15 May 08 | Chad W. Post | Comments

I’m sure this has been written about already, but I just received the invitation to the 21st Annual Translation Prize ceremony sponsored by the French-American Foundation and Florence Gould Foundation.

Every year these two foundations give out a prize to the best fiction and non-fiction translations from French into English. Here are this year’s finalists:

Fiction:

  • Allah Is Not Obliged by Ahmadou Kourouma, translated by Frank Wynne;
  • Kick the Animal Out by Veronique Ovalde, translated by Adriana Hunter
  • Place Names by Jean Ricardou, translated by Jordan Stump;
  • Ravel by Jean Echenoz, translated by Linda Coverdale;
  • Solea by Jean-Claude Izzo, translated by Howard Curtis.

Non-fiction:

  • The Curtain by Milan Kundera, translated by Linda Asher;
  • Divagations by Stephane Mallarme, translated by Barbara Johnson;
  • How to Talk about Books You Haven’t Read by Pierre Bayard, translated by Jeffrey Mehiman;
  • Life Laid Bare by Jean Hatzfeld, translated by Linda Coverdale;
  • A Voice from Elsewhere by Maurice Blanchot, translated by Charlotte Mandell.

All are worthy titles, although I’m pulling for Ravel and Life Laid Bare so that Linda Coverdale can walk away with a dual victory . . .

Winners receive a cash prize of $10,000 each, and in case you’re interested, the ceremony takes place Wednesday, May 28—the day before the start of BookExpo America.

....
Astragal
Astragal by Albertine Sarrazin
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Upon completing Albertine Sarrazin’s Astragal I was left to wonder why it ever fell from print. Aside from the location, Astragal could pass as the great American novel. Its edginess and rawness capture the angst and desires we all had. . .

Read More >

Live Bait
Live Bait by Fabio Genovesi
Reviewed by Megan Berkobien

When my eyes first crossed the back cover of Fabio Genovesi’s novel Live Bait, I was caught by a blurb nestled between accolades, a few words from a reviewer for La Repubblica stating that the novel was, however magically, “[b]eyond. . .

Read More >

The Skin
The Skin by Curzio Malaparte
Reviewed by Peter Biello

“I preferred the war to the plague,” writes Curzio Malaparte in his 1949 novel, The Skin. He speaks of World War II and the destruction it has wrought on Italy, the city of Naples in particular. But the plague he. . .

Read More >

Love Sonnets & Elegies
Love Sonnets & Elegies by Louise Labé
Reviewed by Brandy Harrison

With the steady rise of feminist scholarship and criticism in recent decades, it is little wonder that the work of Louise Labé should be attracting, as Richard Sieburth tells us in the Afterword to his translation, a “wide and thriving”. . .

Read More >

Conversations
Conversations by César Aira
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

In Conversations, we find ourselves again in the protagonist’s conscious and subconscious, which is mostly likely that of Mr. César Aira and consistent with prototypical Aira style. This style never fails because each time Aira is able to develop a. . .

Read More >

Nothing Ever Happens
Nothing Ever Happens by José Ovejero
Reviewed by Juan Carlos Postigo

You are not ashamed of what you do, but of what they see you do. Without realizing it, life can be an accumulation of secrets that permeates every last minute of our routine . . .

The narrative history of. . .

Read More >

The Pendragon Legend
The Pendragon Legend by Antal Szerb
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

Literature in translation often comes with a certain pedigree. In this little corner of the world, with so few books making it into this comforting nook, it is often those of the highest quality that cross through, and attention is. . .

Read More >