13 November 12 | Chad W. Post | Comments

Every year, the insanely long longlist is announced for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and every year I make fun of the award, mainly for the number of titles in contention (154 this year), and the aesthetic shittiness of their website.

Until now. There are still about 100 titles too many on the longlist, and the length of time between award events—longlist announced now, shortlist in April, winner in June—is less than ideal, BUT, they finally fixed their website. Really.

At long last, IMPAC emerged from the 1980s and put together a nominees page that’s attractive (look, book covers!) and useful (descriptions of all the books!).1

Well, done, Dublin City Public Libraries and JET Design, well done. Hopefully some of the other really atrocious book-related websites will follow suit . . .

Anyway, here’s a bit from the press release breaking down the 154 books on the longlist:

“The 154 eligible nominations for the IMPAC DUBLIN 2013 come from 120 cities and 44 countries worldwide. 42 are titles in translation, spanning 19 languages and 47 are first novels” [Lord Mayor Naoise Ó Muirí] said. “This is the highest number of translated novels, first novels and novels by Irish authors to be nominated, since the IMPAC DUBLIN Award’s inception in 1996. Like every year, you will find new books and new authors, particularly those novels in translation that you might otherwise never come across and you can pit yourself against the international panel of judges and pick your own favourite novel, before I announce the the shortlist (9th April) and then the winner (6th June) next year.”

Forty-two titles in translation is pretty damn solid, and what’s especially cool is that My Two Worlds by Sergio Chejfec, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Carson, and published by Open Letter is one of these titles.

Even though this longlist is so incredibly long, it’s still interesting to see which translations made it, and how these library-based nominations match up with the BTBA lists. So, here’s a full list of nominated translations, with links to their IMPAC pages:

The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen, Translated from the Danish by Lisa Hartford

Dirty Feet by Edem Awumey, translated from the French by Lazer Lederhendler

The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky, translated from the German by Tim Mohr
Congrats to Europa Editions!

The Cocaine Salesman by Conny Braam, translated from the Dutch by Jonathan Reeder

The Potter’s Field by Andrea Camilleri translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli

Temporary Perfections by Gianrico Carofiglio, translated from the original Italian by Anthony Shugaar

Julia by Otto de Kat, translated from the original Dutch by Ina Rilke

The Book of Doubt by Teresa de Loo, translated from the original Dutch by Brian Doyle
Seems like there are a lot of Dutch books on this list—most of which I’m not familar with.

Underground Time by Delphime de Vigan, translated from the French by George Miller

The Time In Between by Maria Dueñas, translated from the Spanish by Daniel Hahn
Yay for Daniel Hahn!

Lightning by Jean Echenoz, translated from the French by Linda Coverdale
I LOVE this book. When Echenoz is on, Echenoz is one of the best writers in the world. And I think this is one of his most intriguing and fun books.

The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco, translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon

Against Art by Tomas Espedal, translated from the Norwegian by James Anderson
Way to go Seagull—one of the most impressive indie presses in the world, producing some of the most interesting (and beautiful) works in translation.

Waiting for Robert Capa by Susana Fortes, translated from the Spanish by Adriana V. López

Kafka’s Friend by Miro Gavran, translated from the Croatian by Nina H. Kay-Antoljak

The Dinosaur Feather by Sissel-Jo Gazan, translated from the Danish by Charlotte Barslund
So many Scandinavian mysteries on this list . . .

Alice by Judith Hermann, translated from the German by Margot Bettauer Dembo

The Map and the Territory by Michel Houllebecq, translated from the French by Gavin Bowd
I really want to read this book, but haven’t had a chance yet. Sounds like vintage Houllebecq.

Child Wonder by Roy Jacobsen, translated from the original Norwegian by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw

The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler, translated from the Swedish by Ann Long

The Return by Dany Laferrière, translated from the French by David Homel

Hut of Fallen Persimmons by Adriana Lisboa, translated from the original Portuguese by Sarah Green
Congrats to Texas Tech and the wonderful Americas Series for the nomination! I’m willing to bet that over the next few years, they end up with more and more books on this list, and on the shortlists for many other awards.

Twice Born by Margaret Mazzantini, translated from the original Italian by Ann Gagliardi

The Mark by Blazhe Minevski, translated from the Macedonian by Milan Damjanovski

Tyrant Memory by Horatio Castellanos Moya, translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver
Finally getting to a part of this list featuring books that I’ve actually read. This isn’t my favorite of Moya’s books, but it’s definitely worth reading, and fans of his other works won’t be disappointed.

1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin and Phillip Gabriel
Whatever.

Accabadora by Michela Murgia, translated from the Italian by Silvester Mazzarella

The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma, translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor

Part of the Solution by Ulrich Peltzer, translated from the German by Martin Chalmers

Funeral for a Dog by Thomas Pletzinger, translated from the German by Ross Benjamin
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this book actually won.

Splithead by Julya Rabinovich, translated from the German by Tess Lewis
Congrats to Tess, who is on this year’s BTBA fiction committee.

Adam and Evelyn by Ingo Schulze, translated from the German by John E. Woods

The Emperor of Lies by Steve Sem-Sandberg, translated from the Swedish by Sarah Death

Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin, translated from the South Korean by Chi-Young Kim

From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón, translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb
Get to the whale!

The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am by Kjersti A. Skomsvold, translated from the original Norwegian by Kerri A. Pierce
Hell yes! Kerri is one of the members of our weekly Plüb translation group, and just spoke to my class last Wednesday. Based on all the translations she’s done for Dalkey from all the various languages, she totally deserves this.

Everybody’s Right by Paolo Sorrentino, translated from the original Italian by Anthony Shugaar

Learning to Pray in the Age of Technique by Gonçalo M. Tavares, translated from the original Portuguese by Daniel Hahn
Just started reading The Neighborhood last night. Such a fun, fantastic book from one of Portugal’s most talented authors.

The Truth about Marie by Jean-Philippe Toussaint, translated from the original French by Matthew B. Smith
I’m pretty sure Toussaint is on this list every year. Literally.

Caesarion by Tommy Wieringa, translated from the original Dutch by Sam Garrett

The Five Wonders of the Danube by Zoran Živković, translated from the original Serbian by Alice Copple-Tosic

I’ve only read 7 of the 42 books on this list. Not sure what that means exactly, since I’ve read probably 20 books in the past three months that deserve this sort of recognition . . . Anyway, there you go. And hopefully a handful of these—like My Two Worlds!—will make it to the shortlist . . .

1 What would be really cool is a file with excerpts from all the nominees available for download. That would be a great way to check out all of these books, and would probably lead to more downloads and purchases.

15 November 10 | Chad W. Post | Comments [4]

So the 2011 longlist for the IMPAC Award was announced this morning, and includes 162 books from 43 countries. According to the press release 42 are titles in translation, covering 14 different languages.

This is where I usually complain about the IMPAC’s website, the absurdity of a 162 book longlist, of the name of the award, the baroque set of eligibility requirements, of the fact that the shortlist will be announced in April and the winner in June (a mere seven months from now) with little PR build-up to that date, and oh, did I mention their website was created circa the time of Reagan? But to be honest, I’m totally out of jokes. It is what it is, and having been subject to questionable attacks re: a book award in the not-so-distant past, I’ve decided to forgo snark in favor of the books themselves. So here’s a list of the 42 translated titles (and it is a damn good list!) All comments obviously mine, all links to reviews we ran of these books:

Milena Agus, The House in Via Manno translated by Brigid Maher

Niccolo Ammaniti, As God Commands translated by Jonathan Hunt

Vladislav Bajac, Hamam Balkania translated by Randall A. Major
This book is from the Serbian Prose in Translation (aka SPIT) series that Geopoetika launched, and which totally ROCKS.

Ferenc Barnas, The Ninth translated by Paul Olchváry
Made the BTBA Longlist last year.

Gioconda Belli, Infinity in the Palm of her Hand translated by Margaret Sayers Peden
Petch is one of our newest fans, and one of the best translators ever.

Maissa Bey, Above All, Don’t Look Back translated by Senja L. Djelouah

Mikkel Birkegaard, The Library of Shadows translated by Tiina Nunnally
A translation by Tiina Nunnally was the 1,000th title to be entered into the Translation Database. Thankfully—for my sanity, for the perceived health of book culture—we reached 1,000 translated titles before I reached 1,000 Facebook friends.

Marie-Claire Blais, Rebecca, Born in the Maelstrom translated by Nigel Spencer
I feel like I need to read more Marie-Claire Blais.

Massimo Carlotto & Marco Videtta, Poisonville translated by Antony Shugaar

Hélène Cixous, Hyperdream translated by Beverley Bie Brahic

Philippe Claudel, Brodeck’s Report translated by John Cullen

Maurice G. Dantec, Grand Junction translated by Tina A. Kover

Jean Echenoz, Running, translated by Linda Coverdale
Man did it take a while to get to the first title reviewed at Three Percent.

Julia Franck, The Blind Side of the Heart translated by Anthea Bell

Luiz Alfredo Garcia-Roza, Alone in the Crowd translated by Benjamin Moser
Ben Moser is fantastic. And I hold him responsible (along with Andy Tepper) for the renewed interest in Clarice Lispector.

Paolo Giordano, The Solitude of Prime Numbers translated by Shaun Whiteside

Wolf Haas, The Weather Fifteen Years Ago translated by Stephanie Gilardi and Thomas S. Hansen
This book is AMAZING. OK, I know it’s a bitch to get ahold of, but please try. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Tahar Ben Jelloun, Leaving Tangier translated by Linda Coverdale
Linda Coverdale translates a lot. And a lot of great books.

Ayse Kulin, Farewell: A Mansion in Occupied Istanbul translated by Kenneth J. Dakan

Siegfried Lenz, A Minute’s Silence translated by Anthea Bell

Alain Mabanckou, Broken Glass translated by Helen Stevenson
I heart Alain Mabanckou. Hoping this book ends up on the BTBA list for 2011.

Javier Marías, Your Face Tomorrow: Poison, Shadow and Farewell translated by Margaret Jull Costa
I need a month of days off to read this entire trilogy beginning to end. Totally blew my chance with the Conversational Reading Reading Group.

Patricia Melo, Lost World translated by Clifford Landers

Wu Ming, Manituana translated by Shaun Whiteside
Like Linda Coverdale, Shaun Whiteside translates more than one would think is humanly possible. Especially considering that all the books he does tend to win awards . . .

Vida Ognjenovic, Adulterers translated by Jelena Bankovic / Nicholas Moravcevich
Second book from the SPIT series on this list.

Amos Oz, Rhyming Life and Death translated by Nicholas De Lange
Thank god. I was starting to think that we had really bad taste in book reviews. Must be all those Dalkey books we’ve been reviewing! (Kidding.)

Orhan Pamuk, The Museum of Innocence translated by Maureen Freely
This made the BTBA 2010 fiction longlist and became the focal point of almost all media coverage of the award. It was then promptly trounced by all the other books and left off the shortlist. This is why I love our award.

Claudia Pineiro, Thursday Night Widows translated by Miranda France

Santiago Roncaglio, Red April translated by Edith Grossman

Maryam Sachs, Without Saying Goodbye translated by Sara Sugihara

Bahaa Taher, Sunset Oasis translated by Humphrey T. Davies

Jean-Philippe Toussaint, “Running Away“: translated by Matthew B. Smith
This was a BTBA Honorable Mention last year. And I still think The Bathroom is his best book.

Dubravka Ugresic, Baba Yaga Laid an Egg translated by Ellen Elias-Bursac, Celia Hawkesworth, and Mark Thompson
The IMPAC site actually says “Ellen Elias-Bursac et all.” Shameful!

Chika Unigwe, On Black Sisters’ Street translated by H. Van Riemsdijk

Srdjan Valjarevic, Lake Como translated by Allice Copple Tosic
This is the third SPIT book on the list, which means that 60% of the books they published in their inaugural season were longlisted for the IMPAC. Go Serbian Lit!

Esther Verhoef, Close-Up translated by Paul Vincent

Dimitri Verhulst, Madame Verona Comes Down the Hill translated by David Colmer
I really love Verhulst’s Problemski Hotel. Absolutely stunning novel.

Jorge Volpi, Season of Ash translated by Alfred J. MacAdam
Holy shit—it’s an Open Letter title!

Abdourahman Waberi, In the United States of Africa translated by David and Nicole Ball

Pieter Waterdrinker, The German Wedding translated by Brian Doyle

Tommy Wieringa, Joe Speedboat translated by Sam Garrett
No offense to anyone at Grove, but the title of this book turns me off. Makes me think of Sunday afternoon movies that TV stations play when the Buffalo Bills local football team’s game is blacked out. Something involving a raft, a meadow, a floppy eared dog, and a con man. Sorry, I’m sure this book is golden—don’t let my quirky prejudices influence your reading choices.

Carlos Ruiz Zafon, The Angel’s Game translated by Lucia Graves
If Zafon were American or British, I think he would be a lot more like Dan Brown: an author everyone either loved, or hated, or loved to hate. Because he’s Spanish, only a fraction of readers either love, hate, or love to hate him.

So, in conclusion, Jorge Volpi should win this award, Serbian literature is HOT, and Shaun Whitside and Linda Coverdale are the workhorses of high-quality literary translation. And thank you International IMPAC Dublin Award committee for providing us with such a rich list of books to look into. (There are several on this list that I’ve never heard of.) And I’ll bet anyone $1million that Michael Orthofer has reviewed way more of these titles than we have. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s reviewed as many as 30 . . . that man is a machine!

11 November 08 | Chad W. Post | Comments

The immense longlist for the 2009 IMPAC award was announced yesterday. As always with the IMPAC, the list is all over the place and almost too long (146 novels!) to really mean something.

The process for awarding the IMPAC goes on for almost a year, with the shortlist being announced on April 2nd, and the winner on June 11th.

Nominations for the list come from 157 libraries in 117 cities and 41 countries worldwide. On the IMPAC site, there’s a bit about how this longlist breaks down:

“The 156 authors [sic — or 146, it’s hard to keep track] hail from 41 countries. The books span 18 languages, 29 of which are translated from languages such as Arabic, Japanese, Russian, Slovenian and Hebrew. 19 [sic] of them are first novels. These are books that might not otherwise come to the attention of Irish readers”, says Deirdre Ellis-King, Dublin City Librarian. “The spread of languages and the number of books in translation continues to grow”.

Translated authors include Peter Høeg, Jan Echenoz, Lars Saabye Christensen, Laura Restrepo and Haruki Murakami.
Afghan/American writer, Khalid Hosseini is the libraries favorite with 18 nominations for A Thousand Splendid Suns. Divisadero by Australian Michael Ondaatje [sic — maybe they meant this Michael Ondaatje was nominated by 13 libraries and Ian McEwan’s On Chesil Beach received 10 nominations.

Despite the significant money that comes with this award (€100,000 that is split between author and translator if the book is in translation), I have a hard time paying much attention to this award. It’s cool in theory, but would be better served by having a shorter longlist (you could release a list of all nominated books separately), and a shorter time between events so as to build some momentum for the prize. There should be a word for something like this . . . something brilliant in concept, but fucked in execution.

....
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