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 . . .
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. . .