22 March 17 | Chad W. Post | Comments

I know I promised five days of clues about the BTBA fiction longlist, but given that I just got the poetry one in my email this morning, I’d rather spend time on that. So as to not be a liar, and to give you a huge clue, I will say that the two presses that published the most translations in 2016 have exactly zero books on the BTBA fiction longlist. (This one is going to spark a lot of complaints, I’m sure.)

Moving on to the ten books on the BTBA longlist for poetry, here are a four facts/clues:

Each of the ten collections is published by a different publisher—no one has two books on the list;

The ten collections are by authors from ten different countries, and translated from seven different languages;

Four of the books on the list are by female poets.

Theoretically, it should be easier to figure out which books are on this list than the fiction one. Nevertheless, if you guess all ten correctly and email me at chad.post@rochester.edu, I’ll give you a lifetime subscription to Open Letter. Bring on the guesses!

21 March 17 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Following on yesterday’s post about the upcoming Best Transated Book Award longlist announcement, I thought I’d give you some more clues, all centering around “new” additions to the “BTBA family.”

1) There are five presses with a book on the BTBA longlist for the first time ever;

2) Of the twenty-five translators on the list, sixteen of them are appearing here for the first time ever; and,

3) Only five of the authors have appeared on BTBA longlists in the past.

Although it’s true that there a lot of the BTBA favorite presses have made it again, it is great to see some new organizations getting recognized for their contributions to the promotion and discussion of international literature. It’s also encouraging to see that more than half of the nominated translators are new to the lists, as are most of the nominated authors.

Remember, for a chance to win a lifetime subscription to Open Letter Books, just send me your complete list of 25 longlisted titles, and I’ll let you know how many you got right.

20 March 17 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Next Tuesday, March 28th, over at The Millions, this year’s Best Translated Book Award longlists will finally be unveiled. So let the countdown begin!

This really is a great time of year for international fiction—the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Man Booker International Longlist was released last week, as was the news that Jill Schoolman, founder and publisher of Archipelago Books, will receive this year’s Ottaway Award for the Promotion of International Literature.

And in that vein of promoting international literature, there’s the BTBA, which is what I’ll be focusing on for the rest of the week.

As with years past, I have the fiction longlist already (and will have the poetry one soon) and want to tease everyone by dropping some clues over the course of the week. We’ll start out pretty general, and by next Monday, I may even reveal some notable books that didn’t make the cut.

These clues and hints are all supposed to be fun—and maybe a bit cheeky—but as in the past, I’m willing to offer up an award for the first person who can correctly guess all twenty-five longlisted titles: a lifetime subscription to Open Letter books. My only condition is that you can only answer once, and in return, I’ll email you back letting you know how many titles you got correct. Just send your guesses to chad.post@rochester.edu or to @chadwpost on Twitter.

For this first set of clues, I’m just going to go with some of the easily quantifiable things, which are incredibly useful in trying to get all of your favorite books to fit onto this list . . . So, without further ado, here are a few details from the 2017 BTBA Fiction Longlist:

  • Thirteen different languages are represented on the longlist, and nineteen different countries;

  • Eighteen different publishers have at least one book included on the list, and one publisher has four titles;

  • One translator is responsible for four books on the list;

  • Eight female authors have books on the list;

  • Only one book from the Man Booker International Longlist is also on the BTBA fiction longlist.

That should get you started . . . Tomorrow I’ll try and look at how many repeat authors and presses are on here, which should be interesting.

In the meantime, it might be worthwhile checking out the posts from BTBA judges about the books they read and loved.

9 April 15 | N. J. Furl | Comments

On the heels of this week’s big announcement of the 2015 Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist and poetry longlist, Chad and Tom run through the books that made the cut and talk about their favorites, which books are on their reading lists, who they predict will make the shortlist next month, and try their darnedest to pronounce a lot of names. Then, they respond to some viewer mail about the effectiveness of ACRs for book bloggers before Tom rants about being the patsy of a fiendish shot-buying conspiracy and Chad rave’s about the Audubon Society’s fiendish take-down of Dark Lord Franzen.

Read More...

7 April 15 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Following on the announcement of the Poetry Longlist earlier today, below you’ll find the Fiction Longlist, which I know a lot of you have been waiting for.

As with the Poetry list, these twenty-five titles will be narrowed down to a select group of finalists on Tuesday, May 5th, and the winner will be announced at a panel during BEA on Wednesday, May 27th. As always, thanks to Amazon.com’s grant, the winning author and translator will each receive a $5,000 cash prize.

Here are the books:.

2015 Best Translated Book Award Fiction Longlist

Baboon by Naja Marie Aidt, translated from the Danish by Denise Newman (Denmark, Two Lines Press)

The Author and Me by Éric Chevillard, translated from the French by Jordan Stump (France, Dalkey Archive Press)

Fantomas Versus the Multinational Vampires by Julio Cortázar, translated from the Spanish by David Kurnick (Argentina, Semiotext(e))

Pushkin Hills by Sergei Dovlatov, translated from the Russian by Katherine Dovlatov (Russia, Counterpoint Press)

1914 by Jean Echenoz, translated from the French by Linda Coverdale (France, New Press)

Street of Thieves by Mathias Énard, translated from the French by Charlotte Mandell (France, Open Letter Books)

Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by Elena Ferrante, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Italy, Europa Editions)

Things Look Different in the Light by Medardo Fraile, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa (Spain, Pushkin Press)

Monastery by Eduardo Halfon, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn (Guatemala, Bellevue Literary Press)

Letters from a Seducer by Hilda Hilst, translated from the Portuguese by John Keene (Brazil, Nightboat Books)

Harlequin’s Millions by Bohumil Hrabal, translated from the Czech by Stacey Knecht (Czech Republic, Archipelago Books)

Rambling On: An Apprentice’s Guide to the Gift of the Gab by Bohumil Hrabal, translated from the Czech by David Short (Czech Republic, Karolinum Press)

The Woman Who Borrowed Memories by Tove Jansson, translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal and Silvester Mazzarella (Finland, NYRB)

Works by Edouard Levé, translated from the French by Jan Steyn (France, Dalkey Archive Press)

Faces in the Crowd by Valeria Luiselli, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney (Mexico, Coffee House Press)

Adam Buenosayres by Leopoldo Marechal, translated from the Spanish by Norman Cheadle and Sheila Ethier (Argentina, McGill-Queen’s University Press)

Last Words from Montmartre by Qiu Miaojin, translated from the Chinese by Ari Larissa Heinrich (Taiwan, NYRB)

Winter Mythologies and Abbots by Pierre Michon, translated from the French by Ann Jefferson (France, Yale University Press)

Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga, translated from the French by Melanie Mauthner (Rwanda, Archipelago Books)

Talking to Ourselves by Andrés Neuman, translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia (Argentina, FSG)

Granma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secret by Ondjaki, translated from the Portuguese by Stephen Henighan (Angola, Biblioasis)

La Grande by Juan José Saer, translated from the Spanish by Steve Dolph (Argentina, Open Letter Books)

Paris by Marcos Giralt Torrente, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa (Spain, Hispabooks)

Snow and Shadow by Dorothy Tse, translated from the Chinese by Nicky Harman (Hong Kong, East Slope Publishing)

The Last Lover by Can Xue, translated from the Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen (China, Yale University Press)

....
The Truce
The Truce by Mario Benedetti
Reviewed by Adrianne Aron

Mario Benedetti (1920-2009), Uruguay’s most beloved writer, was a man who loved to bend the rules. He gave his haikus as many syllables as fit his mood, and wrote a play divided into sections instead of acts. In his country,. . .

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I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World
I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World by Kim Kyung Ju
Reviewed by Jacob Rogers

Kim Kyung Ju’s I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World, translated from the Korean by Jake Levine, is a wonderful absurdist poetry collection. It’s a mix of verse and prose poems, or even poems in the. . .

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Kingdom Cons
Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera
Reviewed by Sarah Booker

Yuri Herrera is overwhelming in the way that he sucks readers into his worlds, transporting them to a borderland that is at once mythical in its construction and powerfully recognizable as a reflection of its modern-day counterpart. Kingdom Cons, originally. . .

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The Invented Part
The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Imagine reading a work that suddenly and very accurately calls out you, the reader, for not providing your full attention to the act of reading. Imagine how embarrassing it is when you, the reader, believe that you are engrossed in. . .

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A Simple Story: The Last Malambo
A Simple Story: The Last Malambo by Leila Guerriero
Reviewed by Emilee Brecht

Leila Guerriero’s A Simple Story: The Last Malambo chronicles the unique ferocity of a national dance competition in Argentina. The dance, called the malambo, pushes the physical and mental limits of male competitors striving to become champions of not only. . .

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The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof
The Little Buddhist Monk & The Proof by Cesar Aira
Reviewed by Will Eells

Aira continues to surprise and delight in his latest release from New Directions, which collects two novellas: the first, The Little Buddhist Monk, a fairly recent work from 2005, and The Proof, an earlier work from 1989. There are a. . .

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Agnes
Agnes by Peter Stamm
Reviewed by Dorian Stuber

The narrator of Peter Stamm’s first novel, Agnes, originally published in 1998 and now available in the U.S. in an able translation by Michael Hofmann, is a young Swiss writer who has come to Chicago to research a book on. . .

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