Congratulations to the winners of 2020 International Booker

I always keep an eye out for the long-list, short-list and winner of the annual Booker Prize.

This week I was pleasantly surprised to learn there is an International Booker Prize. Somehow, I had somehow missed this prize aimed at translated literature.

The nice aspect of this prize is that the translated work, which must have been translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland, is won by both the author and his or her translator. Both split the prize money and earn equal recognition as recipients of the award.

This year’s prizewinner is The Discomfort of Evening, written by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld and translated into English from the original Dutch by Michele Hutchison.

According to the press release, this novel tells the story of Jas, a young girl living in rural Netherlands and explores the descent into grief and madness of Jas and her family following the disappearance of her older brother.

Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s award, and look forward to following the annual International Booker to learn more about some of the year’s best translated literature… and supporting much deserved recognition for talented literary translators.


  1. Claire 'Word by Word' on August 28, 2020 at 2:58 pm

    I love this prize, it used to be little known and only held every two years and the nominations were for an author and their life’s work, not for a recent publication as it is now. There was another prize, the independent foreign fiction prize that was for a recently published novel in translation, so the two prizes joined together, one keeping the name, the other keeping the format and it’s become more popular since that transition.

    • kimberlysullivan on September 1, 2020 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks, Claire! You’ve demystified this prize for me! I recall the life work aspect of the reward, so this is a nice change to see. We all benefit from translated literature, and nice to see the translators rewarded for their tremendously appreciated efforts. Since I (like you) read a lot of lit in their original languages, the skills of literary translators never ceases to amaze me!

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