In response to the incredibly lame GoodReads Choice Awards (and yes, I’m totally voting for Jodi Picoult in the fiction category), Typographical Era launched their own Translation Award:
It all started when I asked a simple question on Twitter yesterday. Why in the HELL do the GoodReads Choice Awards not have a category dedicated to allowing users to vote for their favorite literary translation of the year? There are twenty categories. TWENTY. Yet translations are completely ignored. Thus the first ever Typographical Translation Award is born. Lovers of international fiction, this is your chance to be speak up and be heard! You tell us, what was the best translation published in 2013? Here’s how it works:
I’ve started the ball rolling by officially nominating 20 titles that appeared in English translation in the United States for the first time in 2013. Some of these we’ve reviewed on the site, others we have not. While no list can ever be all encompassing, I’ve done my best to select quality works spanning a wide variety of publishers, languages, countries, and subject matter. In the interest of fairness, I’ve linked each title below directly to its publisher’s informational page and NOT, where applicable, to our review. I’ve also included an “other” field as part of the poll where you can write-in a vote for your favorite novel if it didn’t make the list. Any write-ins that are received will automatically be added to the poll so that others can vote for them as well. I reserve the right to remove a title if it doesn’t qualify as an original work that was published in 2013. Confused about what’s eligible? Three Percent’s translation database is a great resource.
Voting is limited to one per IP address. The polls will close on the evening of November 28th at which time I’ll reveal the results and the top 8 titles will move on to a final round of voting, with your overall champion being crowned on December 19th.
Below you’ll find the entire list of 20 nominated titles, but really, you should only be voting for one of these two books:
The Dark by Sergio Chejfec, translated from the Spanish by Heather Cleary
Tirza by Arnon Grunberg, translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett
But if you insist on voting for something that wasn’t published by Open Letter, here’s the rest of the nominated titles:
All Dogs Are Blue by Rodrigo de Souza Leao, translated from the Portuguese by Zoe Perry
My Struggle: Book Two by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett
Cold Sea Stories by Pawel Huelle, translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd Jones
Under This Terrible Sun by Carlos Busqued, translated from the Spanish by Megan McDowell
The Whispering Muse by Sjon, translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb
The Fall of the Stone City by Ismail Kadare, translated from the Albanian by John Hodgson
The President’s Hat by Antoine Laurain, translated from the French by Jane Aitken
The Infatuations by Javier Marias, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa
Seiobo There Below by Laszlo Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet
The Elixir of Immortality by Gabi Gleichmann, translated from the Norwegian by Michael Meigs
A True Novel by Minae Mizumura, translated from the Japanese by Juliet Winters Carpenter
Ten White Geese by Gerbrand Bakker, translated from the Dutch by David Colmer
The Devil’s Workshop by Jachym Topol, translated from the Czech by Alex Zucker
The Black Lake by Hella Haasse, translated from the Dutch by Ina Rilke
The Jew Car by Franz Fuhmann, translated from the German by Isabel Fargo Cole
Kafka’s Hat by Patrice Martin, translated from the Dutch by Chantrell Bilodeau
The Fata Morgana Books by Jonathan Littell, translated from the French by Charlotte Mandell
Sandalwood Death by Mo Yan, translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt
Though far from the most convincing reason to read literature in translation, one common side effect is learning of another culture, of its history. Within that, and a stronger motivation to read, is the discovery of stories not possible within. . .
Despite cries that literature is dead, dying, and self-replicating in the worst way, once in a while a book comes along to remind readers that there’s still a lot of surprise to be found on the printed page. To be. . .
“I was small. And my village was small, I came to know that in time. But when I was small it was big for me, so big that when I had to cross it from one end to the other,. . .
A few weeks after moving into a farm house in the Welsh countryside, Emilie, an expatriate from the Netherlands, starts to think about her uncle. This uncle tried to drown himself in a pond in front of the hotel where. . .
Think back to the last adventure- or action-type book you read. Wasn’t it cool? Didn’t it make you want to do things, like learn to shoot a crossbow, hack complicated information systems, travel to strange worlds, take on knife-wielding thugs,. . .
In Aira’s Shantytown, while we’re inside the characters’ heads for a good portion of the story, the voice we read on the page is really that of Aira himself, as he works out the plot of the book he’s writing.. . .
Noir is not an easy genre to define—or if it once was, that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away; as a quick guess, maybe Silver Lake, Los Angeles, 1935. When two books as different as. . .
Some time ago I read this phrase: “The page is the only place in the universe God left blank for me.”
Pedro Mairal’s short novel The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra is more about these blank spaces than the usual full. . .
“What if even in the afterlife you have to know foreign languages? Since I have already suffered so much trying to speak Danish, make sure to assign me to the Polish zone . . .”
So reads a typical aphoristic “poem”. . .
If you somehow managed to overlook the 2012 translation of Andrés Neuman’s breathtaking Traveler of the Century (and woe betide all whom continue to do so), you now have two exceptional works of fiction from the young Argentine virtuoso demanding. . .