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Booker International Shortlist 2020: The Adventures of China Iron

China Iron

We finally have a date for the announcement of the winner of this years Booker International Prize…26th August 2020 so we are returning to our updates about the shortlist.

Bookworm’s Thoughts: I really enjoyed this adventure story about a young Argentinian woman who escapes a life of poverty with a bullying husband and runs away with a Scottish woman seeking to find her husband out in the lands of the Indians. I am unfamiliar with the source poem Martin Fierro so this was a fresh story for me with no preconceptions of what the characters should be like.

Why this could win: It is an adventure story, it is positive, it has a happy ending the characters are diverse and there it features a dog!

Why it might not win: The judges seem to favour grim and this is not a grim book.

Tracy’s Thoughts: Why it could win: A continuation of an Argentine legend, with gender fluid characters- this is a timely storyline, with some moments of great writing.

Why it might not win: It’s got some really quirky writing, too, that may not appeal to a wide audience.


Rachelo’s Thoughts: Probably the most enjoyable of the shortlist. I loved seeing the world through China/Jo and Liz’s eyes.

Why it could win: I’d be happy if it did. It’s an alternative take on an classic Argentinian epic, brimful of enthusiasm, colour and subverted gender roles.

Why it might not win: Too much fun? I did have a few qualms about the utopia-like ending. But I still enjoyed reading it.

Have you read this one? What do you think its chances of winning are?

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