Without further ado, here are the books that our nine1 judges selected for this year’s Best Translated Book Award Fiction Longlist.
The Planets by Sergio Chejfec, translated from the Spanish by Heather Cleary (Open Letter Books; Argentina)
Prehistoric Times by Eric Chevillard, translated from the French by Alyson Waters (Archipelago Books; France)
The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, translated from the Persian by Tom Patterdale (Melville House; Iran)
Atlas by Dung Kai-Cheung, translated from the Chinese by Anders Hansson and Bonnie S. McDougall (Columbia University Press; China)
Kite by Dominique Eddé, translated from the French by Ros Schwartz (Seagull Books; Lebanon)
We, The Children of Cats by Tomoyuki Hoshino, translated from the Japanese by Brian Bergstrom and Lucy Fraser (PM Press; Japan)
The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq, translated from the French by Gavin Bowd (Knopf; France)
Basti by Intizar Husain, translated from the Urdu by Frances W. Pritchett (New York Review Books; Pakistan)
Mama Leone by Miljenko Jergović, translated from the Croatian by David Williams (Archipelago Books; Croatia)
Awakening to the Great Sleep War by Gert Jonke, translated from the German by Jean M. Snook (Dalkey Archive Press; Austria)
My Struggle: Book One by Karl Knausgaard, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett (Archipelago Books; Norway)
Satantango by László Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes (New Directions; Hungary)
Autoportrait by Edouard Levé, translated from the French by Lorin Stein (Dalkey Archive Press; France)
A Breath of Life: Pulsations by Clarice Lispector, translated from the Portuguese by Johnny Lorenz (New Directions; Brazil)
The Lair by Norman Manea, translated from the Romanian by Oana Sanziana Marian (Yale University Press; Romania)
The Hunger Angel by Herta Müller, translated from the German by Philip Boehm (Metropolitan Books; Romania)
Traveler of the Century by Andrés Neuman, translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux; Argentina)
Happy Moscow by Andrey Platonov, translated from the Russian by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler (New York Review Books; Russia)
With the Animals by Noëlle Revaz, translated from the French by Donald W. Wilson (Dalkey Archive Press; Switzerland)
Maidenhair by Mikhail Shishkin, translated from the Russian by Marian Schwartz (Open Letter Books; Russia)
Joseph Walser’s Machine by Gonçalo M. Tavares, translated from the Portuguese by Rhett McNeil (Dalkey Archive Press; Portugal)
Island of Second Sight by Albert Vigoleis Thelen, translated from the German by Donald O. White (Overlook; Germany)
Dublinesque by Enrique Vila-Matas, translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey and Anne McLean (New Directions; Spain)
Transit by Abdourahman A. Waberi, translated from the French by David Ball and Nicole Ball (Indiana University Press; Djibouti)
My Father’s Book by Urs Widmer, translated from the German by Donal McLaughlin (Seagull Books; Switzerland)
As in recent years, we will be awarding $20,000 in cash prizes thanks to support from Amazon.com.
On April 10th, we’ll announce the finalists in both the fiction and poetry categories, with the award ceremony taking place in New York City on Saturday, May 4th. (More details to come.)
1 This year’s fiction judges are: Monica Carter, Salonica; Tess Doering Lewis, translator and critic; Scott Esposito, Conversational Reading and Center for the Art of Translation; Susan Harris, Words Without Borders; Bill Martin, translator; Bill Marx, Arts Fuse; Michael Orthofer, Complete Review; Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books; and Jenn Witte, Skylight Books.
The biggest issues with books like The Subsidiary often have to do with their underpinnings—when we learn that Georges Perec wrote La Disparition without once using the letter E, we are impressed. Imagine such a task! It takes a high. . .
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .
It’s a rare and wonderful book that begins and ends with violence and humor. At the start of Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years, Keret is in a hospital waiting for the birth of his first child while nurses, in. . .