1 February 11 | Chad W. Post

At some point while I’m housebound thanks to the Colossal Snowpocalypse of the Century tm I’ll finish tweaking the write-up of the speech I gave in Amsterdam at the Nonfiction Conference, post part of that and write up some stuff about how fantastic this conference was. (If you look at the list of speakers you’ll immediately see why it was so interesting.)

Anyway, one of the random cool things that happened: At the coffee break on Saturday, moderator Maarten Asscher tole me about the “European Literature Prize,” a brand new award honoring the best Dutch translations of European literary novels—a prize modeled after the Best Translated Book Awards and the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize. It’s so, so cool that the IFFP spawned the BTBA, which led to the ELP . . .

This past Sunday they met to decide the twenty book longlist, which is printed below, along with their press release. (There are a few books here I’m really interested in—especially the Robles. And David Mitchell is one of my favorites . . .):

The longlist for the European Literature Prize was announced today. Thirteen independent Dutch and Flemish bookshops have selected the twenty best titles from among the European literary novels published in Dutch translation in 2010. The prize will be presented in early September during Manuscripta, the opening of the new Dutch book season.

The following twenty titles have been nominated (in alphabetical order by author):

  • Jij en ik (lo e te) by Niccolò Ammaniti, translated from the Italian by Etta Maris (Lebowski)
  • Staal (Acciaio) by Silvia Avallone, translated from the Italian by Manon Smits (De Bezige Bij)
  • Emmaüs by Alessandro Baricco, translated from the Italian by Manon Smits (De Bezige Bij)
  • HHhH by Laurent Binet, translated from the French by Liesbeth van Nes (J.M. Meulenhoff B.V.)
  • Wij drieën (The Three of Us) by Julia Blackburn, translated from the English by Paul van der Lecq (De Bezige Bij)
  • Waar de tijgers thuis zijn (Là où les tigres sont chez eux) by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès, translated from the French by Karina van Santen, Martine Vosmaer & Martine Woudt (Ailantus)
  • De Wetenden (Orbitor)_ by Mircea Cartarescu, translated from the Romanian by Jan Willem Bos (De Bezige Bij)
  • Kamer (Room) by Emma Donoghue, translated from the English by Manon Smits (Mouria)
  • Slapeloos (Andvake) by Jon Fosse, translated from the Norwegian by Marianne Molenaar (Wereldbibliotheek)
  • IJzig hart (El corazón helado) by Almudena Grandes, translated from the Spanish by Mia Buursma & Ans van Kersbergen (Signatuur)
  • Dat weet je niet (Det gør du ikke) by Jens Christian Grøndahl, translated from the Danish by Annelies van Hees (J.M. Meulenhoff B.V.)
  • Het sprookje van de laatste gedachte (Das Märchen vom letzen Gedanken) by Edgar Hilsenrath, translated from the German by Elly Schippers (Ambo І Anthos)
  • Een minuut stilte (Schweigeminute) by Siegfried Lenz, translated from the German by Gerrit Bussink (Uitgeverij Van Gennep)
  • De verborgen geschiedenis van Courtillon (Johannistag) by Charles Lewinsky, translated from the German by Elly Schippers (Signatuur)
  • De schending (La ofensa) by Ricardo Menéndez Salmón, translated from the Spanish by Bart Peperkamp (Wereldbibliotheek)
  • De niet verhoorde gebeden van Jacob de Zoet (The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet) by David Mitchell, translated from the English by Harm Damsma en Niek Miedema
  • Drie sterke vrouwen (Trois femmes puissantes) by Marie NDiaye, translated from the French by Jeanne Holierhoek (De Geus)
  • Zomerleugens (Sommerlügen) by Bernhard Schlink, translated from the German by Nelleke van Maaren (Cossee)
  • Halfschaduw (Halbschatten) by Uwe Timm, translated from the German by Gerrit Bussink (Podium)
  • De werkplaats van de duivel (Chladnou zemí) by Jáchym Topol, translated from the Czech by Edgar de Bruin (Ambo І Anthos)

The European Literature Prize will be awarded in 2011 for the first time, recognizing the best novel translated into Dutch from another European language and published in 2010. The winning author will receive the sum of €10,000. The prize is unusual in that it is also awarded to the translator of the chosen book; he or she will receive €2,500.

The professional jury is as follows:

Frans Timmermans, member of the House of Representatives, former Secretary of State for European Affairs (chairman)

Marja Pruis, writer and literary critic for De Groene Amsterdammer

Guido Snel, university lecturer University of Amsterdam, department of European Studies, writer and literary translator

Herm Pol, Athenaeum booksellers Amsterdam

Edith Aerts, bookstore De Groene Waterman, Antwerp

The jury will announce the shortlist at the end of April 2011. The European Literature Prize is an initiative of the Academic-Cultural Centre SPUI25, the Dutch Foundation for Literature, the weekly magazine De Groene Amsterdammer and Athenaeum Booksellers. The prize is sponsored in part by the following independent bookshops, which have also participated in the selection process:

Athenaeum Boekhandel, Amsterdam
Boekhandel de Groene Waterman, Antwerpen
Boekhandel De Omslag, Delft
Boekhandel H. de Vries, Haarlem
Boekhandel Het Martyrium, Amsterdam
Boekhandel Krings, Sittard
Literaire Boekhandel Lijnmarkt, Utrecht
Boekhandel Paagman, Den Haag
Boekhandel van Gennep, Rotterdam
Boekhandel Verkaaik, Gouda
Eerste Bergensche Boekhandel, Bergen N-H
Linnaeus Boekhandel, Amsterdam
Boekhandel Van Rossum, Amsterdam


Comments are disabled for this article.
....
The Nightwatches of Bonaventura
The Nightwatches of Bonaventura by Bonaventura
Reviewed by J. T. Mahany

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. . .

Read More >

Pavane for a Dead Princess
Pavane for a Dead Princess by Park Min-Gyu
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

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. . .

Read More >

Tram 83
Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila
Reviewed by Caitlin Thomas

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. . .

Read More >

Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic by Octave Mirbeau
Reviewed by Lori Feathers

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. . .

Read More >

Sphinx
Sphinx by Anne Garréta
Reviewed by Monica Carter

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. . .

Read More >

Morse, My Deaf Friend
Morse, My Deaf Friend by Miloš Djurdjević
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

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. . .

Read More >

The Crimson Thread of Abandon
The Crimson Thread of Abandon by Terayama Shūji
Reviewed by Robert Anthony Siegel

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. . .

Read More >

Life Embitters
Life Embitters by Josep Pla
Reviewed by Christopher Iacono

Last year, NYRB Classics introduced English-language readers to Catalan writer Josep Pla with Peter Bush’s translation of The Gray Notebook. In that book, Pla wrote about life in Spain during an influenza outbreak soon after World War I, when. . .

Read More >

The Physics of Sorrow
The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov
Reviewed by Izidora Angel

“Your bile is stagnant, you see sorrow in everything, you are drenched in melancholy,” my friend the doctor said.
bq. “Isn’t melancholy something from previous centuries? Isn’t some vaccine against it yet, hasn’t medicine taken care of it yet?” I. . .

Read More >

Vano and Niko
Vano and Niko by Erlom Akhvlediani
Reviewed by Vincent Francone

What to make of Vano and Niko, the English translation of Erlom Akhvlediani’s work of the same name, as well as the two other short books that comprise a sort of trilogy? Quick searches will inform the curious reader that. . .

Read More >

The next few events from our Translation Events Calendar: See More Events >