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.

....
I Called Him Necktie
I Called Him Necktie by Milena Michiko Flašar
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

While looking back at an episode in his life, twenty-year-old Taguchi Hiro remembers what his friend Kumamoto Akira said about poetry.

Its perfection arises precisely from its imperfection . . . . I have an image in my head. I see. . .

Read More >

Return to Killybegs
Return to Killybegs by Sorj Chalandon
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

The central concern of Sorj Chalandon’s novel Return to Killybegs appears to be explaining how a person of staunch political activism can be lead to betray his cause, his country, his people. Truth be told, the real theme of the. . .

Read More >

The Last Days
The Last Days by Laurent Seksik
Reviewed by Peter Biellp

Spoiler alert: acclaimed writer Stefan Zweig and his wife Lotte kill themselves at the end of Lauren Seksik’s 2010 novel, The Last Days.

It’s hard to avoid spoiling this mystery. Zweig’s suicide actually happened, in Brazil in 1942, and since then. . .

Read More >

Selected Stories
Selected Stories by Kjell Askildsen
Reviewed by P. T. Smith

To call Kjell Askildsen’s style sparse or terse would be to understate just how far he pushes his prose. Almost nothing is explained, elaborated on. In simple sentences, events occur, words are exchanged, narrators have brief thoughts. As often as. . .

Read More >

Letter from an Unknown Woman and Other Stories
Letter from an Unknown Woman and Other Stories by Stefan Zweig
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

After a mysterious woman confesses to an author simply known as “R” that she has loved him since she was a teenager, she offers the following explanation: “There is nothing on earth like the love of a child that passes. . .

Read More >

Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage
Colorless Tsukuru and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami
Reviewed by Will Eells

Floating around the internet amid the hoopla of a new Haruki Murakami release, you may have come across a certain Murakami Bingo courtesy of Grant Snider. It is exactly what it sounds like, and it’s funny because it’s true,. . .

Read More >

The Matiushin Case
The Matiushin Case by Oleg Pavlov
Reviewed by Brandy Harrison

The publisher’s blurb for Oleg Pavlov’s The Matiushin Case promises the prospective reader “a Crime and Punishment for today,” the sort of comparison that is almost always guaranteed to do a disservice to both the legendary dead and the ambitious. . .

Read More >