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World Literature Today's "75 Notable Translations of 2015"

Yesterday, to celebrate #TranslationTuesday (which is only slightly less popular than #TacoTuesday and #2DayIsCatDayEveryDayIsCatDay), World Literature Today announced their fourth annual list of 75 Notable Translations.

I’m not going to reprint the whole list here—click above to see the full list—but I do have a few general comments.

First off, the list is pretty great. As you’ll see in a few minutes, I have some thoughts about year-end lists and am going to be running approximately a billion over the next couple weeks. That said, if you’re looking for an overview of a ton of great translations, this is, hands down, the best place to start.

On a selfish note, Open Letter has SIX titles on this list:

Naja Marie Aidt, Rock, Paper, Scissors, K. E. Semmel, tr.

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

Gail Hareven, Lies, First Person, Dalya Bilu, tr.

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

Mercè Rodoreda, War, So Much War, Maruxa Relaño & Martha Tennent, tr.

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

Deep Vellum also has six titles on the list, and New Directions ranks third with four books. (These three presses make up 21% of the total list. And I’ll never burn out on seeing something like that given how Penguin Random House and HarperCollins make up like 85% of all other year-end lists.)

University Presses are also strongly represented on this list. Led by Michigan State University Press (my alma mater! whose football team better beat ‘Bama like a god damn drum on New Year’s Eve) with three titles, university presses have eleven books on the list. (A solid 15% of the total.)

Again, you can find the whole list here, and to give you a bit of a taste, here are five books on here that I personally haven’t read, but definitely want to and am using this as a prompt to move them up my “to read” list:

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

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

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

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

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



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