Every year, the insanely long longlist is announced for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award and every year I make fun of the award, mainly for the number of titles in contention (154 this year), and the aesthetic shittiness of their website.
Until now. There are still about 100 titles too many on the longlist, and the length of time between award events—longlist announced now, shortlist in April, winner in June—is less than ideal, BUT, they finally fixed their website. Really.
Well, done, Dublin City Public Libraries and JET Design, well done. Hopefully some of the other really atrocious book-related websites will follow suit . . .
Anyway, here’s a bit from the press release breaking down the 154 books on the longlist:
“The 154 eligible nominations for the IMPAC DUBLIN 2013 come from 120 cities and 44 countries worldwide. 42 are titles in translation, spanning 19 languages and 47 are first novels” [Lord Mayor Naoise Ó Muirí] said. “This is the highest number of translated novels, first novels and novels by Irish authors to be nominated, since the IMPAC DUBLIN Award’s inception in 1996. Like every year, you will find new books and new authors, particularly those novels in translation that you might otherwise never come across and you can pit yourself against the international panel of judges and pick your own favourite novel, before I announce the the shortlist (9th April) and then the winner (6th June) next year.”
Forty-two titles in translation is pretty damn solid, and what’s especially cool is that My Two Worlds by Sergio Chejfec, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Carson, and published by Open Letter is one of these titles.
Even though this longlist is so incredibly long, it’s still interesting to see which translations made it, and how these library-based nominations match up with the BTBA lists. So, here’s a full list of nominated translations, with links to their IMPAC pages:
The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen, Translated from the Danish by Lisa Hartford
Dirty Feet by Edem Awumey, translated from the French by Lazer Lederhendler
The Hottest Dishes of the Tartar Cuisine by Alina Bronsky, translated from the German by Tim Mohr
Congrats to Europa Editions!
The Cocaine Salesman by Conny Braam, translated from the Dutch by Jonathan Reeder
The Potter’s Field by Andrea Camilleri translated from the Italian by Stephen Sartarelli
Temporary Perfections by Gianrico Carofiglio, translated from the original Italian by Anthony Shugaar
Julia by Otto de Kat, translated from the original Dutch by Ina Rilke
The Book of Doubt by Teresa de Loo, translated from the original Dutch by Brian Doyle
Seems like there are a lot of Dutch books on this list—most of which I’m not familar with.
Underground Time by Delphime de Vigan, translated from the French by George Miller
The Time In Between by Maria Dueñas, translated from the Spanish by Daniel Hahn
Yay for Daniel Hahn!
Lightning by Jean Echenoz, translated from the French by Linda Coverdale
I LOVE this book. When Echenoz is on, Echenoz is one of the best writers in the world. And I think this is one of his most intriguing and fun books.
The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco, translated from the Italian by Richard Dixon
Against Art by Tomas Espedal, translated from the Norwegian by James Anderson
Way to go Seagull—one of the most impressive indie presses in the world, producing some of the most interesting (and beautiful) works in translation.
Waiting for Robert Capa by Susana Fortes, translated from the Spanish by Adriana V. López
Kafka’s Friend by Miro Gavran, translated from the Croatian by Nina H. Kay-Antoljak
The Dinosaur Feather by Sissel-Jo Gazan, translated from the Danish by Charlotte Barslund
So many Scandinavian mysteries on this list . . .
Alice by Judith Hermann, translated from the German by Margot Bettauer Dembo
The Map and the Territory by Michel Houllebecq, translated from the French by Gavin Bowd
I really want to read this book, but haven’t had a chance yet. Sounds like vintage Houllebecq.
Child Wonder by Roy Jacobsen, translated from the original Norwegian by Don Bartlett and Don Shaw
The Hypnotist by Lars Kepler, translated from the Swedish by Ann Long
The Return by Dany Laferrière, translated from the French by David Homel
Hut of Fallen Persimmons by Adriana Lisboa, translated from the original Portuguese by Sarah Green
Congrats to Texas Tech and the wonderful Americas Series for the nomination! I’m willing to bet that over the next few years, they end up with more and more books on this list, and on the shortlists for many other awards.
Twice Born by Margaret Mazzantini, translated from the original Italian by Ann Gagliardi
The Mark by Blazhe Minevski, translated from the Macedonian by Milan Damjanovski
Tyrant Memory by Horatio Castellanos Moya, translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver
Finally getting to a part of this list featuring books that I’ve actually read. This isn’t my favorite of Moya’s books, but it’s definitely worth reading, and fans of his other works won’t be disappointed.
1Q84 by Haruki Murakami, translated from the Japanese by Jay Rubin and Phillip Gabriel
Accabadora by Michela Murgia, translated from the Italian by Silvester Mazzarella
The Map of Time by Félix J. Palma, translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor
Part of the Solution by Ulrich Peltzer, translated from the German by Martin Chalmers
Funeral for a Dog by Thomas Pletzinger, translated from the German by Ross Benjamin
I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this book actually won.
Splithead by Julya Rabinovich, translated from the German by Tess Lewis
Congrats to Tess, who is on this year’s BTBA fiction committee.
Adam and Evelyn by Ingo Schulze, translated from the German by John E. Woods
The Emperor of Lies by Steve Sem-Sandberg, translated from the Swedish by Sarah Death
Please Look After Mom by Kyung-Sook Shin, translated from the South Korean by Chi-Young Kim
From the Mouth of the Whale by Sjón, translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb
Get to the whale!
The Faster I Walk, The Smaller I Am by Kjersti A. Skomsvold, translated from the original Norwegian by Kerri A. Pierce
Hell yes! Kerri is one of the members of our weekly Plüb translation group, and just spoke to my class last Wednesday. Based on all the translations she’s done for Dalkey from all the various languages, she totally deserves this.
Everybody’s Right by Paolo Sorrentino, translated from the original Italian by Anthony Shugaar
Learning to Pray in the Age of Technique by Gonçalo M. Tavares, translated from the original Portuguese by Daniel Hahn
Just started reading The Neighborhood last night. Such a fun, fantastic book from one of Portugal’s most talented authors.
The Truth about Marie by Jean-Philippe Toussaint, translated from the original French by Matthew B. Smith
I’m pretty sure Toussaint is on this list every year. Literally.
Caesarion by Tommy Wieringa, translated from the original Dutch by Sam Garrett
The Five Wonders of the Danube by Zoran Živković, translated from the original Serbian by Alice Copple-Tosic
I’ve only read 7 of the 42 books on this list. Not sure what that means exactly, since I’ve read probably 20 books in the past three months that deserve this sort of recognition . . . Anyway, there you go. And hopefully a handful of these—like My Two Worlds!—will make it to the shortlist . . .
1 What would be really cool is a file with excerpts from all the nominees available for download. That would be a great way to check out all of these books, and would probably lead to more downloads and purchases.
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. . .