We are delighted to announce that Eva Baltasar’s Boulder has made the shortlist for the 2023 International Booker Prize. Huge congratulations to Eva and translator Julia Sanches, as well as to all of the other shortlistees!

In a recent interview for the prize, Baltasar provides a deep insight into her work process, the inspiration behind the story, and how she discovered the voice for the characters.

“I wrote three Boulders. Three different novels with the same title and the same intention: portraying a boulder-like character. I deleted the two novels and spent a few months learning how to give in. The light-bulb moment, the moment of understanding, came when I realised I didn’t have to form a character so much as let the character show herself. I asked for an image that would spark the third Boulder, and what came to me was a memory: Myself at the age of 20 boarding a freighter on Chiloé island on a stormy night. It was as I wrote that memory that I found the voice for the third Boulder, the definitive one.”

Baltasar was also interviewed by Pink News following the announcement of the longlist.

In her interview, Sanches, who translated Boulder from Catalan, wrote about her collaboration with Baltasar on (now) three novels, and gave some invaluable advice to those pursuing careers as translators.

“To someone considering this career for themselves I would say this: first, that the mythical English reader is just that, a myth, as are notions of the nativeness or firstness of the language or languages you translate into. Second, find community; it’s a hinterland out there and your colleagues are your closest allies.”

An ancient saga and a no-filter perspective on parenthood, Boulder tells the story of two women, in love with each other, who must each find their own way to navigate the trials of motherhood – one as a love-struck birth mother, the other an increasingly ambivalent carer. Eva Baltasar, author of the acclaimed Permafrost, here demonstrates her pre-eminence as a chronicler of queer voices.

The International Booker Prize is awarded annually for the finest single work of fiction from around the world which has been translated into English and published in the UK and Ireland. It’s our second time on the shortlist after the 2019 nomination for The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zéran (tr. Sophie Hughes). The winning title will be announced at a ceremony in London on Tuesday, 23 May 2023.

The shortlist includes:

Boulder by Eva Balthasar, translated by Julia Sanches, And Other Stories

Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated by Rosalind Harvey, Fitzcarraldo Editions

Standing Heavy by GauZ’, translated by Frank Wynne, MacLehose Press

Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated by Angela Rodel, Orion Publishing Co.

The Gospel According To The New World by Maryse Conde, tr. Richard Philcox, World Editions Ltd

Whale by Cheon Myeong-kwan, tr. Chi-Young Kim, Europa Editions Ltd

You can pick up a copy of all of these titles via Bookshop.org or via individual publisher websites.

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