‘Frankenstein in Baghdad’ Makes 2018 Man Booker International Longlist

Thirteen novels made the Man Booker International’s 2018 longlist, announced Monday afternoon. One — Frankenstein in Baghdad — was translated from Arabic:

Ahmed Saadawi’s Frankenstein in Baghdad was published this January, in Jonathan Wright’s translation. The original Arabic, which came out in 2013, won the 2014 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, a prize popularly known as the “Arabic Booker.”

The longlist was selected by a panel of five judges, chaired by author Lisa Appignanesi. The others were poet-translator Michael Hofmann, novelist Hari Kunzru, journalist and critic Tim Martin, and novelist Helen Oyeyemi.

The full longlist includes a number of celebrated world authors:

Author (nationality)         Translator                           Title (imprint)

Laurent Binet                         Sam Taylor                             The 7th Function of Language

(France)                                                                                 (Harvill Secker)


Javier Cercas                         Frank Wynne                         The Impostor

(Spain)                                                                                    (MacLehose Press)


Virginie Despentes                Frank Wynne                         Vernon Subutex 1

(France)                                                                                 (MacLehose Press)


Jenny Erpenbeck                   Susan Bernofsky                    Go, Went, Gone

(Germany)                                                                             (Portobello Books)


Han Kang                               Deborah Smith                      The White Book

(South Korea)                                                                        (Portobello Books)


Ariana Harwicz                      Sarah Moses &                      Die, My Love

(Argentina)                            Carolina Orloff                       (Charco Press)


László Krasznahorkai            John Batki, Ottilie Mulzet     The World Goes On

(Hungary)                              & George Szirtes                    (Tuskar Rock Press)


Antonio Muñoz Molina         Camilo A. Ramirez                Like a Fading Shadow

(Spain)                                                                                    (Tuskar Rock Press)


Christoph Ransmayr             Simon Pare                            The Flying Mountain

(Austria)                                                                                 (Seagull Books)


Ahmed Saadawi                    Jonathan Wright                   Frankenstein in Baghdad

(Iraq)                                                                                      (Oneworld)


Olga Tokarczuk                      Jennifer Croft                        Flights

(Poland)                                                                                 (Fitzcarraldo Editions)


Wu Ming-Yi                            Darryl Sterk                            The Stolen Bicycle

(Taiwan)                                                                                 (Text Publishing)


Gabriela Ybarra                      Natasha Wimmer                  The Dinner Guest

(Spain)                                                                                    (Harvill Secker)

The shortlist of six books will be announced on April 12 at an event in London, with the winner set to be announced on May 22.

It’s worth noting Saadawi also has a short detective story, translated by Jonathan Wright, in the forthcoming collection Baghdad Noir, ed. Samuel Shimon. The story, “A Sense of Remorse,” shares many themes with his award-winning Frankenstein in Baghdad.