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Nobel winner up for international Booker

BBC News BBC News 14/04/2016
Orhan Pamuk © BBC Orhan Pamuk

A Nobel Prize winner and an author who writes under a pseudonym are among six authors shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize.

Han Kang and Yan Lianke: The six shortlisted authors include Han Kang and Yan Lianke - the only finalist to have been previously nominated © BBC The six shortlisted authors include Han Kang and Yan Lianke - the only finalist to have been previously nominated

Orhan Pamuk, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006, is nominated for his book A Strangeness in My Mind.

Italian writer Elena Ferrante, which is not her real name, is nominated for The Story of the Lost Child.

The winner of the prize will be announced on 16 May at a formal dinner at the V&A Museum.

Each shortlisted author and translator will receive £1,000, while the £50,000 prize will be divided equally between the author and the translator of the winning entry.

Yan Lianke, author of The Four Books, was previously a finalist in 2013, but the other five authors are nominated for the first time this year.

The finalists also include two recipients of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize - Pamuk and José Eduardo Agualusa, who has been nominated for A General Theory of Oblivion.

Rounding off the shortlist is The Vegetarian by Han Kang and A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler.

The six shortlisted books were written in six different languages - with four countries appearing on the list for the first time.

Settings across the shortlisted novels include Angola, Naples, Istanbul, South Korea, China and the mountains of Austria.

Boyd Tonkin, chair of the prize's judging panel, said: "Our selection shows that the finest books in translation extend the boundaries not just of our world - but of the art of fiction itself."

This is the first shortlist ever to have been announced for the Man Booker International Prize, which has joined forces with the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize and as of this year will be awarded annually on the basis of a single book.

Previously, the Man Booker International was awarded every second year to an author for their entire body of work, and was most recently won by Hungarian writer Laszlo Krasznahorkai in 2015.

'Anonymous' author

Ferrante's biography on the Man Booker website reads: "Elena Ferrante was born in Naples. This is all we know about her... [she] has stayed resolutely out of public view."

The author has previously stated her belief that "books, once they are written, have no need of their authors".

Her anonymity has not stopped her from gaining high profile fans such as Zadie Smith and Alice Sebold.

Ferrante's debut novel Troubling Love was published in 1991, but it is her "Neopolitan" series of four books - The Story of The Lost Child being the final instalment - that has been her biggest success.

Her work has been published in 39 countries, and she has sold almost two million copies worldwide.

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