Novels written in Afrikaans, Spanish, Dutch, Albanian and Croatian constitute the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize shortlist for 2013, pending a May 20 prizewinner's announcement.
Albanian writer, Parisian resident and Man Booker International Prize winner Ismail Kadare is represented by "The Fall of the Stone City" (translated by John Hodgson), a story about two doctors who share the same name.
Like Kadare's work, Dasa Drndic's Croatian novel "Trieste" (trans. Ellen Elias-Bursac) is concerned with lives touched by totalitarian regime, and Afrikaans story "Bundu," written by prominent South African literary figure Chris Barnard (trans. Michiel Heyns), leads us toward a struggling clinic marooned in no-man's-land between South Africa and Mozambique.
Argentinean-born Andrés Neuman, writing in Spanish, makes the grade with "Traveller of the Century" (trans. Nick Caistor, Lorenza Garcia) which French-born IFFP judge and Turkish writer Elif Shafak described as "a literary gem."
A second Spanish-speaker in Catalan author Enrique Vila-Matas is included by way of his Joyce-referencing tale of a publisher's flight to Ireland, "Dublinesque" (trans. Rosalind Harvey and Anne McLean).
Dutch novelist Gerbrand Bakker, previous recepient of the Impac Dublin Literary Award, the 2013 shortlist of which was revealed earlier in the week, is nominated with second publication "The Detour" (trans. David Colmer).
The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize recognizes both authors and translators, with a £5,000 award delivered to each winner.
Last year's winners were author Aharon Appelfeld and his translator Jeffrey Green for "Blooms of Darkness." Appelfeld is also one of ten finalists for this year's Man Booker International Prize, which will be announced two days after the IFFP, on May 22.