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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 10:38 GMT
Foreign fiction shortlist unveiled
The Visit of the Royal Physician
Enquist's tale is set in Denmark
A scathing satire on the advertising industry and a novel about an English princess are among the six books shortlisted for the 2003 Independent Foreign Fiction prize.

The 10,000 prize is considered Britain's leading award for foreign novels translated into English.

The prize is shared between the author and the translator.

The prize will be awarded at a ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall, London, on 7 April.

The short-listed novels are:

  • 9.99 by Frederic Beigbeder
  • The Visit of the Royal Physician by Per Olov Enquist
  • The Snowflake Constant by Peter Stephan Jungk
  • The Feast of the Goat by Mario Vargas Llosa
  • The Cave by Jose Saramago
  • The Athenia Murders by Jose Carlos Somoza.

    The judges are Professor Susan Bassnett of Warwick University, novelist Ahdaf Soueif, poet Jack Mapanje, Amanda Hopkinson, of the Arts Council of England, and the literary editor of the Independent, Boyd Tonkin.

    9.99 by Frederic Beigbeder
    Beigbeder is considered the French literary enfant terrible
    French writer Frederic Beigbeder's 9.99 depicts the cocaine-fuelled advertising world in London while Danish author Olov Enquist's novel tells the story of the sister of George III who became Queen of Denmark.

    Portugese novelist Jose Saramago is among the biggest names on the shortlist, winning the Nobel prize for literature in 1998.

    Also on the shortlist is Spanish writer Carlos Somoza's The Athenian Murders, a whodunit set in ancient Greece, which has already won the Gold Dagger award of the UK Crime Writers' Association.

    The Snowflake Constant , by German author Jungk, tells the tale of an eccentric mathematician and his doomed search for truth.

    Last year's winner was the late W G Sebald, who won for his final masterpiece, Austerlitz.

    The prize was awarded posthumously following Sebald's death in December 2001.




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