Icelandic author nominated for the Booker prize

Icelandic author Jón Kalman Stefánsson has been nominated for the prestigious Booker prize for his novel Fish Have No Feet, a story of two romances set in a tiny Icelandic town. The book was translated by Philip Roughton and published by MacLehose Press last year. It was published in Iceland in 2013. 

"I am very grateful and very happy," Kalman says speaking to mbl.is. "I am especially grateful to the translator of the book because he played a large part in this." He adds that it's never been more important to translate books.  He points out that in Britain, translated books are only 3 % of published books, in Germany it's 50 % and in France it's 40%.  In the USA the percentage is a mere 1.3 %. 

"We've never experienced so much need as now in knowing how other nations think. There is a direct correalation between the fact that Donald Trump was elected President of the USA and the percentage of foreign books translated to English over there." 

Kalman is nominated for the Booker Prize along with thirteen other authors from eleven countries: 

  • Mathias Enard (France), Charlotte Mandell, Compass (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
  • Wioletta Greg (Poland), Eliza Marciniak, Swallowing Mercury (Portobello Books)
  • David Grossman (Israel), Jessica Cohen, A Horse Walks Into a Bar (Jonathan Cape)
  • Stefan Hertmans (Belgium), David McKay, War and Turpentine (Harvill Secker)
  • Roy Jacobsen (Norway), Don Bartlett, Don Shaw, The Unseen (Maclehose)
  • Ismail Kadare (Albania), John Hodgson, The Traitor's Niche (Harvill Secker)
  • Jon Kalman Stefansson (Iceland), Phil Roughton, Fish Have No Feet (Maclehose)
  • Yan Lianke (China), Carlos Rojas, The Explosion Chronicles (Chatto & Windus)
  • Alain Mabanckou (France), Helen Stevenson, Black Moses (Serpent's Tail)
  • Clemens Meyer (Germany), Katy Derbyshire, Bricks and Mortar (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
  • Dorthe Nors (Denmark), Misha Hoekstra, Mirror, Shoulder, Signal (Pushkin Press)
  • Amos Oz (Israel), Nicholas de Lange, Judas (Chatto & Windus)
  • Samanta Schweblin (Argentina), Megan McDowell, Fever Dream (Oneworld)

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