World Literature Today’s 75 Notable Translations of 2015

December 15, 2015

WLT's 75 Notable Translations 2015

As 2015 comes to a close, we again look back to the year in translation. The end of 2015 marked two new beginnings: a new independent publisher, Spurl Edition, released its first translation in November as a free ebook and will follow with its second translated title in spring 2016; and last year’s new kid on the block, Deep Vellum, announced plans to open a new literary bookstore in Dallas, Texas, in early 2016.

2015 also marked a notable first: the first time the Hugo Award went to a translation, Cixin Liu’s The Three-Body Problem, translated by Ken Liu. Anne Milano Appel won the inaugural Italian Prose in Translation Award for her English translation of Claudio Magris’s Blindly. This and other translation awards were announced at an awards ceremony during the American Literary Translators Association conference in October in Tucson, Arizona. Frequent WLT contributor Denise Newman won the 2015 PEN Translation Prize for her English translation of Naja Marie Aidt’s Baboon. In August, Columbia University Press added to the critical conversation by publishing Rebecca L. Walkowitz’s Born Translated: The Contemporary Novel in an Age of World Literature, and Poets & Writers closed the year with a cover feature on literature in translation, “The World Is Bigger Than We Imagine: The Small-Press Champions of Literature in Translation.”

In our fourth annual list of “75 Notable Translations,” we again offer an admittedly incomplete collection of the year’s English translations. And again, we invite you to share your favorites from the year as well as those you’re most eagerly anticipating in 2016 by using the hashtag #2016Reads on Twitter and Facebook. As World Literature Today enters its 90th year of covering literature in translation, we hope you’ll celebrate with us as we continue to serve as your passport to great reading. 

Scroll through the covers above, or read the list below.

28 Portuguese Poets, Richard Zenith, ed., Richard Zenith & Alexis Levitin, tr.     (Dedalus Press)

Naja Marie Aidt, Rock, Paper, Scissors, K. E. Semmel, tr. (Open Letter)

Yehuda Amichai, The Poetry of Yehuda Amichai, Robert Alter, ed., Robert Alter et al., tr. (FSG)

Alaa Al Aswany, The Automobile Club of Egypt, Russell Harris, tr. (Knopf)

Bernado Atxaga, Shola and the Lions, Mikel Valverde, ill., Margaret Jull Costa, tr. (Pushkin Children’s Books)

Bang Hyun-seok, Time to Eat Lobster, Seung-Hee Jeon, tr. (MerwinAsia)

Jean-Philippe Blondel, The 6:41 to Paris, Alison Anderson, tr. (New Vessel Press)

Blai Bonet, The Sea, Maruxa Relaño & Martha Tennent, tr. (Dalkey Archive)

The Book of Tokyo: A City in Short Fiction, Jim Hinks, Masashi Matsuie & Michael       Emmerich, eds. (Comma Press)

Horacio Castellanos Moya, The Dream of My Return, Katherine Silver, tr. (New Directions)

Cheon Myeong-kwan, Modern Family, Kyoung-lee Park, tr. (White Pine Press)

Leila S. Chudori, Home, John H. McGlynn, tr. (Deep Vellum Publishing)

Mia Couto, Confession of the Lioness, David Brookshaw, tr. (FSG)

Kamel Daoud, The Meursault Investigation, John Cullen, tr. (Other Press)

Boubacar Boris Diop, The Knight and His Shadow, Alan Furness, tr. (Michigan State University Press)

Carlos Gamerro, The Adventure of the Busts of Eva Perón, Ian Barnett, tr. (And Other Stories)

Anne Garréta, Sphinx, Emma Ramadan, tr. (Deep Vellum)

Anna Gavalda, Billie, Jennifer Rappaport, tr. (Europa)

Gabriella Ghermandi, Queen of Flowers and Pearls, Giovanna Bellesia-Contuzzi & Victoria Offredi Poletto, tr. (Indiana University Press)

Hubert Haddad, Rochester Knockings: A Novel of the Fox Sisters, Jennifer Grotz, tr.       (Open Letter)

Gail Hareven, Lies, First Person, Dalya Bilu, tr. (Open Letter)

Liliana Heker, Please Talk to Me: Selected Stories, Alberto Manguel, ed., Alberto Manguel & Miranda France, tr. (Yale University Press)

Yuri Herrera, Signs Preceding the End of the World, Lisa Dillman, tr. (And Other           Stories)

Wolfgang Hilbig, The Sleep of the Righteous, Isabel Fargo Cole, tr. (Two Lines Press)

Bensalem Himmich, My Torturess, Roger Allen, tr. (Syracuse University Press)

Yoel Hoffmann, Moods, Peter Cole, tr. (New Directions)

Tomiko Inui, The Secret of the Blue Glass, Ginny Tapley Takemori, tr. (Pushkin Children’s Books)

Erich Kästner, Dot and Anton, Walter Trier, ill., Anthea Bell, tr. (Pushkin Children’s Books)

Etgar Keret, The Seven Good Years, Sondra Silverston, Miriam Shlesinger, Jessica        Cohen, and Anthony Berris, tr. (Riverhead Books)

Yasmina Khadra, The African Equation, Howard Curtis, tr. (Gallic Books)

Angèle Kingué, Venus of Khala-Kanti, Christine Schwartz Hartley, tr. (Bucknell University Press)

Karl Ove Knausgaard, My Struggle: Book Four, Don Bartlett, tr. (Archipelago)

Christian Kracht, Imperium: A Fiction of the South Seas, Daniel Bowles, tr. (FSG)

Eka Kurniawan, Beauty Is a Wound, Annie Tucker, tr. (New Directions)

Violette Leduc, Thérèse and Isabelle, Sophie Lewis, tr. (Feminist Press)

Like a New Sun: New Indigenous Mexican Poetry, Victor Terán & David Shook, ed;         David Shook, tr. (Phoneme Media)

Liu Xia, Empty Chairs: Selected Poems, Ming Di & Jennifer Stern, tr. (Graywolf)

Valeria Luiselli, The Story of My Teeth, Christina MacSweeney, tr. (Coffee House)

Andreï Makine, Brief Loves That Live Forever, Geoffrey Strachan, tr. (Graywolf)

Luisgé Martín, The Same City, Tomasz Dukanovich, tr. (Hispabooks)

Margaret Mazzantini, Morning Sea, Ann Gagliardi, tr. (Oneworld)

Shigeru Mizuki, Shigeru Mizuki’s Hitler, Zack Davisson, tr. (Drawn & Quarterly)

Minae Mizumura, The Fall of Language in the Age of English, Mari Yoshihara & Juliet   Winters Carpenter, tr. (Columbia University Press)

Fiston Mwanza Mujila, Tram 83, Roland Glasser, tr. (Deep Vellum)

Guadalupe Nettel, The Body Where I Was Born, J. T. Lichtenstein, tr. (Seven Stories     Press)

Andrés Neuman, The Things We Don’t Do, Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia, tr. (Open             Letter)

Harri Nykänen, Behind God’s Back, Kristian London, tr. (Bitter Lemon)

Héctor Germán Oesterheld, The Eternaut, Francisco Solano López, ill., Erica Mena, tr. (Fantagraphics Books)

Ottawa Stories from the Springs, Howard Webkamigad, ed. & tr. (Michigan State University Press)

Orhan Pamuk, A Strangeness in My Mind, Ekin Oklap, tr. (Knopf)

Carlos Pintado, Nine Coins, Hilary Vaughn Dobel, tr. (Akashic)

Sergio Pitol, The Art of Flight, George Henson, tr. (Deep Vellum)

Sergio Pitol, The Journey, George Henson, tr. (Deep Vellum)

Poetry of Haitian Independence, Doris Y. Kadish & Deborah Jenson, ed., Norman R. Shapiro, tr. (Yale University Press)

Mercè Rodoreda, War, So Much War, Maruxa Relaño & Martha Tennent, tr. (Open     Letter)

Toni Sala, The Boys, Mara Faye Lethem, tr. (Two Lines Press)

Boualem Sansal, Harraga, Frank Wynne, tr. (Bloomsbury)

Riad Sattouf, The Arab of the Future, Sam Taylor, tr. (Metropolitan Books)

Tayseer al-Sboul, Desert Sorrows, Nesreen Akhtarkhavari & Anthony A. Lee, tr. (Michigan State University Press)

Karel Schoeman, This Life, Else Silke, tr. (Archipelago)

Mikhail Shishkin, Calligraphy Lesson: The Collected Stories, Marian Schwartz, Leo         Shtutin, Sylvia Maizell, & Mariya Bashkatova, tr. (Deep Vellum)

Wisława Szymborska, Map: Collected and Last Poems, Clare Cavanagh, ed., Clare Cavanagh & Stanisław Barańczak, tr. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

Antonio Tabucchi, Tristano Dies: A Life, Elizabeth Harris, tr. (Archipelago)

Philip Teir, The Winter War, Tiina Nunnally, tr. (Serpent’s Tail)

Therigatha: Poems of the First Buddhist Women, Charles Hallisey, tr. (Harvard University Press)

Natalia Toledo, The Black Flower and Other Zapotec Poems, Clare Sullivan, tr.    (Phoneme Media)

Hasan Ali Toptas, Reckless, Maureen Freely & John Angliss, tr. (Bloomsbury)

Tomas Tranströmer, Bright Scythe: Selected Poems, Patty Crane, tr. (Sarabande          Books)

Fotini Tsalikoglou, The Secret Sister, Mary Kitroeff, tr. (Europa Editions)

Ko Un, Maninbo: Peace & War, Brother Anthony of Taizé & Lee Sang-Wha, tr. (Bloodaxe Books)

Antoine Volodine, Post-Exoticism in Ten Lessons, Lesson Eleven, J. T. Mahany, tr.           (Open Letter)

Oleg Woolf, Bessarabian Stamps, Boris Dralyuk, tr. (Phoneme Media)

Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi, Mirages of the Mind, Matt Reeck & Aftab Ahmad, tr. (New   Directions)

Seirai Yūichi, Ground Zero, Nagasaki, Paul Warham, tr. (Columbia University Press)

Moikom Zeqo, Zodiac, Anastas Kapurani & Wayne Miller, tr. (Zephyr)