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Zazpi etxe Frantzian by Bernardo Atxaga is among 15 vying for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize


Bernardo Atxaga presenting Zazpi etxe Frantzian in Iruña in 2009
Bernardo Atxaga presenting Zazpi etxe Frantzian in Iruña in 2009


Bernardo Atxaga’s novel, Zazpi etxe Frantzian (Seven Houses in France), is getting very good reviews in the United Kingdom where the English version was published last November. Additional good news has been received that the novel has been chosen as one of the best foreign fiction books of 2011 in the running for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, awarded by the Booktrust Association. On April 12th the five finalists will be published with the winning entry being among them.

London, England.  The British Booktrust Association has recently published the list of the 15 finalists nominated for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, the award for the best foreign fiction book that had been awarded until now by the prestigious newspaper The Independent. The selection of the best works of 2011 includes, for the first time, a work that was originally written in Basque: the novel Zazpi etxe Frantzian by Bernardo Atxaga. 

The award honors the best works of fiction in languages other than English which have been published in English the year before.  The award was created in 1990 by The Independent daily, but starting this year, its management has passed to the Booktrust Association.  Bernardo Atxaga’s last novel, Zazpi etxe Frantzian, was published in the United Kingdom last November and has received very positive reviews. 

The nomination is only the first step, since there will be a second selection of five finalists from the fifteen originally nominated.  These five will be published on April 12th with one of these being named the winner.  Sharing the list of nominees with Atxaga are internationally established writers such as Haruki Murakami, Umberto Eco and Amos Oz.   

Currently the list of nominees who are competing with Atxaga includes:

  • 1Q84: Books 1 and 2 , by Haruki Murakami, translated from Japanese.
  • Alice by Judith Hermann, translated from German.
  • Blooms of Darkness, by Aharon Appelfeld, translated from Hebrew.
  • Dream of Ding Village, bt Yan Lianke, translated from Chinese.
  • The Emperor of Lies, de Steve Sem-Sandberg, translated from Swedish.
  • From the Mouth of the Whale, by Sjón, translated from Icelandic.
  • Hate: A Romance, by Tristan Garcia, translated from French.
  • New Finnish Grammar, by Diego Marani, translated from Italian.
  • Next World Novella, by Matthias Politycki, translated from German.
  • Parrallel Stories, by Peter Nadas, translated from Hungarian.
  • Please Look After Mother, by Kyung-sook Shin, translated from Korean.
  • The Prague Cemetery, by Umberto Eco, translated from Italian.
  • Professor Andersen's Night, by Dag Solstad, translated from Norvegian.
  • Scenes From Village Life, by Amos Oz, translated from Hebrew.
  • Seven Houses in France, by Bernardo Atxaga, translated into English from its Spanish version that was translated from Basque by Atxaga himself and his wife, Asun Garikano, (published by Harvill Secker)

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