This is really exciting news, and most likely Jon Fine and I are announcing this to the crowd at the ALTA conference right about now . . . I know the press release below is a bit stiff in comparison to the usual Three Percent post, but it has all the appropriate info about Amazon’s underwriting of the 2011 Best Translated Book Awards, which will finally allow us to award cash prizes to all the winners!
Also, if you’re a publisher/author/translator and want to submit a book for consideration, be sure to check out this page, where you’ll find the mailing addresses for all of the judges. More info on our judges and the award next week when I finally (hopefully) have a chance to post an update to the translation database. But for now, here’s the official press release . . .
October 20, 2010—Amazon.com has awarded the University of Rochester/Three Percent website a $25,000 grant in support of the 2011 Best Translated Book Awards. This grant will support $5,000 cash prizes for both the winning translators and authors.
Launched by Three Percent in 2007, the Best Translated Book Awards aim to bring attention to the best original works of international fiction and poetry published in the U.S. during the previous year. Judges base their decision on both the quality of the original work and the quality of the English translation. Until this year, however, the award carried no cash prize.
“Over the past few years, the awards have grown in stature, and the introduction of a cash prize for the winners will greatly enhance the reputation and reach of the award,” said Chad W. Post, director of Open Letter Books and Three Percent.
According to fiction panelist Matthew Jakubowski, “Without a doubt, this level of support for translated literature helps enrich book culture in our country. Publishers, authors, translators, and of course the growing number of readers attuned to new literature from around the world will benefit. And best of all, every year the BTBAs provide a great way to learn about dozens of great new books that we’d otherwise hear little about.”
On January 27, 2011, the twenty-five-title fiction longlist will be announced on the Three Percent and Best Translated Book Award websites, and over the following month each title will be individually highlighted through short write-ups by the various judges. The ten-title shortlists for both fiction and poetry will be announced on March 24th, and the winning titles will be celebrated at a special reception during the PEN World Voices Festival at the end of April.
Recent winners for fiction include Tranquility by Attila Bartis, translated from the Hungarian by Imre Goldstein (Archipelago), and The Confessions of Noa Weber by Gail Hareven, translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu (Melville House). In poetry, The Russian Version by Elena Fanailova, translated from the Russian by Genya Turovskaya and Stephanie Sandler (Ugly Duckling), received the award in 2010, and For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut by Takashi Hiraide, translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu (New Directions), received the award in 2009.
Information about how to submit a title for the 2011 Best Transalted Book Awards can be found on the BTBA website.
In addition to sponsoring the Best Translated Book Awards, Amazon.com has awarded grants to a diverse range of not-for-profit author and publisher groups dedicated to fostering the creation, discussion, and publication of new writing and new voices, including Ledig House, Milkweed Editions, Copper Canyon Press, Open Letter, Archipelago Books, PEN American Center, Words Without Borders, and the Center for the Art of Translation, all of which are committed to the international exchange of literature and the work of translators.
Paul Klee’s Boat, Anzhelina Polonskaya’s newest bilingual collection of poems available in English, is an emotional journey through the bleakest seasons of the human soul, translated with great nuance by Andrew Wachtel. A former professional ice dancer(!), Polonskaya left the. . .
In Seiobo There Below, Lázló Krasznahorkai is able to succeed at a task at which many writers fail: to dedicate an entire novel to a single message, to express an idea over and over again without falling into repetition or. . .
There are curious similarities in three Italian mystery series, written by Maurizio de Giovanni, Andrea Camilleri, and Donna Leon.1
They’re all police procedurals, and all set in Italy: Naples, Sicily, Venice.
The three protagonists are Commissarios: Luigi Ricciardi, Salvo. . .
Poetry always has the feel of mysticism and mystery, or maybe this feeling is a stereotype left over from high school literature class. It is generally the result of confusion, lack of time committed to consuming the poetry, and the. . .
Our Lady of the Flowers, Echoic is not only a translation, but a transformation. It is a translation of Jean Genet’s novel Notre Dame des Fleurs, transmuted from prose to poetry. Originally written in prison as a masturbatory aid (Sartre. . .
Equal parts stoner pulp thriller and psycho-physiological horror story, a pervasive sense of dread mixes with a cloud of weed smoke to seep into every line of the disturbing, complex Under This Terrible Sun. Originally published by illustrious Spanish publishers. . .
From the start, Daniel Canty’s Wigrum, published by Canadian press Talonbooks, is obviously a novel of form. Known also as a graphic designer in Quebec, Canty takes those skills and puts them towards this “novel of inventory” and creates a. . .
Throughout his career—in fact from his very first book, Where the Jackals Howl (1965)—the renowned Israeli writer Amos Oz has set much of his fiction on the kibbutz, collective communities he portrays as bastions of social cohesion and stultifying conformity. . .
Antoon gives us a remarkable novel that in 184 pages captures the experience of an Iraqi everyman who has lived through the war with Iran in the first half of the 1980s, the 1991 Gulf War over the Kuwaiti invasion,. . .
Every fictional work set in L.A. begins with a slow crawl through its streets in the early hours of the morning right after sunrise. Maybe it’s always done this way to emphasize the vast sprawl of the city and highlight. . .