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Down the Home Stretch

This post is courtesy of BTBA judge, Scott Esposito. Scott Esposito blogs at Conversational Reading and you can find his tweets here.

We are just about done reading for the longlist of the Best Translated Book Award. Here are a few last books that I haven’t read yet but will be considering very closely as we come on home.


A True Novel by Minae Mizumura: I’ve been hearing great things about this one, and it comes packaged in a beautiful two-volume slip-cased edition. Reminds me of another Japanese novelist of note—that’s how Haruki Murakami’s Norwegian Wood was originally published.


A Most Ambiguous Sunday and Other Stories by Jung Young-moon: A Korean Kafka/Beckett!? Okay, those sorts of comparisons get tossed around all the time, but Young-moon sounds like the real deal. Read what Deborah Smith says about him in her essay on the Library of Korea and maybe you’ll agree.


Sleet by Stig Dagerman: With Dagerman’s heavily recommended Burnt Child ineligible (it has already been translated) I’m eager to see that this collection of stories holds for us. And hey, with Karl Ove Knausgaard and Stig Saeterbakken strong contenders for the longlist, who among us would not want to jump onto another fellow Scandinavian?


Bullfight by Inoue Yasushi: I don’t know a thing about this book, but it’s got some impressive fans, among whom is translator Michael Emmerich. And you’ve got to love that it was the debut novel from a guy who went on to write 50 some novels and 200+ novellas.



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