Tenth Annual Best Translated Book Award Longlists Announced

March 28, 2017
by 

BTBA 2017

Celebrating its tenth iteration, the Best Translated Book Awards announced its longlists for fiction and poetry this morning, highlighting the best international works of literature published in the past year.

The lists include a diverse range of authors, with many who have recently appeared in World Literature Today including Basma Abdel Aziz, Alessandro Baricco, Szilárd Borbély, Lidija Dimkovska, Abdellatif Laâbi, Yoss, and several others whose recent books have been highlighted in our reviews. Banana Yoshimoto was recognized in WLT’s January 2012 reading list of “10 Top Japanese Authors of the Past Decade (2000-2010),” and Ananda Devi, Yoko Tawada, and Esther Allen have also served as jurors for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature. 

Widely praised novels such as PEN Translation Prize winner Angel of Oblivion, by Maja Haderlap, and War and Turpentine, by Stefan Hertmans, were longlisted alongside more under-the-radar titles such as tasks, by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, and Doomi Golo, by Boubacar Boris Diop. 

According to fiction judge Lori Feathers, “It sounds cliché but the diversity of this year’s fiction longlist is remarkable. What other awards list includes talking polar bears, a Cuban author who, when not penning sci-fi books, is the lead singer of a death metal band, and a novel written in the Senegambian language, Wolof?”

Notably, of the forty total translators with work highlighted on the longlists, twenty-nine are receiving this honor for the first time. 

Translator Piotr Florczyk is a frequent book reviewer for WLT, and translators Susan Bernofsky and Esther Allen recently joined WLT in a two-part interview discussing their book In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means

The finalists for both the fiction and poetry awards will be announced on The Millions on Tuesday, April 18, and the winners will be announced on Thursday, May 4,at 7 p.m., simultaneously on The Millions and at a live event in New York City (details to come). 

Past winners of the fiction award include Signs Preceding the End of the World, by Yuri Herrera, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman; The Last Lover, by Can Xue, translated from the Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen; Seiobo There Below and Satantango, both by László Krasznahorkai and translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet and George Szirtes respectively; Stone Upon Stone, by Wiesław Myśliwski, translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston; and The True Deceiver, by Tove Jansson, translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal. 

For the poetry award, past winners include Rilke Shake, by Angélica Freitas, translated from the Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan; Diorama, by Rocío Cerón, translated from the Spanish by Anna Rosenwong; The Guest in the Wood, by Elisa Biagini, translated from the Italian by Diana Thow, Sarah Stickney, and Eugene Ostashevsky; Wheel with a Single Spoke, by Nichita Stănescu, translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter; and Spectacle & Pigsty, by Kiwao Nomura, translated from the Japanese by Kyoko Yoshida and Forrest Gander. 

This year’s fiction jury is made up of Trevor Berrett (The Mookse and the Gripes), Monica Carter (Salonica World Lit), Rachel Cordasco (Speculative Fiction in Translation), Jennifer Croft (translator, co-founder of the Buenos Aires Review), Lori Feathers (Interabang Books), Jeremy Garber (Powell’s Books), Mark Haber (writer, Brazos Bookstore), George Henson (World Literature Today, Latin American Literature Today, University of Oklahoma), and Steph Opitz (Marie Claire). 

The poetry jury includes Jarrod Annis (Greenlight Bookstore), Katrine Øgaard Jensen (EuropeNow), Tess Lewis (writer and translator), Becka McKay (writer and translator), and Emma Ramadan (translator, Riffraff Bookstore).

For more information, visit the official Best Translated Book Award site and the official BTBA Facebook page, and follow the award on Twitter. 

Additionally, over the next month, leading up to the announcement of the shortlists, Three Percent will be featuring a different title each day as part of the “Why This Book Should Win” series.

 

Best Translated Book Award 2017: Fiction Longlist 

The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz, translated from the Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette (Egypt, Melville House)

The Young Bride by Alessandro Baricco, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Italy, Europa Editions) 

Wicked Weeds by Pedro Cabiya, translated from the Spanish by Jessica Powell (Dominican Republic, Mandel Vilar Press) 

Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lúcio Cardoso, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson (Brazil, Open Letter Books)

On the Edge by Rafael Chirbes, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa (Spain, New Directions)

Eve Out of Her Ruins by Ananda Devi, translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman (Mauritius, Deep Vellum)

Zama by Antonio di Benedetto, translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen (Argentina, New York Review Books)

A Spare Life by Lidija Dimkovska, translated from the Macedonian by Christina Kramer (Macedonia, Two Lines Press)

Doomi Golo by Boubacar Boris Diop, translated from the Wolof by Vera Wülfing-Leckie and El Hadji Moustapha Diop (Senegal, Michigan State University Press)

Night Prayers by Santiago Gamboa, translated from the Spanish by Howard Curtis (Colombia, Europa Editions) 

Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap, translated from the German by Tess Lewis (Austria, Archipelago Books)

War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans, translated from the Dutch by David McKay (Belgium, Pantheon)

Umami by Laia Jufresa, translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes (Mexico, Oneworld)

Last Wolf and Herman by László Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes and John Batki (Hungary, New Directions)

Oblivion by Sergei Lebedev, translated from the Russian by Antonina W. Bouis (Russia, New Vessel Press)

Thus Bad Begins by Javier Marías, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa (Spain, Knopf)

In the Café of Lost Youth by Patrick Modiano, translated from the French by Chris Clarke (France, New York Review Books)

Ladivine by Marie NDiaye, translated from the French by Jordan Stump (France, Knopf)

Among Strange Victims by Daniel Saldaña París, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney (Mexico, Coffee House Press) 

Moonstone by Sjón, translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb (Iceland, FSG)

Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky (Japan, New Directions)

Vampire in Love by Enrique Vila-Matas, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa (Spain, New Directions)

My Marriage by Jakob Wassermann, translated from the German by Michael Hofmann (Germany, New York Review Books) 

Moshi Moshi by Banana Yoshimoto, translated from the Japanese by Asa Yoneda (Japan, Counterpoint Press)

Super Extra Grande by Yoss, translated from the Spanish by David Frye (Cuba, Restless Books)

 

Best Translated Book Award 2017: Poetry Longlist 

Berlin-Hamlet by Szilárd Borbély, translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet (Hungary, New York Review Books)

Of Things by Michael Donhauser, translated from the German by Nick Hoff and Andrew Joron (Austria, Burning Deck Press)

Instructions Within by Ashraf Fayadh, translated from the Arabic by Mona Kareem, Mona Zaki, and Jonathan Wright (Palestine, Operating System)

Cheer Up, Femme Fatale by Yideum Kim, translated from the Korean by Ji Yoon Lee, Don Mee Choi, and Johannes Göransson (South Korea, Action Books)

In Praise of Defeat by Abdellatif Laâbi, translated from the French by Donald Nicholson-Smith (Morocco, Archipelago Books) 

Extracting the Stone of Madness by Alejandra Pizarnik, translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert (Argentina, New Directions)

The Thief of Talant by Pierre Reverdy, translated from the French by Ian Seed (France, Wakefield Press) 

tasks by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez, translated from the Spanish by Katherine M. Hedeen (Cuba, co-im-press)

Building the Barricade by Anna Świrszczyńska, translated from the Polish by Piotr Florczyk (Poland, Tavern Books) 

Antígona González by Sara Uribe, translated from the Spanish by John Pluecker (Mexico, Les Figues Press)

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