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Little Eyes, Samanta Schweblin, Longlisted for International Booker Prize

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Samanta Schweblin, longlisted for The 2020 International Booker Prize

Samanta Schweblin’s second novel, ‘Kentukis’ (published under the title ‘Little Eyes’, by Oneworld in the UK and by Riverhead Books in USA, with translation by Megan McDowell) has been longlisted for The 2020 International Booker Prize.

Samanta Schweblin was previously longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize in 2018, for Pájaros en la boca (Mouthful of Birds), and shortlisted, in 2017, for Distancia de rescate (Fever Dream).

Schweblin is regarded as one of the most distinguished storytellers writing in Spanish today. In her second novel, Kentukis (Little Eyes), Samanta Schweblin exceeds all expectations with a story of crossed lives and new technologies along the lines of the series Black Mirror. Several characters from different continents, of widely varying ages and social status, come into contact with each other through their high-tech pets, the kentukis.

“Schweblin is among the most acclaimed Spanish-language writers of her generation…. [H]er true ancestor could only be David Lynch; her tales are woven out of dread, doubles and confident loose ends…. What makes Schweblin so startling as a writer, however, what makes her rare and important, is that she is impelled not by mere talent or ambition but by vision, and that vision emerges from intense concern with the world, with the hidden cruelties in our relationships with all that is vulnerable — children, rivers, language, one another.” New York Times

The judges of the International Booker Prize revealed, on February 27th, the ‘International Booker Dozen’, the 13 novels longlisted for the prestigious award celebrating the finest translated fiction from around the world.

The prize is awarded every year for a single book that is translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland. It aims to encourage more publishing and reading of quality fiction from all over the world and to promote the work of translators. This year the judges considered 124 books.

The longlist was selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by Ted Hodgkinson, Head of Literature and Spoken Word at Southbank Centre. The panel also includes: Lucie Campos, director of the Villa Gillet, France's centre for international writing; Man Booker International Prize-winning translator and writer Jennifer Croft; LA Times Book Prize for Fiction-winning author Valeria Luiselli and writer, poet and musician Jeet Thayil, whose novel Narcopolis was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 2012.

 See here the full 2020 International Booker Prize longlist.