This Year, Valentino Is Helping the International Booker Prize Expand Its Reach

All images courtesy of the International Booker Prize and Valentino.

A vision of rural Argentina. A trip through the dissolution of a relationship. A thorough exploration of grief. An intimate look at the lives of farmers in the poorest stretches of Brazil. This year’s International Booker Prize-nominated novels are as thematically diverse as they are geographically far-reaching. The shortlisted authors write in six different languages and hail from six different countries (Argentina, Brazil, Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea, and Sweden). Now, to enable more people to immerse themselves in these authors' worlds, the fashion house Valentino is sending 500 sets of the nominated books to libraries across the United Kingdom. 

The Maison’s partnership with the U.K. prize, which also includes sponsoring the 2024 ceremony, continues Valentino’s longstanding interest in collaborating with leading writers. Previously, the fashion house has worked with Booker Prize nominees including Hanya Yanagihara, Leila Mottley, Elif Shafak, and Mieko Kawakami, splashing their words across campaigns and garments. 


“The Valentino team’s energy and enthusiasm are inspiring, as is everything they’ve already done for, and with, great writers,” says Gaby Wood, chief executive of the Booker Prize Foundation, in a statement. “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed discussing books with them—and discovering our shared love of many International Booker authors has been a particular thrill.” (The prize has an international edition, which celebrates the best in international literature that has been translated into English and published in the UK or Ireland, as well as the Booker Prize, formerly known as the Man Booker Prize, which honors the best fiction written in English.)

Working with libraries is a hallmark of the Booker Prize Foundation, in addition to initiatives launched in prisons and universities. Valentino’s donation of the shortlisted books, coordinated in partnership with The Reading Agency charity, will allow additional readers across the U.K. to access to some of this year’s best fiction from global authors. The six writers—Selva Almada, Jenny Erpenbeck, Ia Genberg, Hwang Sok-yong, Jente Posthuma, and Itamar Vieira Junior—as well as their translators, will be honored in a ceremony on May 21. 

The panel selecting this year’s nominees and winner is chaired by writer and broadcaster Eleanor Wachtel and includes poet Natalie Diaz, Booker Prize-shortlisted novelist Romesh Gunesekera, South African artist William Kentridge, and writer, editor, and translator Aaron Robertson. The ceremony’s livestream is set to be hosted by literary YouTuber Jack Edwards, who is known as "the internet's resident librarian."