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Booker International Shortlist 2023: Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel

Still Born

Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel

Is this one still in with a chance?


Why it Could Win:. This is my favourite book from the shortlist. I loved the writing and the subject matter is delicately handled. It was also for me the most relatable book I know people who fit the profile of each character in the story although in subtly different ways and that meant it had a real impact on me.

Why it Might Not Win:  It is not the most original book on the list and it is my favourite so two factors counting against it.


Why it Could Win: It’s messy, complicated, compassionate, harrowing and just really well done. I don’t remember reading a book that looks at motherhood and attitudes to motherhood in such a nuanced way. It has left a lasting impression.

Why it Might Not Win:  I rarely see eye-to-eye with the International Booker judges, perhaps. If the judges are looking for edginess or originality of form, this might not make the mark – it’s a human story told beautifully, but without bells and whistles.


Why it Could Win: Given the Roe v. Wade climate in the US right now, and the timeliness of the other issues this book brings to the table about parenthood, I’m still thinking about it months after reading it.

Why it Might Not Win:  The controversy of the issues presented in the book. Or not. The IB panel usually likes controversy.

What do you think is this our winner?

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