us.’