The winner of the International Booker Prize 2023 is Time Shelter by Georgi Gospodinov, translated by Angela Rodel. The prize celebrates the vital work of translators, with the £50,000 prize money divided equally between the author and the translator.
Award-winning Bulgarian author Georgi Gospodinov has enthralled readers around the world with his labyrinth-like, Kafkaesque tales of contemporary Europe. In Time Shelter, an enigmatic flâneur named Gaustine opens a “clinic for the past” that offers a promising treatment for Alzheimer’s sufferers: each floor reproduces a decade in minute detail, transporting patients back in time. As Gaustine’s assistant, the unnamed narrator is tasked with collecting the flotsam and jetsam of the past, from 1960s furniture and 1940s shirt buttons to scents and even afternoon light. But as the rooms become more convincing, an increasing number of healthy people seek out the clinic as a “time shelter”—a development that results in an unexpected conundrum when the past begins to invade the present. Intricately crafted, and eloquently translated by Angela Rodel, Time Shelter announces Gospodinov to American readers as an essential voice in international literature.