Polish novelist nominated for back-to-back Booker Prize

LONDON — Polish novelist Olga Tokarczuk could pull off a Booker Prize double.

Tokarczuk, who won last year’s Man Booker International Prize for “Flights,” was announced Tuesday as a 2019 award finalist for “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead.”

Her environmental crime story is among the six books from Europe, South America and the Middle East on the shortlist for the international prize, which rewards fiction in translation.

The prize is a counterpart to the Man Booker Prize for English-language novels and is open to books in any language that have been translated into English.

Five of the six books up for the award this year have women authors, and all six were translated by women.

The contenders include conspiracy-theory saga “The Shape of the Ruins” by Colombian writer Juan Gabriel V’squez; French writer Annie Ernaux’s portrait of France since the 1940s, “The Years”; and “The Pine Islands” by Germany’s Marion Poschmann, in which a beard expert suffers a midlife crisis.

They are joined by Alia Trabucco Zer’n’s debut novel “The Remainder,” about a group of Chileans reckoning with their country’s past, and “Celestial Bodies,” a tale of three sisters by Jokha Alharthi from Oman. Alharthi is the first writer from the Gulf to be a finalist for the prize.

The winner of the $65,000 prize — split between author and translator — will be announced May 21 at a ceremony in London.Six books from Europe, South America and the Middle East are finalists for the Man Booker International Prize for fiction in translation.

The contenders announced Tuesday include an environmental crime tale, “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones Of the Dead,” by the author of last year’s prize- winner, Olga Tokarczuk of Poland.

Other finalists include “The Shape of the Ruins” by Colombian writer Juan Gabriel V’squez; French writer Annie Ernaux’s “The Years”; and “The Pine Islands” by Germany’s Marion Poschmann.

They are joined by Alia Trabucco Zer’n’s debut novel “The Remainder” and “Celestial Bodies” by Jokha Alharthi from Oman.

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