A few weeks back, I posted about the 2010 Best Translated Book Award and included all of the dates and information for the Fiction selections. (To recap: We’ll announce the 25-title longlist on Tuesday, January 5th, the ten finalists on Tuesday, February 16th, and the winner at a TBD day in mid-March.)
In terms of potery, just over 60 titles came out over the past year (that year being from December 2008 through November 2009), so rather than announce a longlist consisting of 40% of all eligible books, for poetry we’re skipping right to the finalists and announcing the ten BTB poetry books on Tuesday, February 16th. And just as we do for the fiction titles, we’ll be highlighting a poetry book a day between the 22nd of February and the announcement of the winner.
I’ve been contacting all publishers with eligible titles, but in case I missed anyone, or in case you’re intentionally or unintentionally ignoring my e-mail, I thought I’d post the general guidelines on submitting books for the prize.
All original translations published between December 1, 2008 and November 30, 2009 are eligible. And by “original” we mean collections that have never before appeared in English—so no reprints, and no retranslations.
There’s no entry fee, all you have to do is mail one copy of your publication to each of the five panelists. (And if possible, send one copy to me as well—my address is on that same form—for record keeping and whatnot.) Please include a note or mark the package in some way indicating that these are 2010 BTB submissions . . .
Here are the names of the five panelists for this year’s award:
And now the countdown begins . . . I have a feeling that this year’s award will spark a lot more debate than the 2009 one. There doesn’t seem to be as many clear-cut favorites this time around, whereas last year was all about Bolano . . . And although he didn’t win, 2666 was one of the three best books that stood out to all of the panelists, along with Horacio Castellanos Moya’s Senselessness, and eventual winner Attila Bartis’s Tranquility. Should be interesting . . .
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. . .