The 2015 Best Translated Book Award festivities kick off today with the announcement below of the seventeen titles that made this year’s Poetry Longlist. The finalists will be announced the morning of 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.
Without further ado, here’s the list of longlisted titles for this year’s award:
Collected Poems by Rainer Brambach, translated from the German by Esther Kinsky (Switzerland, Seagull Books)
Diorama by Rocío Cerón, translated from the Spanish by Anna Rosenwong (Mexico, Phoeneme)
Nothing More to Lose by Najwan Darwish, translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid (Palestine, NYRB)
Lazy Suzie by Suzanne Doppelt, translated from the French by Cole Swenson (France, Litmus Press)
Openwork by André du Bouchet, translated from the French by Paul Auster and Hoyt Rogers (France, Yale University Press)
The Posthumous Life of RW by Jean Frémon, translated from the French by Cole Swensen (France, Omnidawn)
I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan, edited and translated from the Pashto by Eliza Griswold (Afghanistan, FSG)
Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream by Kim Hyesoon, translated from the Korean by Don Mee Choi (South Korea, Action Books)
Where Are the Trees Going? by Venus Khoury-Ghata, translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker (Lebanon, Curbstone)
Rain of the Future by Valerie Mejer, translated from the Spanish by A. S. Zelman-Doring, Forrest Gander, and C.D. Wright (Mexico, Action Books)
Diana’s Tree by Alejandra Pizarnik, translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert (Argentina, Ugly Duckling)
Compleat Catalogue of Comedic Novelties by Lev Rubinstein, translated from the Russian by Philip Metres and Tatiana Tulchinsky (Russia, Ugly Duckling)
In Praise of Poetry by Olga Sedakova, translated from the Russian by Caroline Clark, Ksenia Golubovich, and Stephanie Sandler (Russia, Open Letter)
Soy Realidad by Tomaž Šalamun, translated from the Slovenian by Michael Thomas Taren (Slovenia, Dalkey Archive)
End of the City Map by Farhad Showghi, translated from the German by Rosmarie Waldrop (Germany, Burning Deck)
Guantanamo by Frank Smith, translated from the French by Vanessa Place (France, Les Figues)
Salsa by Hsia Yü, translated from the Chinese by Steve Bradbury (Taiwan, Zephyr Press)
Prose translators will likely disagree, but I believe translating poetry requires a significant level of talent, a commitment to the text, and near mania, all of which suggests that the undertaking is the greatest possible challenge. The task is to. . .
The biggest issues with books like The Subsidiary often have to do with their underpinnings—when we learn that Georges Perec wrote La Disparition without once using the letter E, we are impressed. Imagine such a task! It takes a high. . .
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .