"The book is a profound work that deals with a very contemporary question: What happens to us when our memories disappear?", said judge Leila Slimani.
Several threads of commonality tie the books together just as their origins showcase their differences.
The books coming out of Korea are brutal in how they push the audience right back into the bleakness of reality
It is the story of young lovers, Kumaresan and Saroja, who get secretly married and run away to Kumaresan’s village to start a new life. Murugan has written before about the intricate tragedies of domestic life and how they bring about the worst of our community.
Novels from India, the Caribbean, Ukraine, Spain, Bulgaria, Ivory Coast, France, Germany, Mexico, Sweden, China, Norway and South Korea in the longlist.
A serious lack of outlet demotivates the publishing of anglophone literature in our literary scene. But the situation isn't completely bleak.
To understand the socio-political context and the country’s present state of affairs—one which gave birth to such daring dissenters—it is important to read books and stories which unveil the experience of individuals chained by Iran’s despots.
There is a plot embedded here, but this novel is so much more: a long, winding journey, centred on a family, with acute eyes on love and distances within a family, but also through language, Partition and imposed borders, and so much more.
Chairing next year’s judges’ panel will be Leïla Slimani, the French Moroccan novelist known for books like Lullaby (2016) and Adèle (2019).