16 February 10 | Chad W. Post

Man, was it tricky to come up with a top 10 for this year’s BTBA fiction award. This was a really deep list—due in part to the added judges, the fact that we were more focused on reading books for the award all year, and the high quality of stuff that came out in 2009—and any of the twenty-five books on the longlist could easily have been included as a finalist.

That said, these ten books separated themselves from the rest of the pack for their overall quality, including the greatness of the original book and its translation;

César Aira, Ghosts. Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews. (Argentina, New Directions)

Gerbrand Bakker, The Twin. Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer. (Netherlands, Archipelago)

Ignácio de Loyola Brandão, Anonymous Celebrity. Translated from the Portuguese by Nelson Vieira. (Brazil, Dalkey Archive)

Hugo Claus, Wonder. Translated from the Dutch by Michael Henry Heim. (Belgium, Archipelago)

Wolf Haas, The Weather Fifteen Years Ago. Translated from the German by Stephanie Gilardi and Thomas S. Hansen. (Austria, Ariadne Press)

Gail Hareven, The Confessions of Noa Weber. Translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu. (Israel, Melville House)

Jan Kjærstad, The Discoverer. Translated from the Norwegian by Barbara Haveland. (Norway, Open Letter)

Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, Memories of the Future. Translated from the Russian by Joanne Turnbull. (Russia, New York Review Books)

José Manuel Prieto, Rex. Translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen. (Cuba, Grove)

Robert Walser, The Tanners. Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky. (Switzerland, New Directions)

Now to decide the winner . . . Good thing we have a little time—there are at least five books here that deserve to win . . .

As mentioned on the poetry finalists post, the official award will be given out on Wednesday, March 10th at a special Idlewild Books event.


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