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BTBA 2014 Fiction Longlist: A Few Clues

Earlier this afternoon I received the longlist for the 2014 Best Translated Book Award for Fiction, and just had a chance to break it all down and come up with some interesting tidbits to fuel the speculation as to what made it and what got left off.

Just a quick reminder: The full list will go live at exactly 10 am East Coast time on Tuesday morning. Until then, feel free to list all your predictions in the comments below. (Or at the BTBA 2014 Speculation forum at The Mookse and the Gripes.)

Here goes!

1) I’ll start with the most amazing thing about this year’s longlist: Twenty-three different presses have a title in the running. That’s an incredible amount of diversity—way more than in years past.

2) Four of the books are from the Big Five. (It’s pretty normal for the indies and university presses to dominant. Although, without checking any records, I think this is the best the big presses have done in a while.)

3) Last week I posted my own personal predictions: Fourteen of the books I listed there made the longlist.

4) I was pretty wrong in my Independent Foreign Fiction Prize prediction . . . there are only half as many books on both lists.

5) Speaking of the diversity and spread of the list, there are books from twenty different countries (sixteen different languages) represented this year. Only four countries have more than one book on the list, and no country has more than four titles included.

6) There’s aren’t all that many women on this year’s longlist. (Although the ones that are included have a fantastic shot at making the shortlist.) There are three times more men than women.

7) Lot of really long books. I count six that are at least 500 pages long.

8) There are twenty-five translators on the list, but one of them is listed twice.

9) Unlike the male-female count with authors, there are the exact same number of female translators and male translators on the list.

I think that’s it for now. If I think of any other fun clues, I’ll post them.

Also, we’ll give a year’s subscription to Open Letter books to correctly name ALL twenty-five longlisted titles. Feel free to post your entry in the comments below, or email me at (chad.post [at] rochester.edu).



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