The American Literary Translators Association, which is finally really trying to get its shit together in terms of its public and web presence, just announced the 15-title longlist for this year’s National Translation Award.
If you haven’t heard of the NTA, here’s all the necessary info: this is the sixteenth year the award is being given out; in contrast to the BTBA, it’s the “only national award for translated fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction that includes a rigorous examination of the source text and its relation to the finished English work”; the finalist judges are Barbara Epler (Publisher, New Directions), Elaine Katzenberger (Publisher, City Lights), and Jessica Cohen (renowned translator from the Hebrew); the winning translator will receive $5,000; and the finalists will be announced in October, with the winner being announced at the ALTA conference in Milwaukee from November 12-15.
Here’s the full longlist!
Poems of Consummation by Vicente Aleixandre
Translated from the Spanish by Stephen Kessler
(Black Widow Press)
Cavafy: Complete Plus by C.P. Cavafy
Translated from the Greek by George Economou
The Dark by Sergio Chejfec
Translated from the Spanish by Heather Cleary
(Open Letter Books)
Theme of Farewell and After-Poems by Milo de Angelis
Translated from the Italian
by Susan Stewart & Patrizio Ceccagnoli
(The University of Chicago Press)
Life’s Good, Brother by Nazim Hikmet
Translated from the Turkish by Mutlu Konuk Blasing
(Persea Books, Inc.)
Distant Lands: An Anthology of Poets who Don’t Exist by Agnieszka Kuciak
Translated from the Polish by Karen Kovacik
(White Pine Press)
A Treatise on Shelling Beans by Wiesław Myśliwski
Translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston
Between Friends by Amos Oz
Translated from the Hebrew by Sondra Silverston
(Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)
The Girl with the Golden Parasol by Uday Prakash
Translated from the Hindi by Jason Gruenbaum
(Yale Univeristy Press)
The African Shore by Rodrigo Rey Rosa
Translated from the Spanish by Jeffrey Gray
(Yale University Press)
Four Elemental Bodies by Claude Royet-Journoud
Translated from the French by Keith Waldrop
Light and Dark: A Novel by Natsume Soseki
Translated from the Japanese by John Nathan
(Columbia University Press)
Crossings by Habib Tengour
Translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker
(The Post-Apollo Press)
An Invitation For Me to Think by Alexander Vvedensky
Translated from the Russian by Eugene Ostashevsky & Matvei Yankelevich
(New York Review Books)
A Schoolboy’s Diary by Robert Walser
Translated from the German by Damion Searls
(New York Review Books)
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .
Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .
Founded in 1960 by such creative pioneers as George Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino, the Oulipo, shorthand for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, came about in when a group of writers and mathematicians sought constraints to find new structures and. . .
There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in Morse, My Deaf Friend— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .
The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .