Ten writers – including four from Africa – are in the running to win the £60,000 Man Booker International Prize.
The list includes six nationalities making a first appearance: Libya, Mozambique, Guadeloupe, Hungary, South Africa and Congo-Brazzaville .
The prize is awarded every two years to an author who has published fiction either originally in English or whose work has been translated into English.
The winner will be announced in London on 19 May.
The award recognises an author’s continued creativity, development and overall contribution to literature, rather than a single work.
The authors on the list are:
- Cesar Aira (Argentina)
- Hoda Barakat (Lebanon)
- Maryse Conde (Guadeloupe)
- Mia Couto (Mozambique)
- Amitav Ghosh (India)
- Fanny Howe (United States of America)
- Ibrahim al-Koni (Libya)
- Laszlo Krasznahorkai (Hungary)
- Alain Mabanckou (Congo-Brazzaville )
- Marlene van Niekerk (South Africa)
None of the writers has previously been up for the prize.
The list was announced by the chair of judges, Professor Marina Warner, at the University of Cape Town in South Africa on Tuesday.
“The judges have had an exhilarating experience reading for this prize; we have ranged across the world and entered the vision of writers who offer an extraordinary variety of experiences,” she said.
“Fiction can enlarge the world for us all and stretch our understanding and our sympathy. The novel today is in fine form: as a field of inquiry, a tribunal of history, a map of the heart, a probe of the psyche, a stimulus to thought, a well of pleasure and a laboratory of language. Truly, we feel closer to the tree of knowledge.”
Lydia Davis won the prize in 2013, Philip Roth in 2011, Alice Munro in 2009, Chinua Achebe in 2007 and Ismail Kadare won the inaugural prize in 2005.