Crooked Plow Longlisted for the 2024 International Booker Prize

March 18, 2024

Crooked Plow (Torto Arado), authored by Itamar Vieira Júnior and translated into English by Johnny Lorenz (Professor of English at Montclair State University and Brazil LAB Affiliate Scholar), has been longlisted for the 2024 International Booker Prize, one of the most prestigious literary accolades globally.

The award committee praised Crooked Plow as an immersive journey “into the deep-rooted relationships of Afro-Brazilians and Indigenous peoples to their lands and waters – including the ways these communities demand love, gods, song, and dream – despite brutal colonial disruptions. An aching yet tender story of our origins of violence, of how we spend our lives trying to bloom love and care from them, and of the language and silence we need to fuel our tending.”

In October 2023, Itamar Vieira Junior and Johnny Lorenz visited the Brazil LAB for a public event, where they were joined by Visiting Professor Luís Augusto Fischer. Lorenz shared insights into his translation process for Torto Arado, emphasizing the challenge of translating not just words but the silences between them, the unsaid: “it’s not only the words that must be translated, but also the silence behind them, what hasn’t been said," Lorenz highlighted. He highlighted the power of imagery in storytelling and the importance of trusting the reader without over-explaining. A recording of the conversation is available on the Brazil LAB YouTube Channel.

The Booker Prize will announce its shortlist on April 9, 2024. The winner will be revealed on May 21, 2024.