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
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. . .