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The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, run by Booktrust, has just published its long list for the 2013 award. Amongst the sixteen nominees, including Turkish Nobel Prize winner Orhan Pamuk, are the Balkans’ own Albanian Ismail Kadare and Croatian Daša Drndić. Kadare has been nominated for his novel The Fall of the Stone City depicting Nazi occupation in his native Gjirokaster in 1943. Drndić was shortlisted for her work Trieste, a story about Jews of Gorizia in Northeast Italy during World War II.

fall cityThis is not the first time that Ismail Kadare has been nominated for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. He has also been shortlisted for the Nobel Prize in Literature a number of times and won the inaugural Man Booker International Prize in 2005 for his novel The Successor. He is the most famous living Albanian author and his works have been translated into 30 languages.

Daša Drndić is a prominent writer in her native Croatia, but is best known outside the Balkans region for Trieste, which has very recently been published in the UK. Apart from being a novelist, she is also a renowned playwright who has produced over thirty radio plays in the former Yugoslavia. Currently she teaches British Literature at the University of Rijeka in Croatia. trieste 2

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize was founded by The Independent in 1990 and was first awarded to Orhan Pamuk. In 2000, Booktrust revived the prize with the assistance of the UK Arts Council and its aim is to showcase the best of foreign fiction whilst celebrating both writers and translators.

A shortlist of six books for this year’s prize will be chosen on Thursday 6th April, and the winner will be announced in London later in May. If you would like to see the full list of the works nominated for this prize, and to find out more about the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, visit http://www.booktrust.org.uk/prizes-and-awards/7

Photos courtesy of megsc (librarything)

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