A more representative work for Edward P Jones

A more representative work for Edward P Jones

The Candidates for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature are always an interesting collection and I was glad to note that I have four of them on my site: César Aira, Mia Couto, Duong Thu Huong and Haruki Murakami. I know nothing about the three poets nominated – Edouard Maunick, Ilya Kaminsky and Ghassan Zaqtan, though Zaqtan has published two works of fiction, neither of which has been translated. I do own books by both Edward P. Jones and Chang-rae Lee and hope to get round to them soon. What is interesting is that the website gives what it calls a representative work for each author. Maybe the Mia Couto and Duong Thu Huong suggestions are valid but The Elephant Vanishes for Murakami, How I Became a Nun for Aira and All Aunt Hagar’s Children for Jones seem somewhat eccentric choices. The Neustadt selects individuals of note who nominate a choice and, presumably they chose the representative work. Murakami, for example, was nominated by Deji Olukotun, who wrote the very funny Nigerians in Space. In any case, it is good to see that they have chosen nine interesting candidates.