If you’ve been following RobAroundBooks these past few weeks then you will know that I, along with others (details below), have been ‘shadow judging’ this year’s official Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. We read, reviewed and mulled over the original 15 title longlist, before deciding on our own shadow shortlist of six. With the official Independent Foreign Fiction Prize winner for 2012 being announced in London tomorrow (14th May), the time has come for us to reveal our own ‘shadow winner’. After a long consultation between judges (where ne’er a blow was dealt :)), the winner of the 2012 ‘Shadow’ Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is:
From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón; translated by Victoria Cribb
Speaking of this year’s winner, chair of the Shadow IFFP Jury Stuart Allen, had the following to say:
All of us [the judges] felt entranced by the writing and by Sjón’s voice. Through Jonas’ eyes, the writer captured 17th-century Iceland so well, and this was helped by Victoria Cribb’s translation which, through its usage of archaic vocabulary and grammatical forms, gave it the feel of a book that had just been unearthed, not written.
I concur, From the Mouth of the Whale is a delightful novel. It may take some getting into at first, but once one is engaged with it one finds oneself transported to a truly magical world; one that becomes seared in the reader’s memory. A worthy winner indeed, and one for which the translator should be equally applauded.
To recap, the judges for this year’s inaugural ‘Shadow’ Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, were Stuart Allen (Winstonsdad Dad), Lisa Hill (ANZ Litlovers), Simon Quicke (Inside Books), Gary Moon (The Parrish Lantern), Mark Staniforth (Eleutherophobia) and Robert Burdock (RobAroundBooks).
Remember, the official winner is announced tomorrow so if you’re keen to know the result as soon as it becomes available, then be sure to keep a close eye on the #iffp hashtag on Twitter, and on the Booktrust website.