Thursday, 12 April 2012

Shadow IFFP 2012 - Round-Up Number Ten (Shortlist Reactions)

Well, the cut has finally been made, and nine of the contenders have pulled up (or fallen...) at the final fence.  However, there are six books still striding on in the 2012 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize stakes ;)  The official panel (i.e. not us!) has read, reread, perused and deliberated, and the following list is the fruit of those mental (and, in the cases of 1Q84 and Parallel Stories, possibly physical) labours.  Without further ado (links are to my reviews)...

Official Shortlist for the 2012 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

Of course, another small group of people has been reading the same collection of books, and yesterday we on the Shadow Panel announced our own shortlist!  The Shadow Panel consists of our esteemed chair, Stu, along with Rob, Mark, Gary, Simon, Lisa and me :)  I know you're just itching to compare the two lists, so..

Shadow Panel Shortlist for the 2012 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

I have to say that I much prefer our list...  When I saw the first (leaked) reports, apart from the two Italian books, only the nationalities were mentioned, so I assumed the German book was Next World Novella and the Israeli book was Scenes from Village Life.  Once I actually saw the full list, I was astonished that it was in fact Alice and Blooms of Darkness that got the nod.  The two books I mentioned are huge losses, and the cutting of the Oz book, in particular is a major surprise - at least for us...

For all the Shadow Panel's reviews, please have a look at the special page on Mark's blog, which has all the various thoughts we have posted so far.  Now though, it's time to polish off a few more books and a few more reviews, and to gather my thoughts for when the business of choosing a winner arrives.  Fun times ahead :)