75 Notable Translations of 2014

December 23, 2014

Literary translation again filled the news in 2014. There were firsts to celebrate—the earliest-known Arabic stories were finally translated into English, and Deep Vellum Publishing, a new translation-only publisher founded in, of all places, Dallas, Texas, published its first book—but also the unwelcome news from Russia of Glas’s suspension of publishing activity. The news from Britain was sunnier: the Guardian reported a “mini-boom in translated novels” among British readers, and the Poetry Translation Centre celebrated its tenth anniversary with an anthology of 111 poems translated from twenty-three languages.

In our third annual list of “75 Notable Translations,” we again offer an admittedly incomplete collection of the year’s English translations. We hope you’ll both find some new to-reads and comment on those we’ve missed. Tell us, too, which forthcoming translations you’re most eager to read in 2015 by using the hashtag #2015Reads on Twitter and Facebook. John Cullen’s rendering of Yasmina Reza’s Happy Are the Happy? Or perhaps Christina MacSweeney’s translation of Valeria Luiselli’s The Story of My Teeth?

1. Salar Abdoh, Tehran Noir, various tr.

2. Naja Marie Aidt, Baboon, Denise Newman, tr.

3. César Aira, Conversations, Katherine Silver, tr.

4. Ellah Wakatama Allfrey, Africa39, various tr.

5. Kjell Askildsen, Selected Stories, Seán Kinsella, tr.

6. Alessandro Baricco, Mr. Gwyn, Ann Goldstein, tr.

7. Andrei Bitov, The Symmetry Teacher, Polly Gannon, tr.

8. Carmen Boullosa, Texas: The Great Theft, Samantha Schnee, tr.

9. Monica Cantieni, The Encyclopaedia of Good Reasons, Donal McLaughlin, tr.

10. Rocío Cerón, Diorama, Anna Rosenwong, tr.

11. Colette, Shipwrecked on a Traffic Island, Zack Rogow & Renée Morel, tr.

12. Rashid al-Daif, Who’s Afraid of Meryl Streep?, Paula Haydar & Nadine Sinno, tr.

13. Lena Divani, Seven Lives and One Great Love: The Memoirs of a Cat, Konstantine Matsoukas, tr.

14. Elvira Dones, Sworn Virgin, Clarissa Botsford, tr.

15. Sergei Dovlatov, Pushkin Hills, Katherine Dovlatov, tr.

16. Dasa Drndic, Trieste, Ellen Elias-Bursac, tr.

17. Mathias Énard, Street of Thieves, Charlotte Mandell, tr.

18. Joachim Fest, Not I: Memoirs of a German Childhood, Martin Chalmers, tr.

19. Saskia Goldschmidt, The Hormone Factory, Hester Velmans, tr.

20. David Grossman, Falling Out of Time, Jessica Cohen, tr.

21. Qassim Haddad, Chronicles of Majnun Layla and Selected Poems, Ferial Ghazoul & John Verlenden, tr.

22. Sakutaro Hagiwara, The Iceland, Hiroaki Sato, tr.

23. Gaute Heivoll, Before I Burn, Don Bartlett, tr.

24. Kari Hesthamar, So Long Marianne, Helle Goldman, tr.

25. Andrea Hirata, The Rainbow Troops, Angie Kilbane, tr.

26. Bohumil Hrabal, Rambling On, David Short, tr.

27. Iman Humaydan, Other Lives, Michelle Hartman, tr.

28. I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan, Eliza Griswold, tr.

29. Drago Jancar, The Tree with No Name, Michael Biggins, tr.

30. Kanai Mieko, Oh, Tama!, Tomoko Aoyama & Paul McCarthy, tr.

31. Danilo Kiš, Night and Fog, John K. Cox, tr.

32. Herman Koch, Summer House with Swimming Pool, Sam Garrett, tr.

33. Ibrahim al-Koni, New Waw: Saharan Oasis, William M. Hutchins, tr.

34. Tuomas Kyro, Beggar and the Hare, David McDuff, tr.

35. Carlos Labbé, Navidad & Matanza, Will Vanderhyden, tr.

36. Abel Lanzac, Weapons of Mass Diplomacy, Edward Gauvin, tr.

37. Michel Laub, Diary of the Fall, Margaret Jull Costa, tr.

38. Lee Si-young, Patterns, Yoo Hui-Sok & Brother Anthony, tr.

39. Rosa Liksom, Compartment No. 6, Lola Rogers, tr.

40. Cixin Liu, The Three-Body Problem, Ken Liu, tr.

41. Vladimir Lorchenkov, The Good Life Elsewhere, Ross Ufberg, tr.

42. Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis, Stories, Rhett McNeil, tr.

43. Mai Jia, Decoded, Olivia Milburn & Christopher Payne, tr.

44. Andreas Maier, The Room, Jamie Lee Searle, tr.

45. Afrizal Malna, Anxiety Myths, Andy Fuller, tr.

46. Norman Manea, Captives, Jean Harris, tr.

47. Saadat Hasan Manto, Bombay Stories, Matt Reeck & Aftab Ahmad, tr.

48. Amanda Michalopoulou, Why I Killed My Best Friend, Karen Emmerich, tr.

49. Dunya Mikhail, The Iraqi Nights, Kareem James Abu-Zeid, tr.

50. Alberto Moravia, Agostino, Michael F. Moore, tr.

51. Aka Morchiladze, Journey to Karabakh, Elizabeth Heighway, tr.

52. My Voice: A Decade of Poems from the Poetry Translation Centre, Sarah Maguire, ed.

53. Naktsang Nulo, My Tibetan Childhood: When Ice Shattered Stone, Angus Cargill & Sonam Lhamo, tr.

54. Tõnu Õnnepalu, Radio, Adam Cullen, tr.

55. Zoya Pirzad, The Space between Us, Amy Motlagh, tr.

56. Magdaléna Platzová, Aaron’s Leap, Craig Cravens, tr.

57. Angharad Price, The Life of Rebecca Jones, Lloyd Jones, tr.

58. Zakhar Prilepin, Sankya, Mariya Gusev & Jeff Parker with Alina Ryabovolova, tr.

59. Angèle Rawiri, The Fury and Cries of Women, Sara Hanaburgh, tr.

60. Muhammad Saleh, Krakatau: The Tale of Lampung Submerged, John H. McGlyn, tr.

61. Feliciano Sánchez Chan, Ukp’éel wayak’ / Seven Dreams, Jonathan Harrington, tr.

62. Judith Schalansky, The Giraffe’s Neck, Shaun Whiteside, tr.

63. Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, Invisible Love, Howard Curtis, tr.

64. Paulo Scott, Nowhere People, Daniel Hahn, tr.

65. Sölvi Björn Sigurðsson, The Last Days of My Mother, Helga Soffía Einarsdóttir

66. Arkady Strugatsky & Boris Strugatsky, Hard to Be a God, Olena Bormashenko, tr.

67. Arkady Strugatsky & Boris Strugatsky, Definitely Maybe: A Manuscript Discovered under Strange Circumstances, Antonina W. Bouis, tr.

68. Putu Oka Sukanta, Lies, Loss, and Longing, Vern Cork & Leslie Dwyer, tr.

69. Véronique Tadjo, Far from My Father, Amy Baram Reid, tr.

70. Víctor Terán, The Spines of Love / Las espinas del amor, David Shook, tr.

71. Dubravka Ugresic, Europe in Sepia, David Williams, tr.

72. Cesar Vallejo, Malanga Chasing Vallejo, Gerard Malanga, tr.

73. Juan Pablo Villalobos, Quesadillas, Rosalind Harvey, tr.

74. Yu Hua, Boy in the Twilight, Allan H. Barr, tr.

75. Virginia Zaharieva, Nine Rabbits, Angela Rodel, tr.

Tags: 
TranslationlanguageArabicDeep Vellum PublishingUnited KingdomRussiaPoetry Translation CentreNovelsPoetry

Editorial note: For more on translation, check out the perennially popular Translation Tuesday column on our blog, and don’t miss the “Translation and World Literature: From Curiosity to Revelation” section in our May 2014 issue.