2018 Best Translated Book Award Finalists
May 15, 2018—Ten works of fiction and six poetry collections remain in the running for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards following the announcement of the two shortlists at The Millions website this morning.
Featuring a blend of contemporary writers and modern classics, of writers from cultures around the world, and of a variety of stylistic approaches, these shortlists have something for everyone.
On the fiction side of things, there are books from eight different countries and six languages, ranging from Taiwanese author Wu He’s Remains of Life to the postmodern machinations of Guðbergur Bergsson’s Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller to Romina Paula’s August. Two other titles of note are Compass by Mathias Énard, which is a finalist for the 2018 Albertine Prize, and Old Rendering Plant by Wolfgang Hilbig, translated by Isabel Fargo Cole, which won this year’s Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize.
The poetry finalists are also quite diverse, featuring books from six different countries, including Greece (Before Lyricism by Eleni Vakalo) to Japan (Spiral Staircase by Hirato Renkichi) to Brazil (Paraguayan Sea by Wilson Bueno).
Winners from both categories will be announced Thursday, May 31st as part of the New York Rights Fair at the Metropolitan Pavilion (125 West 18th St.). The announcement will be preceded by a panel starting at 4:30 on “Translated Literature Today: A Decade of Growth.” They will also be announced simultaneously at The Millions.
Thanks to grant funds from the Amazon Literary Partnership, the winning authors and translators will each receive $5,000 cash prizes. Three Percent at the University of Rochester founded the BTBAs in 2008, and over the past six years, the Amazon Literary Partnership has contributed more than $140,000 to international authors and their translators through the BTBA.
Past winners of the fiction award include: Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lúcio Cardoso, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson; 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.
In terms of the poetry award, past winners include: Extracting the Stone of Madness by Alejandra Pizarnik, translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert; 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: Caitlin Baker (University Book Store, Seattle), Kasia Bartoszyńska (Monmouth College), Tara Cheesman-Olmsted (Reader at Large), Lori Feathers (Interabang Books), Mark Haber (writer, Brazos Bookstore), Adam Hetherington (author), Jeremy Keng (reader, freelance reviewer), Bradley Schmidt (translator), and P. T. Smith (The Scofield).
The poetry jury includes: Raluca Albu (BOMB), Jarrod Annis (Greenlight Bookstore), Tess Lewis (writer and translator), Aditi Machado (poet and translator), and Emma Ramadan (translator, Riffraff Bookstore).
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Also, check out Three Percent for Why This Book Should Win posts for each of the remaining sixteen finalists.