Since the New York Times didn’t reference PEN’s two translation prizes AT ALL in their official announcement this morning (grrrrr!), I thought I’d list all the finalists here, if for no other reason than that this info exists on the Internet somewhere outside of PEN’s site.
PEN Translation Prize ($3,000): For a book-length translation of prose into English published in 2015.
JUDGES: Elisabeth Jaquette, Aviya Kushner, Ronald Meyer, Sara Nović, and Jeffrey Zuckerman
The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector
Translated from the Portuguese by Katrina Dodson (New Directions)
The Blizzard by Vladimir Sorokin
Translated from the Russian by Jamey Gambrell (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Translated from the Russian by Oliver Ready (Penguin Classics)
The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov
Translated from the Bulgarian by Angela Rodel (Open Letter Books)
Hollow Heart by Viola Di Grado
Translated from the Italian by Antony Shugaar (Europa Editions)
PEN Award for Poetry in Translation ($3,000): For a book-length translation of poetry into English published in 2015.
JUDGE: Urayoán Noel
The School of Solitude: Collected Poems by Luis Hernández
Translated from the Spanish by Anthony Geist (Swan Isle Press)
The Late Poems of Wang An-shih
Translated from the Chinese by David Hinton (New Directions)
Rilke Shake by Angélica Freitas
Translated from the Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan (Phoneme Media)
I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky
Translated from the Russian by Philip Metres and Dimitri Psurtsev (Cleveland State University Poetry Center)
The Collected Poems of Chika Sagawa
Translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu (Canarium Books)
Obviously, I’m most excited that The Physics of Sorrow is on this list, but every author, translator, and publisher on here deserves to be congratulated. As do the judges. Pairing down the ten title longlists is a daunting task, and I’m sure picking a single winner is going to be exponentially more difficult.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll get individual posts up about all of these books, but in the meantime, I hope you share this information and pick up one of them to read . . .
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. . .
It’s a rare and wonderful book that begins and ends with violence and humor. At the start of Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years, Keret is in a hospital waiting for the birth of his first child while nurses, in. . .
Last year, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was an unexpected critical hit. Now, it’s just been published in the U.S. and has already received a great deal of positive critical attention. The Vegetarian was a bold book to attempt as an. . .
It’s been almost a year since the publication of Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah, but despite being included on the 2015 PEN Translation award longlist, and some pretty vocal support from key indie presses, the book has. . .
Jorge Eduardo Benavides’ novel La paz de los vencidos (The Peace of the Defeated) takes the form of a diary written by a nameless Peruvian thirty-something intellectual slumming it in Santa Cruz de Tenerife in Spain’s Canary Islands. Recently relocated. . .
Anyone with any interest at all in contemporary Moroccan writing must start with Souffles. A cultural and political journal, Souffles (the French word for “breaths”) was founded in 1966 by Abdellatif Laâbi and Mostafa Nissabouri. Run by a group of. . .
Randall Jarrell once argued a point that I will now paraphrase and, in doing so, over-simplify: As a culture, we need book criticism, not book reviews. I sort of agree, but let’s not get into all of that. Having finished. . .