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2018 BTBA Poetry Finalists

Hackers by Aase Berg, translated from the Swedish by Johannes Goransson (Sweden, Black Ocean Press)         Paraguayan Sea by Wilson Bueno, translated from the Portunhol and Guarani to Frenglish and Guarani by Erin Moore (Brazil, Nightboat Books)       Third-Millennium ...

2018 BTBA Fiction Finalists

Suzanne by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, translated from the French by Rhonda Mullins (Canada, Coach House)         Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller by Guðbergur Bergsson, translated from the Icelandic by Lytton Smith (Iceland, Open Letter ...

Some Clues About the BTBA Fiction Finalists

Patrick Smith deserves all the credit for coming up with these clues about which books made the shortlist for fiction for this year's Best Translated Book Awards. As you may already know, the BTBA finalists will be officially unveiled tomorrow, Tuesday, May 15th at 10am Eastern over at The Millions. (And the winners will ...

Scary Fiction [BTBA 2018]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Katarzyna (Kasia) Bartoszyńska, an English professor at Monmouth College, a translator (from Polish to English), most recently of Zygmunt Bauman’s and Stanisław Obirek’s _Of God and Man (Polity), and a former bookseller at the Seminary Co-op Bookstore in ...

Ties that Confine [BTBA 2018]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Lori Feathers, co-owner of Interabang Books in Dallas, TX. She’s also a freelance book critic and member of the National Book Critics Circle. Her recent reviews can be found at Words Without Borders, Full Stop, World Literature Today, Three Percent, Rain Taxi, and on ...

Making the List [BTBA 2018]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Tara Cheesman, a freelance book critic and National Book Critics Circle member whose recent reviews can be found at The Rumpus, Book Riot, Los Angeles Review of Books, and Quarterly Conversation. Since 2009 she’s written the blog Reader At Large (formerly BookSexy ...

Love Is Colder than Death [BTBA 2018]

This week’s BTBA post is from Jeremy Kang, an avid reader, writer, artist, and photographer and freelance reviewer. He is interested in film, languages, culture, and history.   Bergeners by Tomas Espedal, Translated from the Norwegian by James Anderson (Seagull Books) “The Ballad of Denmark Square” A car ...

Romain Gary's "The Kites" [BTBA 2018]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Mark Haber of Brazos Bookstore, an upstanding young citizen whose novel will be published by Coffee House next year. The Kites by Romain Gary, translated from the French by Miranda Richmond Mouillot (New Directions) Romain Gary’s final book (and my ...

Why Continue [BTBA 2018]

“Why am I reading this?” I ask myself this almost constantly. Sometimes the answer is obvious: when the book is a masterpiece, when the pleasure is so deep or constant that there’s little else I want. I treasure those books, but if it was the only reason I read a book, I wouldn’t read much. There are novels where the ...

I Don’t Know If Hilbig Actually Uses the Word “Pace” Anywhere in His Novel Old Rendering Plant [BTBA 2018]

This week’s BTBA post is from Adam Hetherington. He lives and works in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is the author of the forthcoming novel Ontogeny Is Beautiful. My clever idea was to very briefly quote him in the title of this blog, then claim that any extended quotation does him a disservice. I was going to tell you ...

BTBA Gift Guide [BTBA 2018]

This post was compiled by BTBA judge P.T. Smith. From now until the announcement of the long list, we’ll be running one post a week from a BTBA judge, cycling through the nine of us. To launch those posts, just in time for the holidays (just in time, yes), here’s a gift guide. These are books that have stood out to ...

Yvette Siegert on Winning the 2017 BTBA for Poetry

Having announced the judges and details for the 2018 BTBAs just a couple days ago, it’s an appropriate time to revisit last year’s winners—in particular Extracting the Stone of Madness by Alejandra Pizarnik, translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert, and published by New Directions. Below you’ll ...

Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson on their BTBA Win

I asked the winners of this year’s Best Translated Book Award to send in some comments—or a video—about the prize, their project, etc. The first to arrive is the following from Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson about their translation of Lúcio Cardoso’s Chronicle of the Murdered House. We ...

"Chronicle of the Murdered House" and "Extracting the Stone of Madness" Win the 2017 BTBA!

The tenth annual Best Translated Book Awards were announced this evening at The Folly in New York City, and at The Millions with Lúcio Cardoso’s Chronicle of the Murdered House, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson, winning for fiction, and Alejandra Pizarnik’s Extracting the Stone of ...

2017 BTBA Winners Announced

The winners of the 2017 BTBA for Fiction and Poetry will be announced on Thursday, May 4th at 7 p.m., simultaneously on The Millions and at a live event at The Folly (92 W. Houston Street, New York City). The event is free and open to the ...

2017 BTBA Celebration Party TONIGHT!!

The winners of this year’s Best Translated Book Awards will be announced at 7pm tonight, both on The Millions and live at The Folly (92 W. Houston, NYC). Tom Roberge will be emcee, a number of judges will be there to make the announcements and celebrate the two winning titles. In case you need to be reminded of ...

Chad's Very Unscientific BTBA Odds [BTBA 2017]

When I started posting the “Why This Book Should Win”: entries for this year’s longlisted BTBA titles, I decided to include mostly random, totally unscientific odds for each book both to be shortlisted and to win the whole award. Taken in the aggregate, these odds made no sense. Combined, the ten fiction ...

Why These Poetry Finalists Should Win [BTBA 2017]

Following on yesterday’s post on the fiction finalists, here are links to the “Why This Book Should Win” posts for the five poetry finalists along with short blurbs about what makes each book so good. And once again, if you want to weigh in with your own thoughts, feel free to post to the BTBA Facebook ...

Why These Fiction Finalists Should Win [BTBA 2017]

We’re just over a week away from the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award winners1, so it’s a good time to start ramping up the speculation. Tomorrow I’ll post about the poetry finalists, and give updated odds on the entire shortlist on Thursday, but for today, I thought it would be worthwhile to ...

2017 Best Translated Book Award Fiction Finalists [BTBA 2017]

Wicked Weeds by Pedro Cabiya, translated from the Spanish by Jessica Powell (Dominican Republic, Mandel Vilar Press) Chronicle of the Murdered House by Lúcio Cardoso, translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson (Brazil, Open Letter Books) Eve Out of Her Ruins by Ananda Devi, ...

2017 Best Translated Book Award Poetry Finalists [BTBA 2017]

Berlin-Hamlet by Szilárd Borbély, translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet (Hungary, New York Review Books) Of Things by Michael Donhauser, translated from the German by Nick Hoff and Andrew Joron (Austria, Burning Deck Press) Cheer Up, Femme Fatale by Yideum Kim, translated from the Korean by Ji ...

2017 Best Translated Book Award Finalists [BTBA 2017]

April 18, 2017—Ten works of fiction and five poetry collections remain in the running for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards following the announcement of the two shortlists at The Millions website this morning. A wide range of languages and writing styles are represented on these shortlists, from the more ...

2017 Best Translated Book Award Fiction Longlist [BTBA 2017]

The Queue by Basma Abdel Aziz, translated from the Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette (Egypt, Melville House) The Young Bride by Alessandro Baricco, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Italy, Europa Editions) Wicked Weeds by Pedro Cabiya, translated from the Spanish by Jessica Powell (Dominican Republic, ...

2017 Best Translated Book Award Poetry Longlist [BTBA 2017]

Berlin-Hamlet by Szilárd Borbély, translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet (Hungary, New York Review Books) Of Things by Michael Donhauser, translated from the German by Nick Hoff and Andrew Joron (Austria, Burning Deck Press) Instructions Within by Ashraf Fayadh, translated from the Arabic by Mona ...

Tenth Annual Best Translated Book Awards Longlists [BTBA 2017]

March 28, 2017—Celebrating its tenth iteration, the Best Translated Book Awards announced its longlists for fiction and poetry this morning, highlighting the best international works of literature published in the past year. Announced at The Millions, the lists include a diverse range of authors, from authors who have ...

BTBA Final Clues [Days 4 & 5, I Guess]

OK, so these clues are as late as possible, but I did promise a week of BTBA hints, and technically, I have twelve more hours until the longlists are unveiled . . . It’s gotten more and more difficult to come up with these as the days have gone along. I mostly just can’t wait until we can get to talking about the ...

The BTBA Poetry Longlist [Day Three of Clues]

I know I promised five days of clues about the BTBA fiction longlist, but given that I just got the poetry one in my email this morning, I’d rather spend time on that. So as to not be a liar, and to give you a huge clue, I will say that the two presses that published the most translations in 2016 have exactly zero books ...

Five New Clues about the 2017 BTBA Fiction Longlist [Day Two]

Following on yesterday’s post about the upcoming Best Transated Book Award longlist announcement, I thought I’d give you some more clues, all centering around “new” additions to the “BTBA family.” 1) There are five presses with a book on the BTBA longlist for the first time ever; 2) ...

BTBA 2017 Fiction Longlist Clues [Day One]

Next Tuesday, March 28th, over at The Millions, this year’s Best Translated Book Award longlists will finally be unveiled. So let the countdown begin! This really is a great time of year for international fiction—the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Man Booker International Longlist was released last week, as ...

Short Novels that Pack a Punch [BTBA 2017]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by reader, writer, and BTBA judge Rachel Cordasco. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. Every once in a while, you come across a slim novel ...

BTBA 2017, This Issue: The Body

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Lori Feathers, an Assistant Managing Editor at Asymptote, freelance book critic and member of the National Book Critics Circle. Follow her online @LoriFeathers. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here ...

"Moonstone" by Sjón [BTBA 2017]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Mark Haber of Brazos Bookstore. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. Small in size and epic in scale, Moonstone is Sjón’s fourth ...

Translating Cuban Literature in the Twenty-first Century [BTBA 2017]

George Henson is a translator of contemporary Latin American and Spanish prose, a contributing editor for World Literature Today and Asymptote, and a lecturer at the University of Oklahoma. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a ...

Polar Bears and Cyborg Turtles: Some Non-Human Narrative Perspectives [BTBA 2017]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by reader, writer, and BTBA judge Rachel Cordasco. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. I’ve only come across two books this year that ...

An Education in World Literature [BTBA 2017]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Steph Opitz, who reviews books for _Marie Claire, while also working with the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP), Kirkus Reviews, the Brooklyn Book Festival, and the Twin Cities Book Festival. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our ...

Thus Bad Begins [BTBA 2017]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Mark Haber of Brazos Bookstore. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. Thus Bad Begins by Javier Marias, translated from the Spanish by ...

Handicapping Margaret Jull Costa's Odds at Winning the BTBA [BTBA 2017]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Jeremy Garber, events coordinator for Powells and freelance reviewer. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. Esteemed translator Margaret Jull ...

BTBA Favorites So Far by Jennifer Croft

This week’s post is by Jennifer Croft who is the recipient of Fulbright, PEN, MacDowell and National Endowment for the Arts grants and fellowships, as well as the Michael Henry Heim Prize for Translation. She holds a PhD from Northwestern University and an MFA from the University of Iowa. She is a founding editor of The ...

Early Gems in the Hunt for the Best Translated Fiction of 2016! [BTBA 2017]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Lori Feathers, anAssistant Managing Editor at Asymptote, freelance book critic and member of the National Book Critics Circle. Follow her online @LoriFeathers. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back ...

It's a Great Year for Speculative Fiction [BTBA 2017]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by reader, writer, and BTBA judge Rachel Cordasco. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. Admittedly, I only started keeping track of speculative ...

BTBA Winner Angélica Freitas Reads from "Rilke Shake"

This video has been out for a couple of months, but just came to my attention recently. It’s of Angélica Freitas reading from Rilke Shake, translated from the Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan and published by Phoneme Media. It also won this year’s Best Translated Book Award. (Speaking of which, it’s about time ...

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Three Percent #115: From the BTBAs to the Soccer Pitch

This week’s podcast opens with Chad and Tom discussing the 2016 Best Translated Book Award winners and their thoughts on how to evaluate books for the prize. Then, in a separately recorded podcast, Chad and visiting guest George Carroll talk with Juan Villoro about his new book on soccer, God Is Round. Also, due to ...

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Three Percent #114: BTBA Shortlists, The Vegetarian, Diorama

In this week’s podcast Tom and Chad talk about the recently released Best Translated Book Award shortlists, before moving on to discussion of the two Reading the World Conversation Series books for April: The Vegetarian by Han Kang and Diorama by Rocío Cerón. Additional articles and books discussed include, ...

Quick Clues about the BTBA Finalists

I wanted to write a lot more about this, but I’m running out of time . . . Here are a few clues about the fiction and poetry finalists for the 2016 Best Translated Book Awards. The shortlists will be officially unveiled tomorrow morning (Tuesday, April 19th) at 10am over at The Millions. Fiction ...

The BTBA Celebrations

To celebrate this year’s Best Translated Book Awards, we’re going to have two separate parties. The first is on Wednesday, May 4th at 6:30pm at The Folly (92 W Houston, NYC). That’s where we’ll announce the two winning titles. (For those of you who can’t make it in person, be sure and tune into ...

Download Printable BTBA Materials

For any and all booksellers out there looking to promote the Best Translated Book Awards—or for anyone who just has the BTBA spirit and likes to hang things on their walls—we’ve designed a series of shelf-talkers and posters that you can download, print out, and use in your displays. If you click on any ...

2016 BTBA Fiction Longlist

It’s here! The twenty-five best translations of 2015 according to our esteemed panel of judges. As mentioned in the earlier post, we will be highlighting each of these titles on the site starting this afternoon, and finishing just in time for the April 19th announcement of the ten finalists. The winners will be ...

2016 BTBA Poetry Longlist

And here are the ten longlist books for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award for Poetry, which is being judged by Jarrod Annis (Greenlight Bookstore), Katrine Øgaard Jensen (Words Without Borders), Tess Lewis (writer and translator), Becka McKay (writer and translator), and Deborah Smith (writer, translator, founder of Tilted ...

2016 BTBA Longlist Announcement!

This entry is the general press release about this year’s awards. If you want to skip ahead, you can find the poetry list here, and the fiction one here. Check back in later today—we’ll be kicking off the “Why This Book Should Win” series in the afternoon. March 29, 2016—Clarice ...

"Unshaven and Often Drunk" [BTBA]

I know the BTBA announcements will be taking place tomorrow morning, but we have one last preview post for you. This is from judge Mark Haber, who works at Brazos Bookstore in Houston—one of the best stores in the country. Enjoy and tune in tomorrow to find out what made the longlists! If you’ve ever had your ...

Two Weeks to the BTBA Longlists!

In just a couple of weeks—on Tuesday, March 29th at 10am to be precise—we’re going to announce the longlist for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards for fiction and poetry. Between now and then, I want to put up a few posts about the award, the titles that might make the list, other trends, etc. But ...

Variations on a Theme: Fiston Mwanza Mujila’s "Tram 83" [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Heather Cleary, translator of Sergio Chejfec, Oliverio Girondo, professor at Sarah Lawrence, and co-founder of the Buenos Aires Review. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a ...

Literature on Location: Part III [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Stacey Knecht and is basically a follow-up to her earlier posts. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. I was four, not five, as I’d always ...

Why Are We Ignoring "Apocalypse Baby"'s Most Important Twist? [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Kate Garber, bookseller at 192 Books. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. I have yet to find a review of Apocalypse Baby by Virginie ...

Valeria Luiselli and the Transformative Power of Translated Storytelling [BTBA]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from judge Kevin Elliott, bookseller at 57th Street Books in Chicago. As a reminder, you can stay up to date with all BTBA goings on by liking our Facebook page and by following us on Twitter. And by checking in regularly here at Three Percent. The Story Of My Teeth is ...

One Pleasure Books [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by reader, writer, and BTBA judge P. T. Smith. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. There have been books throughout the year that stand out ...

25 Reasons to Read Lispector's Complete Stories [BTBA 2016]

Today’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Mark Haber of Brazos Bookstore. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. Before encountering the massive, indispensable Complete Stories of Clarice ...

"A Raskolnikoff" by Emmanuel Bove [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Jason Grunebaum, senior lecturer at the University of Chicago, and translator from the Hindi. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. When ...

Submission [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Tom Roberge from New Directions, Albertine Books, and the Three Percent Podcast. He’s not actually a BTBA judge, but since he’s helping run the whole process, he thought he’d weigh in and post as well. For more information on the BTBA, ...

Cold Weather Whodunits [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Amanda Nelson, managing editor of Book Riot. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. I once heard a theory that the American South (where I ...

Border Crossings and a Third Language [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Heather Cleary, translator of Sergio Chejfec, Oliverio Girondo, professor at Sarah Lawrence, and co-founder of the Buenos Aires Review. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a ...

Notes on Elena Ferrante from a Bookseller Who Hasn’t Read Her [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Kate Garber, bookseller at 192 Books. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. While many people assume that booksellers base their ...

Wolfgang Hilbig, "The Sleep of the Righteous" [BTBA 2016]

Today’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Mark Haber of Brazos Bookstore. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. The front cover of Wolfgang Hilbig’s The Sleep of the Righteous boasts ...

Quebecois Translations [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by reader, writer, and BTBA judge P. T. Smith. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. For my first BTBA post, I wrote about sci-fi in translation, ...

BTBA 2016 Poetry: The Jury Is Out [BTBA 2016]

It’s taken longer than it should to announce this—blame my disorganization, all the other events that have been going on, etc.—but we’re finally ready to unveil this year’s jury for the Best Translated Book Award prize for poetry. Before listing the judges, I just want to remind you to check ...

Literature on Location: Part II [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Stacey Knecht and is basically a follow-up to her first post. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. I translate Hrabal. We work as a team. We ...

Anne Garréta and William Burroughs [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Tom Roberge from New Directions, Albertine Books, and the Three Percent Podcast. He’s not actually a BTBA judge, but since he’s helping run the whole process, he thought he’d weigh in and post as well. For more information on the BTBA, ...

Books (In Translation) About Books [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from Amanda Nelson, managing editor of Book Riot. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. Jose Alberto Gutierrez is a garbage truck driver in ...

On Universality: Childhood Confusion and Displacement in Literature [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is Kate Garber, bookseller at 192 Books. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. We know there are many connections to be made in themes and characters ...

On Yoel Hoffmann’s "Moods" [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by translator and co-founder of the Buenos Aires Review, Heather Cleary. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. Earlier this week, I returned home ...

On Juan Villoro's "The Guilty" [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by Mark Haber of Brazos Bookstore. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. In the last few years I’ve read a lot of literature in translation, ...

Science Fiction in Translation [BTBA 2016]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is by reader, writer, and BTBA judge P. T. Smith. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a new post by one of the judges. Up until college, I didn’t put much, if any, thought into ...

Moser, Mizumura, and Murakami [BTBA]

This week’s Best Translated Book Award post is from judge Kevin Elliott, bookseller at 57th Street Books in Chicago. As a reminder, you can stay up to date with all BTBA goings on by liking our Facebook page and by following us on Twitter. And by checking in regularly here at Three Percent. Recently, Benjamin Moser, ...

Literature on Location: Part I [BTBA 2016]

As with past years, every week one of the Best Translated Book Award judges will be posting their thoughts and observations on some of the books that they’re reading for this year’s award. Stacey Knecht agreed to kick things off today with this post. Yes, I live in the Netherlands. No, I don’t live in ...

BTBA 2015 Winners: Can Xue and Rocío Cerón!

The eighth annual Best Translated Book Awards were announced at BookExpo America this afternoon, with Can Xue’s The Last Lover, translated from the Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen, taking home the award for fiction, and Rocío Cerón’s Diorama, translated from the Spanish by Anna Rosenwong, winning in poetry. ...

BTBA Festivities!

This is just a reminder for any and everyone in the New York area—especially those of you who are attending BookExpo America. The official announcement of this year’s Best Translated Book Award winners will take place tomorrow, Wednesday, May 27th, at 2:30pm at the Eastside Stage in the Jacob Javitz Center. ...

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Three Percent #98: The 2015 BTBA Finalists!

For this week’s podcast, we invited Best Translated Book Award Fiction Chair Monica Carter on to talk about the finalists for this year’s awards. Monica graciously gave us some insight into the voting process, revealed which of the final ten was a “personal pick” of one of the judges, and managed to ...

Won't You Be Our Indie Bookstore? #‎BTBA2015‬ Shortlist Display Contest!

Calling all Indie Booksellers! ‪Feel like you have a knack for making customers stop and gather around your dazzling book displays? Send in your pics of the BTBA fiction and poetry finalists on display, get as creative as possible, and you and your bookstore could become the official bookstore of the Best Translated ...

Why This Book Should Win – Granma Nineteen and the Soviet's Secret by BTBA Judge Monica Carter

Monica Carter is a writer whose fiction has appeared in Writers Tribe Review, The Rattling Wall, Black Clock, and is a freelance critic. Granma Nineteen and the Soviet’s Secret – Ondjaki, Translated from the Portuguese by Stephen Hennighan, Angola Biblioasis At thirty-six years old, Ondjaki is one of the most ...

Why This Book Should Win – Winter Mythologies and Abbotts by BTBA Judge James Crossley

James Crossley is a bookseller at Island Books. He writes regularly for the store’s Message in a Bottle blog and for the website of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Winter Mythologies and Abbotts – Pierre Michon, Translated from the French by Ann Jefferson, France Yale University ...

Why This Book Should Win – Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay by BTBA Judge Monica Carter

Monica Carter is a writer whose fiction has appeared in Writers Tribe Review, The Rattling Wall, Black Clock, and is a freelance critic. Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay – Elena Ferrante, Translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein, Italy Europa Editions Elena Ferrante is everywhere now. Yet, I remember when ...

Why This Book Should Win – La Grande by BTBA Judge Scott Esposito

This post is courtesy of BTBA judge, Scott Esposito. Scott Esposito blogs at Conversational Reading and you can find his tweets here. La Grande – Juan Jose Saer, translated by from the Spanish by Steve Dolph, Argentina, Open Letter Books Juan Jose Saer was a towering figure in Argentine literature. Over the ...

Why this Book Should Win – The Author and Me by BTBA Judge Michael Orthofer

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. The Author and Me – Éric Chevillard, translated from the French by Jordan Stump, France Dalkey Archive Press Obviously, two-time, back-to-back winner László ...

Why This Book Should Win – Things Look Different in the Light by BTBA Judge Madeleine LaRue

Madeleine LaRue is Associate Editor and Director of Publicity of Music & Literature. Things Look Different in the Light and Other Stories – Merdardo Fraile, Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa, Spain Pushkin Press For most of us, Things Look Different in the Light arrived late in the game. My ...

Why This Book Should Win – Talking to Ourselves by BTBA Judge Jeremy Garber

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. Talking to Ourselves – Andrés Neuman, Translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia, Argentina Farrar, Straus and Giroux Perhaps the question shouldn’t be why Andrés Neuman’s Talking to Ourselves ...

Why This Book Should Win – Pushkin Hills by BTBA Judge James Crossley

James Crossley is a bookseller at Island Books. He writes regularly for the store’s Message in a Bottle blog and for the website of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Pushkin Hills – Sergei Dovlatov, Translated from the Russian by Katherine Dovlatov, Russia Counterpoint Press Pushkin Hills is ...

Why This Book Should Win – 1914 by BTBA Judge Monica Carter

Monica Carter is a writer and freelance critic. 1914 – Jean Echenoz, translated from the French by Linda Coverdale, (France) The New Press Jean Echenoz’s novel, 1914, delivers the punch of a heavyweight yet moves with the speed of a flyweight. In fewer than 120 pages, Echenoz gives us the exhausting thirteen ...

Why This Book Should Win – Adam Buenosayres by BTBA Judge Michael Orthofer

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. Adam Buenosayres – Leopoldo Marechal, Translated from the Spanish by Norman Cheadle and Sheila Ethier McGill-Queen’s University Press Leopoldo Marechal’s Adam ...

Why This Book Should Win: BTBA Judge Daniel Medin Q&A with John Keene about Letters from a Seducer

John Keene is the author of Annotations, and Counternarratives, both published by New Directions, as well as several other works, including the poetry collection Seismosis, with artist Christopher Stackhouse, and a translation of Brazilian author Hilda Hilst’s novel Letters from a Seducer. Daniel Medin teaches at the ...

Why This Book Should Win – Fantomas versus the Multinational Vampires by BTBA Judge Madeleine LaRue

Madeleine LaRue is Associate Editor and Director of Publicity of Music & Literature. Fantomas versus the Multinational Vampires – Julio Cortázar, translated from the Spanish by David Kurnick Semiotext(e) It almost feels unfair to make anyone compete with Julio Cortázar. His fantastically irreverent novel ...

Why This Book Should Win – The Woman Who Borrowed Memories by BTBA Judge Katrine Øgaard Jensen

Katrine Øgaard Jensen is an editor-at-large for Asymptote and the editor-in-chief for Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. The Woman Who Borrowed Memories: Selected Stories – Translated by Thomas Teal and Silvester Mazzarella NYRB Classics When growing up in Northern Europe, you come to expect a certain ...

Why This Book Should Win – Monastery by BTBA Judge Jeremy Garber

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. Monastery – Eduardo Halfon, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn Bellevue Literary Press One of three titles on this year’s Best Translated Book Award longlist to feature more than one translator ...

Why This Book Should Win – Works by BTBA Judge Scott Esposito

This post is courtesy of BTBA judge, Scott Esposito. Scott Esposito blogs at Conversational Reading and you can find his tweets here. Works – Edouard Levé, Translated byJan Steyn Dalkeyy Archive Press You really have to be impressed with the fact that Edouard Levé has had three books translated into English, ...

Why This Book Should Win – Two Hrabals by BTBA Judges George Carroll and James Crossley

George Carroll is the World Literature Editor of Shelf Awareness and an independent publishers’ representative based in the Pacific Northwest. James Crossley is a bookseller at Island Books. He writes regularly for the store’s Message in a Bottle blog and for the website of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers ...

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Three Percent #96: The 2015 BTBA Fiction Longlist

On the heels of this week’s big announcement of the 2015 Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist and poetry longlist, Chad and Tom run through the books that made the cut and talk about their favorites, which books are on their reading lists, who they predict will make the shortlist next month, and try their ...

Why This Book Should Win – Street of Thieves by BTBA Judge George Carroll

George Carroll is the World Literature Editor of Shelf Awareness and an independent publishers’ representative based in the Pacific Northwest. Street of Thieves – Mathias Énard, Translated by Charlotte Mandell Open Letter Books Last year, I advanced Mahi Binebine’s Horses of God, tr. from the French by Lulu ...

Why This Book Should Win – Last Words from Montmartre by BTBA Judge Monica Carter

Monica Carter is a writer and freelance critic. Last Words from Montmartre – By Qiu Miaojin, Translated by Ari Larissa Heinrich NYRB Last Words from Montmartre is a loaded piece of work before you ever begin reading it. Qiu Miaojin, the young Taiwanese lesbian writer, committed suicide at the age of twenty-six ...

The Books I Thought Would Make the BTBA Longlist . . . But Didn't

Over the past week, I’ve given you a bunch of clues about the fiction and poetry longlists and received a few guesses from readers. I think the closest anyone came was 13 right out of 25, which, to be fair, isn’t that bad. Well, since the announcements will be here tomorrow—the poetry list will be ...

The Fringe Elements by BTBA Judge Monica Carter

Monica Carter is a freelance critic. Discerning how one should approach a written work for translation is a challenging task. The approach of some publishers is to accept the writer’s work as is, with no editorial input, which means the translation is as close to the original text as it can be, disregarding cultural, ...

The Frontrunners, Part Two by BTBA Judge Jeremy Garber

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. Monastery (Bellevue Literary Press) Eduardo Halfon, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman and Daniel Hahn Like a companion volume or literary reverberation, Eduardo Halfon’s Monastery continues the itinerant ...

The Frontrunners, Part One by BTBA Judge Jeremy Garber

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. With the start of spring (for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, that is) less than six weeks away, the BTBA longlist announcement draws ever closer (early April!) – and, as such, we judges continue our evaluation of the ...

Daniel Medin on The White Review and BTBAs Past, Present and Future

Daniel Medin teaches at the American University of Paris, where he helps direct the Center for Writers and Translators and is Associate Series Editor of The Cahiers Series. The January 2015 Translation Issue that I edited for The White Review recently went live. Nearly a year in the making, it gathers various kinds of ...

Prize Winners by BTBA Judge Michael Orthofer

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. Some five-hundred-odd translated titles are in contention – well, at least get considered – for a book prize, the Best Translated Book Award. Not surprisingly, a number of them have ...

FIVE NOIR NOVELS by BTBA Judge George Carroll

George Carroll is the World Literature Editor of Shelf Awareness and an independent publishers’ representative based in the Pacific Northwest. My day job is publishers’ representative, which is a snottier way of saying “traveling book salesman.” I present thousands (low thousands) of books twice a year to book ...

In Translation But Off the List by BTBA Judge Jeremy Garber

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. As the calendar draws to a close, annual lists of the year’s best books begin to proliferate. However subjective these literary lineups may be, it should come as no surprise to readers of translated fiction that titles originating ...

Notes on Some Noteable Danes – BTBA Judge Katrine Øgaard Jensen

Katrine Øgaard Jensen is an editor-at-large for Asymptote and the editor-in-chief for Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. It’s December. I still have a shit-ton of books left to read for the BTBA, and the very thought of writing a blogpost about my favorite contenders is giving me mild anxiety. But, as a Chuang ...

Slim Pickings? by BTBA Judge Michael Orthofer

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. The size of a book shouldn’t really matter, not when judging whether or not it’s Best Translated Book Award-worthy, but one of the things that has struck me about this year’s batch ...

DANIEL MEDIN’S BTBA FAVORITES: FALL 2014

Daniel Medin teaches at the American University of Paris, where he helps direct the Center for Writers and Translators and is Associate Series Editor of The Cahiers Series. Can Xue: The Last Lover, trans. from Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen, Yale/Margellos The strangest and by far most original work I read this ...

New BTBA Judge James Crossley Highlights His Picks for Bestsellers

James Crossley is a bookseller at Island Books. He writes regularly for the store’s Message in a Bottle blog and for the website of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. By this point several judges have had an opportunity to share their thoughts about participating in the BTBA process, and it’s hard ...

BTBA 2015: Things That Have Caught My Eye by Scott Esposito

This post is courtesy of BTBA judge, Scott Esposito. Scott Esposito blogs at Conversational Reading and you can find his tweets here. As we work our way through the 500-some new translations released in 2014, I’m going to repost on a few books that have stood out for me so far. This list is not exhaustive at all, and it ...

Part Two of BTBA Judge Jeremy Garber's Faves for 2015

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. Valeria Luiselli ~ Faces in the Crowd As sinuous and singular a novel as Valeria Luiselli’s Faces in the Crowd (los ingrávidos) is (translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney), it is all the more remarkable on ...

Judge Jeremy Garber Shares Two of His Favorites So Far of BTBA 2015

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. With so much reading left to do (as submissions continue to fill our mailboxes daily), a handful of books already stand out as some of the year’s finest original translations. Although it remains to be seen whether any of the ...

Judge Jeremy Garber Sums Up His Thoughts for BTBA 2015

Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. It is quite an honor (to say nothing of a responsibility) to be invited to adjudicate the creative output of others. In merely thinking of the myriad ways one might go about arbitrating the many facets that comprise a finished work ...

Judging Books by Their Covers – BTBA Judge Katrine Øgaard Jensen

Katrine Øgaard Jensen is an editor-at-large for Asymptote and the editor-in-chief for Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art. Since I am the youngest, the least knowledgeable, and by far the most superficial judge in the BTBA, it’s only appropriate that I make my first blog post about something sexy. As a judge in the ...

BTBA Blog Returns with Judge Michael Orthofer

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. Getting started There’s no real official start date for the judging of the Best Translated Book Award – though maybe the announcement finalizing who the judges actually are is a ...

BTBA 2015: The Judges!

Although it wasn’t all that long ago that László Krasznahorkai and Elisa Biagini won the Best Translated Book Award, but it’s already time to look ahead to the 2015 iteration—the first step of which is announcing the new group of judges. Similar to years past, the fiction panel will consist of nine ...

Elisa Biagini's BTBA Acceptance Speech

In line with the brief video of László Krasznahorkai that we published a couple days ago, here’s a brief acceptance speech from the 2014 BTBA winner for poetry, Elisa ...

László Krasznahorkai's BTBA Acceptance Speech

After winning the Best Translated Book Award for the second year in a row, László Krasznahorkai stopped by the New Directions offices and made a short acceptance speech. ...

BTBA 2014: Poetry and Fiction Winners

László Krasznahorkai becomes the first repeat winner, and Elisa Biagini and her three translators take home the poetry award in this year’s Best Translated Book Award. After much deliberation, Seiobo There Below, Krasznahorkai’s follow-up to last year’s BTBA winner, Satantango, won the 2014 BTBA for ...

2014 BTBA Fiction Winner: "Seiobo There Below" by László Krasznahorkai

As you already know, the winner of this year’s BTBA for fiction is Seiobo There Below by László Krasznahorkai, and translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet. Below is a short piece by the BTBA fiction jury explaining the reasons behind their selection and pointing out two runners-up. We are very pleased ...

2014 BTBA Poetry Winner: "The Guest in the Wood" by Elisa Biagini

As you already know, the winner of this year’s BTBA for poetry is The Guest in the Wood by Elisa Biagnini, translated from the Italian by Diana Thow, Sarah Stickney, and Eugene Ostashevsky, and published by Chelsea Editions. Below is a statement from the judges about the collection, along with some notes about the two ...

BTBA 2014 Awards Announcement

The winners of the 2014 BTBA for Fiction and Poetry will be announced

BTBA 2014 Celebrations: In Paris, In New York

Less than one week from today—at 2pm East Coast time on Monday, April 28th to be exact—we’ll be announcing the winners of this year’s Best Translated Book Award. Over the next few days, I’ll be posting write-ups on the Poetry Finalists, along with uninformed speculation and other fun and ...

BTBA Poetry Shortlist Announced

The 2014 BTBA poetry shortlist will be announced

BTBA Wins the LBF International Book Industry Excellence Award!

As meta as it may be for an award to win an award, I’m incredibly excited that the Best Translated Book Awards won the inaugural “International Literary Translation Initiative Award” at today’s London Book Fair Book Industry Excellence awards ceremony. I know it’s hokey, but I’ve been ...

An Amazing Collection of Sentences from all 25 Books on the BTBA Fiction Longlist

Shortly after the BTBA Fiction Longlist was announced, Tara Murphy and Jesse Eckerlin from Biblioasis came up with the idea of creating a “single-sentence sampler” featuring one line from each of the 25 longlisted titles. But I’ll let Jesse explain what developed: This week’s post is for those of ...

“Sandalwood Death” by Mo Yan, Trans. by Howard Goldblatt [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Today’s entry in the “Why This Book Should Win” series is from Jonathan Stalling, an Associate Professor of English at Oklahoma University specializing in Modern-Contemporary American and East-West Poetics, Comparative Literature, and Translation Studies. He is also the co-founder and deputy editor-in-chief of Chinese ...

BTBA 2014 Translators [Because We're Not *Always Forever* Treated Like Lepers]

All “translator recognition” issues and talk aside (as a translator myself, but also as someone working in publishing, I have my own particular set of views on how this issue should be approached), our friends over at Typographical Era have put together a five-part list highlighting (with photo proof) that the ...

BTBA on Rochester's Local News 8

BTBA 2014 Fiction Longlist: It's Here!

The wait is over. Listed below are the twenty-five titles on this year’s Best Translated Book Award Fiction Longlist. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be highlighting each and every one of these as part of the annual “Why This Book Should Win the BTBA” series. It’s a fun way of learning about ...

BTBA 2014 Fiction Longlist: A Few Clues

Earlier this afternoon I received the longlist for the 2014 Best Translated Book Award for Fiction, and just had a chance to break it all down and come up with some interesting tidbits to fuel the speculation as to what made it and what got left off. Just a quick reminder: The full list will go live at exactly 10 am East ...

BTBA 2014: Fiction Longlist Predictions!

At this moment in time, I have no idea what books are on the Best Translated Book Award longlist. The judges are still conferring—in fact, I’m not even certain that the list of 25 has been finalized . . . Which means that it’s a great time to start spreading rumors about what books are in and which are out. ...

Stephen Sparks Goes Around the World with BTBA

Stephen Sparks is a buyer at Green Apple Books. He lives in San Francisco and blogs at Invisible Stories. Poorly detailed Google map With the longlist set to be announced in a matter of days—just this morning the judges received the (top secret!) results of our initial vote to narrow down all eligible books to a ...

Daniel Medin’s BTBA Favorites: Winter Reading

Daniel Medin teaches at the American University of Paris, where he helps direct the Center for Writers and Translators, is an editor of The Cahiers Series ,and co-hosts the podcast entitled That Other Word. He has authored a study of Franz Kafka in the work of three international writers (Northwestern University Press, 2010) ...

Fucking BTBA!

This week’s BTBA post is written by George Carroll, a publishers representative based in Seattle who blogs at North-North-West. He is also the soccer editor for Shelf Awareness and he and Chad frequently spent part of the weekend texting about EPL match-ups and Manchester Fucking United. He’s also helping to organize ...

Daniel Medin’s BTBA favorites: Autumn reading

Daniel Medin teaches at the American University of Paris, where he helps direct the Center for Writers and Translators, is an editor of The Cahiers Series ,and co-hosts the podcast entitled That Other Word. He has authored a study of Franz Kafka in the work of three international writers (Northwestern University Press, 2010) ...

The Big Books of the BTBA

This post is courtesy of BTBA judge, Scott Esposito. Scott Esposito blogs at Conversational Reading and you can find his tweets here. I like the fact that the BTBA has a strong track record for picking not only the massive, monumental doorstoppers that tend to garner the lion’s share of award attention but also the slim, ...

BTBA 2013 Poetry Committee

OK, I’ve been promising this for a long time, but I’ve finally got my stuff together and have information on the five judges for this year’s BTBA in Poetry. Bios for all five can be found below, and for publishers looking to submit their books, here is a PDF of mailing list label that you can use, and ...

BTBA: What I've Liked So Far

Monica Carter, one of the ten judges for the Best Translated Book Awards and curator of Salonica, gives her thoughts on some of the books she’s read so far this year. School is back in swing, a war with Syria looms and the new iPhone 5s is about to take over the world. Yet, let’s not forget the simple joys in ...

2013 BTBA Winners: Satantango and Wheel with a Single Spoke

If you use the Facebook or the Twitter, you probably already know this, but the 2013 Best Translated Book Awards were handed out on Friday as part of the PEN World Voices/CLMP “Literary Mews” series of events.1 And you probably know that Wheel with a Single Spoke by Nichita Stanescu, translated from the Romanian ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Transfer Fat" by Aase Berg [BTBA 2013]

Over the course of this week, we will be highlighting all 6 BTBA Poetry Finalists one by one, building up to next Friday’s announcement of the winners. All of these are written by the BTBA poetry judges under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win.” You can find the whole series by clicking here. Stay tuned ...

Why This Book Should Win: "The Invention of Glass" by Emmanuel Hocquard [BTBA 2013]

Over the course of this week, we will be highlighting all 6 BTBA Poetry Finalists one by one, building up to next Friday’s announcement of the winners. All of these are written by the BTBA poetry judges under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win.” You can find the whole series by clicking here. Stay tuned ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Almost 1 Book / Almost 1 Life" by Elfriede Czurda [BTBA 2013]

Over the course of this week, we will be highlighting all 6 BTBA Poetry Finalists one by one, building up to next Friday’s announcement of the winners. All of these are written by the BTBA poetry judges under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win.” You can find the whole series by clicking here. Stay tuned ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Notes on the Mosquito" by Xi Chuan [BTBA 2013]

Over the course of this week, we will be highlighting all 6 BTBA Poetry Finalists one by one, building up to next Friday’s announcement of the winners. All of these are written by the BTBA poetry judges under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win.” You can find the whole series by clicking here. Stay tuned ...

Why This Book Should Win: "pH Neutral History" by Lidija Dimkovska [BTBA 2013]

Over the course of this week, we will be highlighting all 6 BTBA Poetry Finalists one by one, building up to next Friday’s announcement of the winners. All of these are written by the BTBA poetry judges under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win.” You can find the whole series by clicking here. Stay tuned ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Wheel with a Single Spoke" by Nichita Stanescu [BTBA 2013]

Over the course of this week, we will be highlighting all 6 BTBA Poetry Finalists one by one, building up to next Friday’s announcement of the winners. All of these are written by the BTBA poetry judges under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win.” You can find the whole series by clicking here. Stay tuned ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Transit" by Abdourahman A. Waberi [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Dublinesque" by Enrique Vila-Matas [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Happy Moscow" by Andrey Platonov [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "The Hunger Angel" by Herta Müller [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Awakening to the Great Sleep War" by Gert Jonke [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Atlas" by Dung Kai-Cheung [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "With the Animals" by Noëlle Revaz [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Satantango" by László Krasznahorkai [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Kite" by Dominique Eddé [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "A Breath of Life" by Clarice Lispector [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "The Island of Second Sight" by Albert Vigoleis Thelen [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Basti" by Itizar Husain [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "We, the Children of Cats" by Tomoyuki Hoshino [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Traveler of the Century" by Andrés Neuman [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "My Father's Book" by Urs Widmer [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Maidenhair" by Mikhail Shishkin [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Joseph Walser's Machine" by Gonçalo Tavares [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Mama Leone" by Miljenko Jergović [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "The Map and the Territory" by Michel Houellebecq [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "The Colonel" by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "The Planets" by Sergio Chejfec [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "My Struggle: Book One" by Karl Ove Knausgaard [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Prehistoric Times" by Eric Chevillard [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

We Need You! [BTBA 2013]

So, as you’ve probably noticed, with the announcement of the 2013 BTBA Fiction Longlist we’ve started running our annual Why This Book Should Win series featuring each of the 25 longlisted books and providing reasons why they should win. Well, we do have a number titles that still need someone to champion them. ...

Why This Book Should Win: "Autoportrait" by Edouard Levé [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

Why This Book Should Win: "The Lair" by Norman Manea [BTBA 2013]

As in years past, we will be highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist, one by one, building up to the announcement of the 10 finalists on April 10th. A variety of judges, booksellers, and readers will write these, all under the rubric of “Why This Book Should Win. You can find the whole series by clicking ...

BTBA 2013: "Pow!" [The Books that DIDN'T Make It]

I’m pretty bummed about this one. And my secret hope of hopes is that Mo Yan’s Pow! didn’t make the list because everyone is so enamored with Sandalwood Death, which we officially decided to make eligible for the 2014 BTBA. I reviewed this novel a couple months back, and will be using it in my ...

BTBA 2013: "Necropolis" [The Books that DIDN'T Make It]

Santiago Gamboa’s Necropolis, which won the La Otra Orilla Literary Award in 2009, is frustratingly good, inventive, and obsessed with story telling. The premise is simple: An author much like Santiago Gamboa himself, is invited to participate in a literary conference about biography—one that will also be attended ...

Inspiring Words for Working on NEA Grants and BTBA Posts

(You can get your own via The Rumpus by clicking

BTBA 2013: "The Canvas" [The Books that DIDN'T Make It]

This one is a bitter pill to swallow . . . Way back in July of 2010, I wrote a post about “The Next German Book I Want to See Translated” featuring this video: Well, two-plus years later, on my birthday, Open Letter brought out Benjamin Stein’s The Canvas, a unique, very readable book about three main ...

BTBA 2013: "Almost Never" [The Books that DIDN'T Make It]

When I first read Almost Never by Daniel Sada, I thought it was a lock to be a finalist for the 2013 BTBA. It’s a strange book that’s basically 328 pages of foreplay ending with three pages of ...

BTBA 2013: "The Obscene Madame D" [The Books that DIDN'T Make It]

Next Tuesday, March 5th, at 10 am(ish), we will be unveiling this year’s BTBA Fiction Longlist. This year’s judges—click here for the complete list—did a spectacular job selecting the 25 best works of fiction in translation published last year. In contrast to years past, this time I recommended that ...

2013 BTBA Poetry [Panelists and Info for Submitting]

This is a long time in coming, but here’s the list of the poetry judges for this year’s Best Translated Book Award: Brandon Holmquest, poet, translator, editor of CALQUE Jennifer Kronovet, poet and translator John Marshall, owner, Autumn Hill Books and ...

Quick Note about BTBA Poetry

Just a FYI for all poets, poetry publishers, and translators: We’re in the process of nailing down the last judge for this year’s BTBA Poetry committee, after which time (probably early next week), I’ll post an announcement with everyone’s mailing address, etc. Just so you know, the deadline for ...

The BTBA 2012 Award Ceremony

I want to publicly thank David Goldfarb of the Polish Cultural Institute for recording the video below of Friday’s BTBA announcements. The event went really well, and was better attended than the PEN reception for international authors that proceeded it. (Take that! BTBA FTW!) Anyway, there’s also a great write ...

BTBA Awards Ceremony

For anyone in the New York area (or planning on being there for the PEN World Voices Festival), this Friday, May 4th, we’ll be announcing the winners of the 2012 Best Translated Book Awards for fiction and poetry. Tom Roberge and I will be doing our Three Percent Podcast schtick live, and Ed Nawotka will be there to ...

BTBA on Rochester Morning Show

This morning, Judge Jeff and I were on the local morning news show to talk about the 2012 Best Translated Book Award finalists. And even though it’s not even noon, I highly recommend using this as a drinking game . . . Every time Judge Jeff looks directly into the camera, do a shot. And do a double if he looks in ...

"Private Property" by Paule Constant [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we HIGHLIGHTED (past tense) the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We had a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these funny, accidental, entertaining, and informative posts prompted you to ...

BTBA Finalist Announcement Tuesday at 6pm

With only one book left to cover, we’re reaching the end of the “25 Days of the BTBA” series, which means that the announcement of the finalists is right around the corner. Literally. Next Tuesday, April 10th, fiction panelists Jeff Waxman will be here in Rochester for a special Reading the World ...

"Kafka's Leopards" by Moacyr Scliar [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next week highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Montecore" by Jonas Hassen Khemiri [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next week highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Never Any End to Paris" by Enrique Vila-Matas [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next week highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"I Am a Japanese Writer" by Dany LaFerrière [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next week highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Leeches" by David Albahari [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next two weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion?" by Johan Harstad [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next two weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"In Red" by Magdalena Tulli [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next two weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"The Shadow-Boxing Woman" by Inka Parei [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next two weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Scenes from Village Life" by Amos Oz [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next two weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Seven Years" by Peter Stamm [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next three weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Demolishing Nisard" by Eric Chevillard [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next three weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Kornél Esti" by Dezsö Kosztolányi [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next three weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Fiasco" by Imre Kertesz [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next three weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Upstaged" by Jacques Jouet [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next three weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"New Finnish Grammar" by Diego Marani [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next three weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"The Truth about Marie" by Jean-Philippe Toussaint [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next four weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Purgatory" by Tomás Eloy Martínez [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next four weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Suicide" by Edouard Levé [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next four weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Scars" by Juan José Saer [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next four weeks highlighting the rest of the 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, ...

"Stone Upon Stone" by Wiesław Myśliwski [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next five weeks highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, entertaining, and ...

"Funeral for a Dog" by Thomas Pletzinger [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next five weeks highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, entertaining, and ...

"Zone" by Mathias Enard [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next five weeks highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, entertaining, and ...

"Lightning" by Jean Echenoz [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next five weeks highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, entertaining, and ...

"My Two Worlds" by Sergio Chejfec [25 Days of the BTBA]

As with years past, we’re going to spend the next five weeks highlighting all 25 titles on the BTBA fiction longlist. We’ll have a variety of guests writing these posts, all of which are centered around the question of “Why This Book Should Win.” Hopefully these are funny, accidental, entertaining, and ...

And Here It Is: The BTBA 2012 Fiction Longlist

I was really excited to get the longlist from the judges last Thursday. Having removed myself entirely from the process, it was as much of a surprise to me as it is for anyone reading this. And after spending a few days going over it, checking off the titles I’ve read, and the ones I want to read, I have to say that ...

And Now You Can See Thomas Teal's Speech [BTBA 2011 Winners!]

This past weekend, the recording of the BTBA awards ceremony popped up on YouTube, so here you go . . . Be sure and wait for (or fast-forward to) Thomas Teal’s acceptance speech—it’s a wonderful, perfect way to end this year’s BTBA. P.S. I love how the still for this video features me bending ...

And the Winners Are . . . [BTBA Final Thoughts]

Named inside these fancy envelopes. (And named on the trophy’s I’m currently lugging to my secret hotel in NYC.) T-33 hours and counting . . . ...

Handicapping the BTBA Poetry Field [Last Thoughts]

Sorry for the posting snafu yesterday . . . I somehow managed to leave the second part of the fiction preview on “draft,” so it didn’t go live until midnightish . . . Anyway, today we’ll go over the five poetry books that are up for the 2011 BTBA. I’m admittedly not nearly as knowledgeable ...

Handicapping the BTBA Fiction Award, Part II [Last Thoughts]

Following up on yesterday’s look at five of the BTBA fiction finalists, below are brief bits about the remaining five titles. Again, take none of this too seriously, but please do check out and read the books—that’s the whole point of all of this. And all 15 of the shortlisted titles are fantastic—you ...

Handicapping the BTBA Fiction Award, Part I [Last Thoughts]

So, the BTBA Ceremony is taking place this Friday, where we will crown the kings & queens of the 2011 translation universe and provide them with $5,000 cash prizes courtesy of Amazon.com. Taking place at the Bowery Poetry Club at 8:45 and lasting till the wee hours, this promises to be an incredible event—one that ...

A Life on Paper [BTBA Finalists]

With the announcement of the BTBA winners just a mere 15 days and 5-1/2 hours away, it seems like a good time to start reviewing the finalists. First up is Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud’s A Life on Paper, which just received a very enthusiastic write-up over at The Mookse and the Gripes. Before the Best ...

Child of Nature [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Starting this week, we’ll be highlighting the five finalists in the poetry category for the BTBA. Similar to what we did for the fiction longlist, these will be framed by the question: “Why should this book win?” Click here for all past and future posts in this series. Today’s post is by poetry committee member ...

BTBA Reading Group, BTBA Display

I didn’t notice this until just now, but Joshua Mostafa has set up a book club on LibraryThing to read a book a month from the BTBA Shortlist. He needs a few more members to get this rolling, so anyone who’s interested should head here and join up. It’s free, easy, will be great fun, etc. (And it’s ...

BTBA in Los Angeles

Just received this from Jenn Witte at Skylight Books. Skylight is one of the coolest bookstores in the States, what with their great selection, long history of passionate, literary booksellers, the tree that grows inside the store, and this hipster commercial (which includes a fleeting shot of BTBA 2010 finalist The ...

Time of Sky & Castles in the Air [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

As started last week, we’ll be highlighting the five finalists in the poetry category for the BTBA. Similar to what we did for the fiction longlist, these will be framed by the question: “Why should this book win?” Click here for all past and future posts in this series. Today’s post is by poetry committee ...

The Book of Things [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Starting this week, we’ll be highlighting the five finalists in the poetry category for the BTBA. Similar to what we did for the fiction longlist, these will be framed by the question: “Why should this book win?” Click here for all past and future posts in this series. Today’s post is by poetry committee member ...

Flash Cards [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Starting this week, we’ll be highlighting the five finalists in the poetry category for the BTBA. Similar to what we did for the fiction longlist, these will be framed by the question: “Why should this book win?” Click here for all past and future posts in this series. Today’s post is by poetry committee member ...

Geometries [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Starting this week, we’ll be highlighting the five finalists in the poetry category for the BTBA. Similar to what we did for the fiction longlist, these will be framed by the question: “Why should this book win?” Click here for all past and future posts in this series. Today’s post is by BTBA poetry judge ...

Why Should The Jokers Win the BTBA? Look No Further.

As referenced in this article in the New York Times, the April issue of Oprah Magazine has a special feature on Spring Fashion Modeled by Rising Young Poets. And one of the featured poets? None other than Anna Moschovakis, who is one of the editors at Ugly Duckling Presse (whose collection Geometries by Guillevic is a poetry ...

BTBA Announcement on Rochester's Local Morning Show

Always fun going on the CW to talk about international literature. And I have to admit, I’m always surprised that they keep inviting us back . . . In order of mention, here are the books that were discussed: Time of Sky & Castles in the Air by Ayane Kawata, translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu ...

Hocus Bogus [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, ...

Agaat [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

Eline Vere [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

CYCLOPS [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

To the End of the Land [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

The Rest Is Jungle & Other Stories [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

On Elegance While Sleeping [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

Georg Letham: Physician and Murderer [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

The Black Minutes [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

A Life on Paper [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

The Blindness of the Heart [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

I Curse the River of Time [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

Hygiene and the Assassin [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

A Jew Must Die [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

Hygiene and the Assassin [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

The Clash of Images [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

Microscripts [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

Albert Cossery [Why These Books Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

Touch [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

The True Deceiver [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

Interlude and Explanation [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

OK, I know we’ve been a bit slow in posting in the “Why This Book Should Win the BTBA” series. (So far we’ve only covered 5 of the 25 longlisted fiction titles.) Not sure that anyone’s really waiting on this, but I thought I’d provide a bit of an explanation and explain what we’re up ...

Visitation [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

The Literary Conference [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

A Thousand Peaceful Cities [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

The Golden Age [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

Bad Nature, or With Elvis in Mexico [Why This Book Should Win the BTBA]

Similar to years past, we’re going to be featuring each of the 25 titles on the BTBA Fiction Longlist over the next month plus, but in contrast to previous editions, this year we’re going to try an experiment and frame all write-ups as “why this book should win.” Some of these entries will be absurd, some more ...

And a Reminder about Submitting Books for the BTBA

Following up on the earlier post about the updated Translation Databases, I just wanted to encourage all translators, authors, and publishers to send copies of your eligible translations to all the Best Translated Book Award judges to ensure that all these titles are considered for this year’s awards. All original ...

Best Translated Book Award Winners [BTBA 2010]

Approximately five minutes, the winners of this year’s Best Translated Book Awards were announced at a special celebration at Idlewild Books in New York City. Hopefully the party is raging, and the winners are enjoying themselves . . . Competition was pretty steep for this year’s awards. The poetry committee ...

"The Brittle Age and Returning Upland" by Rene Char [BTBA 2010 Poetry Finalists]

Over the next three days, we’ll be featuring each of the ten titles from this year’s Best Translated Book Award poetry shortlist. Click here for all past write-ups. The Brittle Age and Returning Upland by Rene Char. Translated from the French by Gustaf Sobin. (France, Counterpath) This guest post is by ...

"If I Were Another" by Mahmoud Darwish [BTBA 2010 Poetry Finalists]

Over the next four days, we’ll be featuring each of the ten titles from this year’s Best Translated Book Award poetry shortlist. Click here for all past write-ups. If I Were Another by Mahmoud Darwish. Translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah (Palestine, FSG) This guest post is by Brandon ...

"Selections" by Nicole Brossard [BTBA 2010 Poetry Finalists]

Over the next five days, we’ll be featuring each of the ten titles from this year’s Best Translated Book Award poetry shortlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Selections by Nicole Brossard. Translated from the French by Guy Bennett, David Dea, Barbara Godard, Pierre Joris, Robert Majzels and Erin ...

"Scale and Stairs" by Heeduk Ra [BTBA 2010 Poetry Finalists]

Over the next six days, we’ll be featuring each of the ten titles from this year’s Best Translated Book Award poetry shortlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Scale and Stairs by Heeduk Ra. Translated from the Korean by Woo-Chung Kim and Christopher Merrill. (Korea, White Pine Press) This guest post ...

"K.B. The Suspect" by Marcelijus Martinaitis [BTBA 2010 Poetry Finalists]

Over the next seven days, we’ll be featuring each of the ten titles from this year’s Best Translated Book Award poetry shortlist. Click here for all past write-ups. K.B. The Suspect by Marcelijus Martinaitis. Translated from the Lithuania by Laima Vince. (Lithuania, White Pine Press) This guest post is ...

Bookstore Materials for BTBA 2010

Following on the last post about McNally Jackson, the other thing that I e-mailed to the booksellers on our mailing list was this pdf brochure/flyer that anyone can print out and use in promoting this year’s BTBA finalists. This can be printed double-sided (just make sure to go into print settings first and indicate ...

BTBA 2010 and McNally Jackson

Last week I sent out a brief message to our indie bookseller mailing list (which all booksellers can easily join by e-mailing me at chad.post [at] rochester.edu) about the Best Translated Book Award Finalists and how we’d be willing to run pictures of any displays that the stores put together for the award. (To be ...

"Lightwall" by Liliana Ursu [BTBA 2010 Poetry Finalists]

Over the next eight days, we’ll be featuring each of the ten titles from this year’s Best Translated Book Award poetry shortlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Lightwall by Liliana Ursu. Translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter. (Romania, Zephyr Press) Poetry judge Matthew Zapruder — poet, ...

"In Such Hard Times" by Wei Ying-wu [BTBA 2010 Poetry Finalists]

Over the next nine days, we’ll be featuring each of the ten titles from this year’s Best Translated Book Award poetry shortlist. Click here for all past write-ups. In Such Hard Times by Wei Ying-wu. Translated from the Chinese by Red Pine. (China, Copper Canyon) Poetry judge Matthew Zapruder — ...

Chad Talks up the 2010 BTB Awards on WHAM News

Continuing his proud tradition of infiltrating your local morning news shows (if your locale happens to be Rochester, NY), Chad was on WHAM news, again, this morning. In just over four minutes, he talked about the recently announced Best Translated Book Award finalists, the breadth of languages and cultures highlighted ...

BTBA 2010 Fiction Finalists: A Recap

A commenter asked the other day for links to all of the daily summaries for this year’s BTBA fiction finalists. Well, I’ll do you one better . . . Below are all ten shortlisted books with links to AND excerpts from the overview pieces: César Aira, Ghosts. Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews. ...

"The Russian Version" by Elena Fanailova [BTBA 2010 Poetry Finalists]

Over the next ten days, we’ll be featuring each of the ten titles from this year’s Best Translated Book Award poetry shortlist. Click here for all past write-ups. The Russian Version by Elena Fanailova. Translated from the Russian by Genya Turovskaya and Stephanie Sandler. (Russia, Ugly Duckling ...

BTBA 2010: The Fiction Finalists

Man, was it tricky to come up with a top 10 for this year’s BTBA fiction award. This was a really deep list—due in part to the added judges, the fact that we were more focused on reading books for the award all year, and the high quality of stuff that came out in 2009—and any of the twenty-five books on the ...

BTBA 2010: The Poetry Finalists

As mentioned before, we didn’t announce a poetry longlist mainly because there were only 50-some-odd books eligible for this year’s award, and name-checking half of them would seem to dilute the award . . . That’s not to say that there weren’t a ton of great collections in translation that came out ...

Tonight's BTBA Event!

(A glamorous shelf in my glamorous office filled with BTBA titles.) Just a reminder that after five weeks of build-up, we’ll be announcing the fiction and poetry finalists for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards tonight at 7pm tonight at Idlewild Books (12 W. 19th St.). Cressida Leyshon will be ...

"Desert" by J.M.G. Le Clézio [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

We did it! Here’s the final featured title from this year’s Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Desert by J.M.G. Le Clézio. Translated from the French by C. Dickson. (France, David R. Godine) Below is a guest post from Monica Carter, a member of the BTBA ...

"Brecht at Night" by Mati Unt [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next two days, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Brecht at Night by Mati Unt. Translated from the Estonian by Eric Dickens. (Estonia, Dalkey Archive) Below is a guest post from Bill Marx — the man behind ...

"Landscape with Dog and Other Stories" by Ersi Sotiropoulos [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next four days, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Landscape with Dog and Other Stories by Ersi Sotiropoulos. Translated from the Greek by Karen Emmerich. (Greece, Clockroot Books) Below is a guest post from ...

"The Ninth" by Ferenc Barnás [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next five days, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. The Ninth by Ferenc Barnás. Translated from the Hungarian by Paul Olchváry. (Hungary, Northwestern University Press) Below is a guest post from Bill Marx, one ...

"News from the Empire" by Fernando del Paso [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next six days, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. News from the Empire by Fernando del Paso. Translated from the Spanish by Alfonso Gonzalez and Stella T. Clark. (Mexico, Dalkey Archive) I can’t do half the ...

"Vilnius Poker" by Ricardas Gavelis [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next seven days, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Vilnius Poker by Ricardas Gavelis. Translated from the Lithuanian by Elizabeth Novickas. (Lithuania, Open Letter) Vilnius Poker may well be one of the darkest ...

BTBA Finalists Event at Idlewild Books

We still have a few (like seven) books from the fiction longlist left to profile, but to be honest, my attention is turning to next week’s announcement of the fiction and poetry finalists . . . As we did last year, we’ll be announcing 10 books from each category—truly the best of the best of the literature ...

"In the United States of Africa" by Abdourahman Waberi [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next eight days, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. In the United States of Africa by Abdourahman Waberi. Translated from the French by David and Nicole Ball. (Djibouti, University of Nebraska Press) Below is a ...

"Op Oloop" by Juan Filloy [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next nine days, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Op Oloop by Juan Filloy. Translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman. (Argentina, Dalkey Archive) I waited years for this book to come out. Years. Back in the ...

"There's Nothing I Can Do When I Think of You Late at Night" by Cao Naiqian [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next ten days, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. There’s Nothing I Can Do When I Think of You Late at Night by Cao Naiqian. Translated from the Chinese by John Balcom. (China, Columbia University ...

"Every Man Dies Alone" by Hans Fallada [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next eleven days, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Every Man Dies Alone by Hans Fallada. Translated from the German by Michael Hofmann (Germany, Melville House) Below is a guest post from Tom Roberge, an editor ...

"The Discoverer" by Jan Kjaerstad [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next twelve days, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. The Discoverer by Jan Kjaerstad. Translated from the Norwegian by Barbara Haveland. (Norway, Open Letter) Yes, The Discoverer is the third volume in Jan ...

"Anonymous Celebrity" by Ignacio de Loyola Brandao [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next thirteen days, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Anonymous Celebrity by Ignacio de Loyola Brandao. Translated from the Portuguese by Nelson H. Vieira. (Brazil, Dalkey Archive) When I picked up Anonymous ...

"The Weather Fifteen Years Ago" by Wolf Haas [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next fourteen days, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. The Weather Fifteen Years Ago by Wolf Haas. Translated from the German by Stephanie Gilardi and Thomas S. Hansen. (Austria, Ariadne) Wolf Haas’s The ...

"Death in Spring" by Merce Rodoreda [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next three weeks, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Death in Spring by Merce Rodoreda. Translated from the Catalan by Martha Tennent. (Spain, Open Letter) The other day, I had a really interesting conversation ...

"Memories of the Future" by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next three weeks, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky. Translated from the Russian by Joanne Turnbull. (Russia, New York Review Books) Since today is the day ...

"Ghosts" by Cesar Aira [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next three weeks, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Ghosts by Cesar Aira. Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews. (Argentina, New Directions) During a late night phone conversation last night, I mentioned ...

"Rex" by Jose Manuel Prieto [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next three weeks, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Rex by Jose Manuel Prieto. Translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen. (Cuba, Grove Press) I’m about to give away the game in relation to this novel . . ...

"The Skating Rink" by Roberto Bolaño [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next four weeks, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. The Skating Rink by Roberto Bolaño. Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews. (Chile, New Directions) Well, 2009 wasn’t nearly the “Year of ...

"The Confessions of Noa Weber" by Gail Hareven [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next four weeks, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. The Confessions of Noa Weber by Gail Hareven. Translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu. (Israel, Melville House) It’s hard to write an objective overview ...

"The Zafarani Files" by Gamal al-Ghitani [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next five weeks, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. The Zafarani Files by Gamal al-Ghitani. Translated from the Arabic by Farouk Abdel Wahab. (Egypt, American University in Cairo Press) I came across The Zafarani ...

"Wonder" by Hugo Claus [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next five weeks, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. Wonder by Hugo Claus. Translated from the Dutch by Michael Henry Heim. (Belgium, Archipelago) I might be wrong about this, but it seems like Hugo Claus is one ...

"The Mighty Angel" by Jerzy Pilch [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next five weeks, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. The Mighty Angel by Jerzy Pilch. Translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston. (Poland, Open Letter) The Mighty Angel is a difficult book to talk about. ...

"The Twin" by Gerbrand Bakker [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next five weeks, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker. Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer. (Netherlands, Archipelago) Archipelago has done an amazing job of creating a brand for ...

"The Tanners" by Robert Walser [BTBA 2010 Fiction Longlist]

Over the next five weeks, we’ll be highlighting a book a day from the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist. Click here for all past write-ups. The Tanners by Robert Walser. Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky. (Switzerland, New Directions) Thanks to New York Review Books, University of ...

Another Reason to Buy BTBA Books from Idlewild

On Tuesday when we announced the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist, we included links from each of the books to the Idlewild online catalog in hopes of directing some sales to our Indie Bookstore of the Month. As an added incentive, Idlewild has decided to offer 20% off all BTBA books. Here’s a post from ...

Summer Recommendations from the BTB Panelists

Before getting into this list of recommendations, I feel like I have to provide a bit of background and a few qualifications. First off, in no way is this the longlist for the 2010 Best Translated Book Award. We won’t be voting on that until late-November, so please don’t assume that if a book is (or ...

Three Percent #141: Reimagining the Podcast (AKA Everything Stays the Same)

This week, Chad and Tom talk about the "newly reimagined" BookExpo, the New York Rights Fair, the Albertine Prize (congrats to Emma Ramadan, Anne Garreta, and Deep Vellum!), the BTBA (congrats to Will Vanderhyden and Rodrigo Fresán!), likely shortlisted titles for next year's award, and more. Totally lacking in sports talk ...

9 Books Likely to Win the 2019 Best Translated Book Award

I'm just back from a poetry reading that's part of Rochester's The Ladder literary conference . . . actually, it was a poetry reading PLUS short stories (which are the poetry of novel writing), which is neither here nor there, except that a few of us played a sort of drinking game? Actually, we just straight up played a ...

9 Comp Authors for Dag Solstad, Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Embrace the Listicle

So much has happened over the past two weeks! Given all that I want to say about Dag Solstad's books and the people who review them, I'm going to rush through a few general comments about recent publishing events. First off: the New York Rights Fair and BookExpo. This year marked the first ever NYRF and the "newly ...

May Is a Month of Grading

The Best Translated Book Award Finalists were announced earlier this week, and following up on my earlier post looking at the representation of various languages on the BTBA longlists, I thought I'd take a second to highlight the publishing houses (#NameThePublisher) that have historically done the best on the BTBA ...

2018 Best Translated Book Award Finalists

May 15, 2018—Ten works of fiction and six poetry collections remain in the running for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards following the announcement of the two shortlists at The Millions website this morning. Featuring a blend of contemporary writers and modern classics, of writers from cultures around the world, ...

“The Magician of Vienna” by Sergio Pitol [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from P.T. Smith. A full-time writer of WTBSW entries. The Magician of Vienna by Sergio Pitol, translated from the Spanish by George Henson (Mexico, Deep Vellum) Books that are part of a series have a tough time getting the recognition they deserve, in general and ...

“August” by Romina Paula [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from BTBA judge and University Bookstore bookseller Caitlin Baker. August by Romina Paula, translated from the Spanish by Jennifer Croft (Argentina, Feminist Press) I initially picked up August because of its beautiful cover and then I read the first ...

“Beyond the Rice Fields” by Naivo [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from reader, reviewer, and BTBA judge P.T. Smith.  Beyond the Rice Fields by Naivo, translated from the French by Allison M. Charette (Madagascar, Restless Books) Naivo’s Beyond the Rice Fields is the first Malagasy novel ever translated into English. That’s ...

“Savage Theories” by Pola Oloixarac [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from George Carroll, former and future BTBA judge, soccer fanatic, world literature correspondent for Shelf Awareness, and curator of litintranslation.com. Savage Theories by Pola Oloixarac, translated from the Spanish by Roy Kesey (Argentina, Soho Press) I would ...

“I Am the Brother of XX” by Fleur Jaeggy [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from BTBA judge, reader, and reviewer P.T. Smith.  I Am the Brother of XX by Fleur Jaeggy, translated from the Italian by Gini Alhadeff (Switzerland, New Directions) Instant love is well and good. Confident and rejection is the same, if you’re the one doing the ...

“Suzanne” by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette [Why This Book Should Win]

The Why This Book Should Win entry for today is from literary translator Peter McCambridge, fiction editor at QC Fiction (a new imprint of the best of contemporary Quebec fiction in translation) and founding editor of Québec Reads. Suzanne by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, translated from the French (Québec) by Rhonda ...

“Bergeners” by Tomas Espedal [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This book Should Win series is from BTBA judge Patrick Smith, who is scrambling to finish covering all the books in this series. If you want to write about one of the remaining few, please get in touch! Bergeners by Tomas Espedal, translated from the Norwegian by James Anderson (Norway, Seagull ...

“Iron Moon: An Anthology of Chinese Worker Poetry” [Why This Book Should Win]

This Why This Book Should Win entry is from Raluca Albu, BTBA judge, and editor at both BOMB and Guernica.  Iron Moon: An Anthology of Chinese Worker Poetry, translated from the Chinese by Eleanor Goodman (China, White Pine Press) “Iron Moon” is an anthology of Chinese migrant  worker poetry that transports ...

“Incest” by Christine Angot [Why This Book Should Win]

Today's second Why This Book Should Win post is from Bradley Schmidt, a translator of contemporary German literature, most recently of Philipp Winkler’s Hooligan (Arcade), who also teaches writing and translation at Leipzig University. More at bradley-schmidt.com. Incest by Christine Angot, translated from the ...

“Fever Dream” by Samanta Schweblin [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from former BTBA judge and founder of the Literary License blog, Gwendolyn Dawson, who lives in Houston, TX and is a practicing lawyer. She is a longtime supporter of literature in translation and all literary arts. Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin, translated from ...

“My Heart Hemmed In” by Marie NDiaye [Why This Book Should Win]

With the May 15th announcement of the finalists just over a week away, these Why This Book Should Win entries are coming fast and furious. This one is by Lori Feathers, BTBA judge and co-owner of Interabang Books.  My Heart Hemmed In by Marie NDiaye, translated from the French by Jordan Stump (France, Two ...

“Third-Millennium Heart” by Ursula Andkjær Olsen [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from poet, translator, editor, and BTBA judge, Aditi Machado.  Third-Millennium Heart by Ursula Andkjær Olsen, translated from the Danish by Katrine Øgaard Jensen (Denmark, Broken Dimanche Press/Action Books) What’s a translated book got to do to ...

“Hackers” by Aase Berg [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from BTBA judge and Greenlight Bookstore bookseller Jarrod Annis.  Hackers by Aase Berg, translated from the Swedish by Johannes Göransson (Sweden, Black Ocean)   Stark and minimal, Hackers thrums with a biology inherent to Berg's poetics, an exoskeleton of ...

“Compass” by Mathias Énard [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from former BTBA judge and founder of the Literary License blog, Gwendolyn Dawson, who lives in Houston, TX and is a practicing lawyer. She is a longtime supporter of literature in translation and all literary arts. Compass by Mathias Énard, translated from the ...

“I Remember Nightfall” by Marosa di Giorgio [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from BTBA judge and Greenlight Bookstore bookseller Jarrod Annis.    I Remember Nightfall by Marosa di Giorgio, translated from the Spanish by Jeannine Marie Pitas (Uruguay, Ugly Duckling Presse) Dark, ethereal, and sensuous, Marosa di Giorgio's prose ...

“For Isabel: A Mandala” by Antonio Tabucchi [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is from BTBA judge Jeremy Keng. For Isabel: A Mandala by Antonio Tabucchi, translated from the Italian by Elizabeth Harris (Italy, Archipelago Books) The photographer shifted positions and lit another cigarette in his long ivory holder. He seemed uneasy. Silent, he ...

“Magnetic Point” by Ryszard Krynicki [Why This Book Should Win]

Today’s entry from the BTBA poetry longlist is from writer and translator Tess Lewis, who also has a title longlisted on the fiction side of things. Magnetic Point by Ryszard Krynicki, translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh (Poland, New Directions) To write so that a hungry man might think it’s bread? bq., ...

“Return to the Dark Valley” by Santiago Gamboa [Why This Book Should Win]

Final entry today in the Why This Book Should Win series is from BTBA judge and curator of “Reader-at-Large,” Tara Cheesman. Return to the Dark Valley by Santiago Gamboa, translated from the Spanish by Howard Curtis (Colombia, Europa Editions) One of the characters in Return to the Dark Valley is a “crazy and ...

“Directions for Use” by Ana Ristović [Why This Book Should Win]

Today’s poetry entry into the Why This Book Should Win series is from BTBA judge—and Riffraff co-owner—Emma Ramadan. Directions for Use by Ana Ristović, translated from the Serbian by Steven Teref and Maja Teref (Serbia, Zephyr Press) Very occasionally, reading a book in translation can feel like I’m ...

“Radiant Terminus” by Antoine Volodine [Why This Book Should Win]

Today’s “Why This Book Should Win” fiction entry is from Rachel Cordasco, former BTBA judge, and curator of Speculative Fiction in Translation. Radiant Terminus by Antoine Volodine, translated from the French by Jeffrey Zuckerman (France, Open Letter Books) In Radiant Terminus, we have a novel that disturbs ...

Spanish Literature Is Our Favorite Scene

Last week, the 2018 longlists for the Best Translated Book Award were released and were loaded with books translated from the Spanish. Eight works of fiction and one poetry collection. Nine titles total out of the thirty-seven on the combined longlists. That’s just a smidge under 25%. Twenty-five percent! One-quarter of the ...

“Astroecology” by Johannes Heldén [Why This Book Should Win]

This morning’s poetry entry into the Why This Book Should Win series is from BTBA judge—and Riffraff co-owner—Emma Ramadan. Astroecology by Johannes Heldén, translated from the Swedish by Kirkwood Adams, Elizabeth Clark Wessel, and Johannes Heldén (Sweden, Argos Books) Johannes Heldén’s Astroecology is an ...

“Affections” by Rodrigo Hasbún [Why This Book Should Win]

Mark Haber of the BTBA jury and Brazos Bookstore has today’s fiction entry in the “Why This Book Should Win” series. Affections by Rodrigo Hasbún, translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes (Bolivia, Simon & Schuster) There is a lot to be said for subtlety, the quiet ability to tackle the heavy ...

“Things That Happen” by Bhaskar Chakrabart [Why This Book Should Win]

Today’s entry from the BTBA poetry longlist is from writer and translator Tess Lewis, who also has a title longlisted on the fiction side of things. Things That Happen by Bhaskar Chakrabart, translated from Bengali by Arunava Sinha (India, Seagull Books) I love ordinariness. Rejected, pedestrian conversations and ...

“Remains of Life” by Wu He [Why This Book Should Win]

This afternoon’s entry in the “Why This Book Should Win” series is from BTBA judge Adam Hetherington. Remains of Life by Wu He, translated from the Chinese by Michael Berry (China, Columbia University Press) I’m not sure how to define historical fiction. How true does regular fiction need to be to become ...

“Before Lyricism” by Eleni Vakalo [Why This Book Should Win]

This morning’s entry in the “Why This Book Should Win” series is from BTBA judge and Riffraff co-owner, Emma Ramadan. Before Lyricism by Eleni Vakalo, translated from Greek by Karen Emmerich (Greece, Ugly Duckling Presse) I would happily and readily make the argument that of all the books on the BTBA poetry ...

“Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller” by Guðbergur Bergsson [Why This Book Should Win]

This afternoon’s entry in the “Why This Book Should Win” series is from writer and Russian translator, Andrea Gregovich. She also interviews literary translators about their new books for the Fiction Advocate blog. Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller by Guðbergur Bergsson, translated from Icelandic by Lytton Smith ...

“The Invented Part” by Rodrigo Fresán [Why This Book Should Win]

Between now and the announcement of the BTBA finalists on May 15th, we’ll be highlighting all 37 longlisted books in a series we call “Why This Book Should Win.” The first post is from BTBA judge and Ebenezer Books bookseller P.T. Smith. The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán, translated from the Spanish by Will ...

Best Translated Book Award 2018: The Longlists!

April 10, 2018—Celebrating its eleventh consecutive year of honoring literature in translation, the Best Translated Book Awards is pleased to announce the 2018 longlists for both fiction and poetry. Announced at The Millions, the lists include a diverse range of authors, languages, countries, and publishers. On the ...

9 Moments That Make “Tomb Song” the Frontrunner for the National Book Award in Translation

  Tomb Song by Julián Herbert, translated from the Spanish by Christina MacSweeney (Graywolf Press) Moment Number One “Technique, my boy,” says a voice in my head. “Shuffle the technique.” To hell with it: in her youth, Mamá was a beautiful half-breed Indian who had five husbands: a fabled pimp, a ...

The Translation Industry Is Frozen

Before getting into the February translations, data on what’s being published (or not being published), and all the random stuff, I wanted to point out a few modifications to the Translation Database at Publishers Weekly that were recently implemented. First off, when you’re entering a title, you can now ...

Two Month Review #3.8: Death in Spring (pgs. 28-68)

This week, fresh off a publication in the Boston Review, Jess Fenn (JR Fenn) joins Chad, Brian, and Best Translated Book Award judge Patrick Smith (P.T. Smith) to talk about the second part of Death in Spring. They trace a few motifs, talk about dystopias and literary world-building, and much more. Another very informative ...

Best Translated Book Awards 2018: Judges, Dates, and More!

It’s that time again! Listed below are all the details for this year’s Best Translated Book Award juries! Award Dates In terms of dates, this is subject to change, but currently we’re planning on announcing the longlists for fiction and poetry on Tuesday, April 10th, the finalists on Tuesday, May ...

Women in Translation Month [Throwback No.2]

As many of you may have noticed already, August is widely considered Women in Translation Month (look for the #WITMonth hashtag basically anywhere). Since Open Letter has published its fair share of baller women authors over the past ten years, we thought we’d take a few posts to highlight a handful of our all-time favorite ...

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Three Percent #127: The 2017 Best Translated Book Award Finalists

Riffraff co-owner and BTBA poetry judge Emma Ramadan joins Chad and Tom to talk about the fifteen finalists for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards. After breaking down the poetry and fiction lists, the three talk about the new New York Times Match Book column and the value of booksellers and librarians. This ...

“A Spare Life” by Lidija Dimkovska [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Extracting the Stone of Madness” by Alejandra Pizarnik [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“tasks” by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“War and Turpentine” by Stefan Hertmans [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Moshi Moshi” by Banana Yoshimoto [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Doomi Golo: The Hidden Notebooks” by Boubacar Boris Diop [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Eve Out of Her Ruins” by Ananda Devi [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

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Three Percent #126: The Potential Perils of Freelancing

On this week’s podcast, Tom and Chad discuss the potential troubles of getting paid as a freelance translator, the Missing Richard Simmons podcast, and Seed by Joanna Walsh. There are also allusions to the forthcoming BTBA shortlists, and a new podcast project that will be starting up in May . . . This week’s ...

“Zama” by Antonio Di Benedetto [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“The Young Bride” by Alessandro Baricco [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Oblivion” by Sergi Lebedev [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Angel of Oblivion” by Maja Haderlap [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“In Praise of Defeat” by Abdellatif Laâbi [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Why This Book Should Win” So Far . . .

Unless someone surprises me with a new write-up, we don’t have any Why This Book Should Win posts for today. That leaves fifteen books to be covered next week, leading us right into the April 18th announcement of the BTBA fiction and poetry finalists. But for today, I thought I’d just post links to all twenty of the ...

“Thus Bad Begins” by Javier Marías [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Berlin-Hamlet” by Szilárd Borbély [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“The Thief of Talant” by Pierre Reverdy [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Among Strange Victims” by Daniel Saldaña París [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Night Prayers” by Santiago Gamboa [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“On the Edge” by Rafael Chirbes [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“In the Café of Lost Youth” by Patrick Modiano [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Last Wolf and Herman” by László Krasznahorkai [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Of Things” by Michael Donhauser [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Instructions Within” by Ashraf Fayadh [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Umami” by Laia Jufresa [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was” by Sjón [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“The Queue” by Basma Abdel Aziz [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Super Extra Grande” by Yoss [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Chronicle of the Murdered House” by Lúcio Cardoso [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Memoirs of a Polar Bear” by Yoko Tawada [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Ladivine” by Marie NDiaye [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“My Marriage” by Jakob Wassermann [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Vampire in Love” by Enrique Vila-Matas [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

“Wicked Weeds” by Pedro Cabiya [Why This Book Should Win]

Between the announcement of the Best Translated Book Award longlists and the unveiling of the finalists, we will be covering all thirty-five titles in the Why This Book Should Win series. Enjoy learning about all the various titles selected by the fourteen fiction and poetry judges, and I hope you find a few to purchase and ...

PEN Translation Awards

This morning, PEN America announced the winners of all its literary awards, including two for literature in translation: the PEN Translation Prize for a book-length translation of prose into English, which was won by BTBA judge Tess Lewis for her translation of Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap, and the PEN Award for Poetry ...

Keeping the Foreign in Translated Literature: a Dispatch from the Oklahoma Prairie George Henson

George Henson is a translator of contemporary Latin American and Spanish prose, a contributing editor for World Literature Today and Asymptote, and a lecturer at the University of Oklahoma. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter. And check back here each week for a ...

The Architecture of Time, Space and Imagination by Monica Carter

Monica Carter is a freelance critic whose nonfiction has appeared in publications including Black Clock, World Literature Today, and Foreword Reviews. She curates Salonica World Lit, which is a virtual journal dedicated to international literature and culture. For more information on the BTBA, “like” our ...

Maidenhair by Mikhail Shishkin [An Open Letter Book to Read]

This is the second entry in a series that will eventually feature all of the titles Open Letter has published to date. Catch up on past entries by clicking here. Last week’s entry was about Gesell Dome by Guillermo Saccomanno. Maidenhair by Mikhail Shishkin, translated from the Russian by Marian ...

Best Translated Book Award 2017: The Judges

Running a little bit late with the BTBA announcments for this year, but over the next week, expect to see the official page updated and an updated to the translation database. In the meantime, this post will give publishers, translators, and interested readers all the necessary information about who’s on the committee ...

2016 Best Translated Book Award Winners: "Signs Preceding the End of the World" and "Rilke Shake"

May 4, 2016—The ninth annual Best Translated Book Awards were announced this evening at The Folly in New York City, and at The Millions with Yuri Herrera’s Signs Preceding the End of the World, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman, winning for fiction, and Angélica Freitas’s Rilke Shake, translated from the ...

Why This Book Should Win 2016 [COMPLETE]

It took a bit longer than planned, but we did it! There are now “Why This Book Should Win” write-ups for all 35 books that were longlisted for the 2016 Best Translated Book Award. Browse through these, find a few to read, and tune in to The Millions tomorrow at 7pm to find out who won. To make it easier to ...

"Silvina Ocampo" by Silvina Ocampo [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Katrine Øgaard Jensen, BTBA judge, journalist, writer, and translator from the Danish. She previously served as editor-in-chief of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art and as blog editor at Asymptote and Words without Borders. She is currently an editor at the ...

“Minute-Operas” by Frédéric Forte [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Becka Mara McKay, BTBA judge, author (A Meteorologist in the Promised Land, Happiness Is the New Bedtime), translator (Laundry, Blue Has No South, Lunar Savings Time), and director of the Creative Writing MFA at Florida Atlantic University. We will be running two (or ...

“Sea Summit” by Yi Lu [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Becka Mara McKay, BTBA judge, author (A Meteorologist in the Promised Land, Happiness Is the New Bedtime), translator (Laundry, Blue Has No South, Lunar Savings Time), and director of the Creative Writing MFA at Florida Atlantic University. We will be running two (or ...

2016 Best Translated Book Award Finalists!

Ten works of fiction and six poetry collections remain in the running for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards following the announcement of the two shortlists at The Millions website this morning. These sixteen finalists represent an incredible array of writing styles and reputation, and include the likes of ...

2016 Best Translated Book Award Fiction Finalists

As announced “earlier this morning at The Millions,”: these are the ten fiction finalists for this year’s Best Translated Book Award: A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn (Angola, Archipelago Books) Arvida by Samuel Archibald, ...

2016 Best Translated Book Award Poetry Finalists

As announced “earlier this morning at The Millions,”: these are the six poetry finalists for this year’s Best Translated Book Award: Rilke Shake by Angélica Freitas, translated from the Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan (Brazil, Phoneme Media) Empty Chairs: Selected Poems by Liu Xia, translated from ...

"The Black Flower and Other Zapotec Poems" by Natalia Toledo [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Katrine Øgaard Jensen, BTBA judge, journalist, writer, and translator from the Danish. She previously served as editor-in-chief of Columbia: A Journal of Literature and Art and as blog editor at Asymptote and Words without Borders. She is currently an editor at the ...

“The Four Books” by Yan Lianke [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Monica Carter, former BTBA judge and writer whose fiction has appeared in The Rattling Wall, Black Clock, Writers Tribe Review, and other publications. She is a freelance critic whose work has appeared in World Literature Today, Black Clock and Foreword Reviews. She is ...

“The Nomads, My Brothers, Go Out to Drink from the Big Dipper” by Abdourahman A. Waberi [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Tess Lewis, BTBA judge, writer, translator from the French and German, and an advisory editor of the Hudson Review. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Nomads, My Brothers, ...

“The Body Where I Was Born” by Guadalupe Nettel [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Charlotte Whittle, translator, and editor at Cardboard House Press. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Body Where I Was Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated from the ...

“Load Poems Like Guns,” compiled and translated by Farzana Marie [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Deborah Smith, BTBA judge, translator from the Korean, and founder of Tilted Axis Press. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Load Poems Like Guns: Women’s Poetry from Herat, ...

“The Big Green Tent” by Ludmila Ulitskaya [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Stacey Knecht, BTBA judge and translator from the Czech and Dutch. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Big Green Tent by Ludmila Ulitskaya, translated from the Russian by ...

“The Things We Don’t Do” by Andrés Neuman [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Tiffany Nichols, who will start her Ph.D. studies this upcoming fall and is a contributor at to Three Percent. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Things We Don’t Do by ...

“The Story of My Teeth” by Valeria Luiselli [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Amanda Bullock, BTBA judge and director of public programs at Literary Arts, Portland. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, translated ...

“The Sleep of the Righteous” by Wolfgang Hilbig [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Hal Hlavinka, bookseller at Community Bookstore. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Sleep of the Righteous by Wolfgang Hilbig, translated from the German by Isabel Fargo ...

“Signs Preceding the End of the World” by Yuri Herrera [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Stephen Sparks, former BTBA judge and bookseller at Green Apple Books on the Park. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, ...

“A General Theory of Oblivion” by Jose Eduardo Agualusa [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by George Carroll, former BTBA judge, sales rep, and international literature editor for Shelf Awareness. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   A General Theory of Oblivion by José ...

“Empty Chairs” by Lui Xia [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Jarrod Annis, BTBA judge and bookseller at Greenlight Books, We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Empty Chairs: Selected Poems by Liu Xia, translated from the Chinese by Ming Di ...

“Sphinx” by Anne Garréta [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Joseph Schreiber, who runs the website Rough Ghosts, and is a contributor at Numéro Cinq. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Sphinx by Anne Garréta, translated from the ...

“A Science Not for the Earth” by Yevgeny Baratynsky [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series is by Jarrod Annis, BTBA judge and bookseller at Greenlight Books, We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   A Science Not for the Earth: Selected Poems and Letters by Yevgeny Baratynsky, ...

"Rilke Shake" by Angélica Freitas [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Tess Lewis, BTBA judge, writer, translator from the French and German, and an advisory editor of the Hudson Review. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists. Rilke Shake by Angélica ...

“Nowhere to Be Found” by Bae Suah [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Tony Malone, founder of Tony’s Reading List. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Nowhere to Be Found by Bae Suah, translated from the Korean by Sora Kim-Russell (South Korea, ...

“Beauty Is a Wound” by Eka Kurniawan [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Kevin Elliott, BTBA judge and bookseller at 57th Street Books. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Beauty Is a Wound by Eka Kurniawan, translated from the Indonesian by Annie ...

“The Story of the Lost Child” by Elena Ferrante [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Betty Scott from Books & Whatnot. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Italy, ...

“Wild Words: Four Tamil Poets” edited by Lakshmi Holmström [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Deborah Smith, BTBA judge, translator from the Korean, and founder of Tilted Axis Press. We will be running two (or more!) of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Wild Words: Four Tamil Poets, edited and translated ...

Contribute to the “Why This Book Should Win” Series

As you’ve probably noticed, the Why This Book Should Win series has basically taken over the website. Our plan is to highlight all 35 titles longlisted for the Best Translated Book Awards before the announcement of the finalists on Tuesday, April 19th. Most of these posts are written by BTBA judges, although a number of ...

“The Complete Stories” by Clarice Lispector [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Amanda Nelson, BTBA judge and managing editor of Book Riot. We will be running two of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector, translated from the Portuguese by Katrina Dodson ...

“Berlin” by Aleš Šteger [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by P.T. Smith, BTBA judge, writer, and reader. We will be running two of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Berlin by Aleš Šteger, translated from the Slovene by Brian Henry, Forrest Gander, and Aljaž Kovac ...

"Arvida" by Samuel Archibald [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Heather Cleary, BTBA judge, writer, translator, and co-founder of the Buenos Aires Review. We will be running two of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists. Arvida by Samuel Archibald, translated from the French by Donald ...

“Mirages of the Mind” by Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Jason Grunebaum, BTBA judge, writer, and translator. We will be running two of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Mirages of the Mind by Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi, translated from the Urdu by Matt Reeck and Aftab ...

“War, So Much War” by Mercè Rodoreda [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Mark Haber, BTBA judge and bookseller at Brazos Bookstore. We will be running two of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   War, So Much War by Mercè Rodoreda, translated from the Catalan by Maruxa Relaño and ...

Human Acts

Last year, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was an unexpected critical hit. Now, it’s just been published in the U.S. and has already received a great deal of positive critical attention. The Vegetarian was a bold book to attempt as an author’s first translation into English, yet Han’s surreal story and the skillful ...

Latest Review: "Human Acts" by Han Kang

The latest addition to our Reviews section is a piece by J. C. Sutcliffe on Han Kang’s Human Acts, published by Portobello Books. Here’s the beginning of the review: Last year, Han Kang’s The Vegetarian was an unexpected critical hit. Now, it’s just been published in the U.S. and has already received a ...

“Moods” by Yoel Hoffmann [Why This Book Should Win]

This entry in the Why This Book Should Win series, is by Kate Garber, BTBA judge and bookseller at 192 Books. We will be running two of these posts every business day leading up to the announcement of the finalists.   Moods by Yoel Hoffmann, translated from the Hebrew by Peter Cole (Israel, New Directions) Moods ...

The Six Water-Cooler Fiction Translations of 2015 [My Year in Lists]

Following on my last post, here’s the first entry in my manic series of year-end lists. To kick this off, I thought I’d start with the list of the six books in translation that were the most talked about this year. I did some really heady numerical analysis to determine this—searching Facebook mentions, ...

Bit of Love for Paper Republic

I’ve written about Paper Republic in the past, praising all the resources they’ve collected to promote Chinese literature. It really is a great site, as I was reminded recently when Nicky Harman drew my attention to their 2015 round up of Chinese literature and the Read Paper Republic feature. The first page ...

Kaija Straumanis Wins the AATSEEL 2015 Best Translation into English Award!

Kaija Straumanis (our editor!) has won the 2015 AATSEEL award for the Best Translation into English for her translation from the Latvian of High Tide by Inga Ābele! This isn’t on the AATSEEL website yet, but it was shared on the listserv, so I’m deciding that it’s public knowledge. I’ll say more ...

Latest Review: "On the Edge" by Rafael Chirbes

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Jeremy Garber on On the Edge by Rafael Chirbes, translated by Margaret Jull Costa, and coming out from New Directions next January. Jeremy Garber is the events coordinator for Powell’s Books and also a freelance reviewer. He is also currently serving on the BTBA judging ...

Translations and the Hugo Awards

I don’t want to get into the Sad Puppies controversy surrounding the Hugo Awards (mostly because, well, fuck “sad puppies” and their stupid name), but I do want to point out that sci-fi in translation did really well at last night’s award ceremony. In fact, two of the top prizes that were awarded (if ...

Best Translated Book Award 2016: The Fiction Judges

It’s only been a a month and a half since Can Xue’s The Last Lover and Rocio Ceron’s Diorama won the 2015 Best Translated Book Award, but given the number of eligible titles (over 550 last year), we’re getting the process started as early as possible this year, which is why, today, we’re ready to ...

Latest Review: "Sphinx" by Anne Garréta

The latest addition to our reviews section, is a piece by BTBA judge Monica Carter on Anne Garréta’s Sphinx, the first novel by a female Oulipian to appear in English translation. This book just came out from Deep Vellum and has been getting a lot of good praise, in part because no female Oulipian has appeared in ...

China vs. New Zealand [Women's World Cup of Literature: First Round]

This match was judged by Florian Duijsens, a senior editor at Asymptote, fiction editor at SAND Journal, and teacher at Bard College Berlin. You can follow him on Twitter at @neonres. For more information on the Women’s World Cup of Literature, click here or here. Also, be sure to follow our Twitter account and ...

Translation Breadloaf and My Copyright Talk

As if three trips to New York and one to Torino weren’t enough, I just a few minutes ago arrived in Ripton, VT, where I have the honor of being able to participate in (and generally witness) the first ever Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference. (A.K.A. Translation Loaf.) Since this was organized by Jen ...

László Krasznahorkai Wins the Man Booker International Prize!

Yesterday afternoon, as we were recording Three Percent podcast #99, it was announced that László Krasznahorkai had won the 2015 Man Book International Prize, becoming the only the sixth winner of the biennial award, and the first winner since Ismail Kadare in 2005 who doesn’t write in English. From the ...

Latest Review: "Vano and Niko" by Erlom Akhvlediani

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Vincent Francone on Vano and Niko by Erlom Akhvlediani, translated by Mikheil Kakabadze and published by Dalkey Archive earlier this year. I know everyone is still reeling from not being able to correctly guess all the finalists for the 2015 BTBA fiction and poetry shortlists ...

2015 Best Translated Book Award Fiction Finalists

Following on the announcement of the poetry shortlist, here’s the list of the ten titles that made this year’s shortlist. As mentioned elsewhere, the two winning books will be announced at BookExpo America at 2:30pm on Wednesday, May 27th, at the Eastside Stage in the Jacob Javitz Center. Following that, we ...

2015 Best Translated Book Award Poetry Finalists

Here it is, the first of the two announcements about this year’s Best Translated Book Award finalists! Listed below are the six poetry titles that are in the running for this year’s award. The two winning books (for poetry and fiction) will be announced at BookExpo America at 2:30pm on Wednesday, May 27th, at ...

Why This Book Should Win – "Paris" by Guest Critic Chad W. Post

Paris – Marcos Giralt Torrente, Translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa, Spain, Hispabooks 1. Marcos Giralt Torrente is a literary descendent of Javier Marías. Similar to a Marías novel, the plot of Paris advances by one step forward, two steps sideways. The prose is interior, probing, less concerned ...

Why This Book Should Win – Snow and Shadow by Guest Critic Christine Palau

Christine Zoe Palau is the speechwriter at the Korean Consulate in Los Angeles. She plays accordion, writes theatre reviews for the Noho Arts District, and has recently completed her first novel. Snow and Shadow – Dorothy Tse, Translated from the Chinese by Nicky Harman, Hong Kong Muse Magazine Project Dorothy ...

Why This Book Should Win – Baboon by Guest Critic Lori Feathers

Lori Feathers is a freelance critic and Vice President of the Board of Deep Vellum Publishing. Baboon – Naja Marie Aidt, translated from the Danish by Denise Newman, Denmark Two Lines Press Baboon should win this year’s Best Translated Book Award because page-for-page it offers more surprises and excitement ...

2015 PEN Literary Awards Shortlists

A month or so after the longlists were announced, PEN has announced the finalists for all of their literary prizes, including two translation-specific ones. * First up is the PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, which has a killer shortlist: Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream by Kim Hyesoon, translated from the Korean by ...

2015 Best Translated Book Award Longlists Announced

April 7, 2015—Elena Ferrante, Julio Cortázar, Tove Jansson, Kim Hyesoon, and Alejandra Pizarnik are just a handful of the internationally renowned authors with a book on the Best Translated Book Award longlists for fiction and poetry. Announced this morning on the Three Percent website, these longlists represent the ...

Best Translated Book Award 2015: Clues to the Fiction Longlist [Part Five]

As I explained on Monday, to start building the hype for this year’s Best Translated Book Award longlists, I’m going to be dropping a series of clues over the course of this week, and, if you’re able to guess one complete list (25 titles for fiction, 10 for poetry) on your first try, you’ll receive a ...

Best Translated Book Award 2015: Clues to the Fiction Longlist [Part Four]

As I explained on Monday, to start building the hype for this year’s Best Translated Book Award longlists, I’m going to be dropping a series of clues over the course of this week, and, if you’re able to guess one complete list (25 titles for fiction, 10 for poetry) on your first try, you’ll receive a ...

Best Translated Book Award Winners to Be Announced at BookExpo America

So, this has been percolating for some time, but yesterday BookExpo America sent out the official press release (copied below) about how this year’s Best Translated Book Award winners will be announced on Wednesday, May 27 at 2:30 as part of BEA’s programming: Norwalk, CT, February 25, 2015: BookExpo America ...

Bookselling in Carolina [Some February Translations]

Last week, the tenth version of the American Booksellers Association’s Winter Institute took place in Asheville, NC, at a resort straight out of The Shining. I know! You should’ve seen the main lobby with it’s 40’ ceilings, giant fireplaces, and hidden passages. It was like something out of ...

THE BOOKS I HAVEN’T FORGOTTEN, OR IN LIEU OF A PLOT by Madeleine LaRue

Madeleine LaRue is Associate Editor and Director of Publicity of Music & Literature. I have an embarrassing inability to remember plots. It took me three readings of The Brothers Karamazov just to be able to remember beyond a few weeks who had actually killed Fyodor Pavlovich — and The Brothers Karamazov is one of my ...

FEAR OF THE LONGLIST by George Carroll

George Carroll is the World Literature Editor of Shelf Awareness and an independent publishers’ representative based in the Pacific Northwest. None of the San Francisco Giants spoke with pitcher Madison Bumgartner in the dugout before he took the mound in the ninth inning of the seventh game of the World Series except for ...

The Best to Come

James Crossley is a bookseller at Island Books. He writes regularly for the store’s Message in a Bottle blog and for the website of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. By now you may be asking which BTBA-eligible books I’m most looking forward to reading. Probably not, but let’s pretend. ...

The Best Translated Books So Far

James Crossley is a bookseller at Island Books. He writes regularly for the store’s Message in a Bottle blog and for the website of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Having talked about books that I think other people will probably like, it seems like I should talk at least a bit about the ones I ...

My Books and How They Got There

Madeleine LaRue is Associate Editor and Director of Publicity of Music & Literature. I live in Berlin, in a neighborhood with a chronically understaffed post office, so books on their way to me from the United States are usually in for an adventure. A package from Archipelago Books, example, arrived dripping wet, ...

Kafka dreaming: Two contemporary fabulists

Madeleine LaRue is Associate Editor and Director of Publicity of Music & Literature. My strategy for BTBA reading is very simple and very biased: I read the books by women first, and if there are no books by women, then I read the shortest ones first. I start with the women because there are fewer of them, and with ...

Dear Publisher, I Love You, Part Two by Monica Carter

Monica Carter is a freelance critic. As I continue on keyboard jacking the BTBA blog this week, I continue also to give praise to some of the publishers who started roughly around the time the award began and have grown right along side us. After A for Archipelago comes E for Europa Editions – the sleek and suave playboy ...

Dear Publisher, I Love You by Monica Carter

Monica Carter is a freelance critic. This week as I takeover the BTBA blog and I finally get the opportunity to do something I have been longing to do – highlight some of the incredible publishers the are committed to producing quality literature in translation. Each day, I will tip my hat to a small press that has grown ...

The 2014 National Translation Award Longlist

The American Literary Translators Association, which is finally really trying to get its shit together in terms of its public and web presence, just announced the 15-title longlist for this year’s National Translation Award. If you haven’t heard of the NTA, here’s all the necessary info: this is the ...

Chile vs. Italy [World Cup of Literature: Quarterfinals]

The first quarterfinal matchup features two prominent, stellar authors: Roberto Bolaño represents Chile with his novel By Night in Chile, facing off against Italian author Elena Ferrante and her Days of Abandonment. Bolaño made it to this point by annihilating the Netherlands and Koch’s The Dinner by a score of ...

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Three Percent #76: All about László

Inspired by Bromance Will’s blog, this podcast is all about how New Directions came to publish László Krasznahorkai and how they stuck with him—a situation that resulted in back-to-back Best Translated Book Award victories. Speaking of, here’s a picture of all three of us from the BTBA party on May ...

2014 World Cup of Literature: The Details

A number of months ago, I alluded to the idea of having Three Percent host a “World Cup of Literature” pitting all of the World Cup qualifying countries (see below) against one another in a battle for world literature supremacy. (At least until the next World Cup.) Anyway, the time for that is now!, and so here ...

Retranslations in 2064 [Some May 2014 Translations]

Welcome back to my monthly ramble about forthcoming works of literature in translations, which, as always, is punctuated by jokes, rants, and whatever else comes to mind. Even more so than usual, I’m really excited about this month’s offerings—and I actually have some things to say about the books ...

"The Oasis of Now" by Sorab Sepehri [Why This Book Should Win]

We’re only hours away from announcing the two winners of this year’s BTBA awards, but it’s never too late to promote one of the finalists. The piece below was written by BTBA poetry judge, Bill Martin. The Oasis of Now by Sorab Sepehri, translated from the Persian by Kazim Ali and Mohammad Jafar ...

“The Guest in the Wood” by Elisa Biagini [Why This Book Should Win]

The second entry in the “Why This Book Should Win” series for this year’s BTBA Poetry Finalists is by judge Anna Rosenwong.   The Guest in the Wood by Elisa Biagini, translated from the Italian by Diana Thow, Sarah Stickney, and Eugene Ostashevsky (Italy; Chelsea Editions) I love The Guest in the Wood. I ...

“His Days Go By the Way Her Years” by Ye Mimi [Why This Book Should Win]

With this post we’re kicking off the “Why This Book Should Win” series for this year’s BTBA Poetry Finalists. This piece is by judge Anna Rosenwong.   His Days Go By the Way Her Years by Ye Mimi, translated from the Chinese by Steve Bradbury (Taiwan; Anomalous Press) the train sidles into the station at ...

Why This Book Should Win: The 10 Fiction Finalists

Now that the ten finalists for the 2014 BTBA in Fiction have been announced, it’s worth taking a look back at the reasons “why these books should win” according to the judges and other readers. Below is a list of all ten finalists, with links to their individual write ups along with a key quote from each. ...

“Blinding” by Mircea Cărtărescu [Why This Book Should Win]

And here’s the final post in the “Why This Book Should Win” series for the 2014 BTBA fiction longlist. I’ll post a handy guide to all of these posts later this afternoon, but for now just enjoy Bromance Will (aka Will Evans, the founder and director of Deep Vellum) wax enthusiastic for his favorite book from the past ...

"In the Night of Time" by Antonio Muñoz Molina [Why This Book Should Win]

Twenty-four hours from now the 2014 BTBA finalists will be announced—will In the Night of Time be on the list? Below are my reasons why it should be. In the Night of Time by Antonio Muñoz Molina, translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) In the Night of Time is a huge book. ...

"The Whispering Muse" by Sjón [Why This Book Should Win]

We’re down to the last three longlisted titles, so we’re going to have to cram these in before Tuesday morning’s announcement of the fiction and poetry finalists. I’ll be writing the first two, Bromance Will will bring it home tomorrow evening. The Whispering Muse by Sjón, translated from the ...

Textile by Orly Castel-Bloom, Trans. by Dalya Bilu – Why This Book Should Win

P.T. Smith is a writer and critic living in Vermont. He has written for Three Percent, BOMB, Quarterly Conversation, and most recently Bookslut. There are books on long lists that are obvious contenders—the long ones, the challengingly complex ones, the ones that have been talked about all year (here’s looking at you ...

The Devil’s Workshop by Jáchym Topol trans. By Alex Zucker – Why This Book Should Win

Michael Stein is a writer and journalist in the Czech Republic and runs a blog on Central European writing called literalab. He is an editor at B O D Y. Reading The Devil’s Workshop you come up against a remarkable and frightening historical reality: that the memory of the mass killings of World War II is most flawed, ...

The 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Shortlist

The shortlist for this year’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize was announced yesterday and features six books from around the world: The Iraqi Christ, by Hassan Blasim, translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright (Comma Press) A Man in Love, by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated from the Norwegian by Don ...

How to Become a Pessimist [Some April 2014 Translations]

Every semester I tell my publishing students about the time I was walking around BEA with Jerome Kramer and he pointed out how the whole fair was “filled with failure.” Mostly I want to shock and break them—every good professor needs to upend his/her student’s expectations and their latent belief that ...

The Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, Trans by Joanne Turnbull – Why This Book Should Win

Blogging for judge Jenn Witte is Clark Allen, an artist living in New Orleans. His work is easiest found on his site, rentcontrolkhole.com. In essence, perhaps, the fantastic is a hermaphroditic entity. It breeds in solitude, in moments of quiet reflection where the mind is free to rave alone and meditate on the banal to ...

The Forbidden Kingdom by Jan Jacob Slauerhoff, Trans. by Paul Vincent – Why This Book Should Win

Stephen Sparks is a buyer at Green Apple Books. He lives in San Francisco and blogs at Invisible Stories. How’s this for a plot: the 16th century poet, Camões, is exiled from Portugal, his native country, for, what else?, falling in love with the wrong woman. He is sent East to the dysfunctional, claustrophobic, and ...

The African Shore by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, Trans. by Jeffrey Gray – Why This Book Should Win

Christopher Schaefer’s reviews and interviews have appeared in World Literature Today and The Quarterly Conversation. He lives in Paris. Like many American readers, I stumbled upon Rodrigo Rey Rosa thanks to Bolaño. How could you not be willing to check out a previously unheard-of Guatemalan author after encountering ...

The End of Love by Marcos Giralt Torrente, Trans. by Katherin Silver – Why This Book Should Win

This post is courtesy of BTBA judge, Scott Esposito. Scott Esposito blogs at Conversational Reading and you can find his tweets here. “The End of Love“: by Spanish author Marcos Giralt Torrente may not be the most gargantuan, epic, enormous, humungoid book on the BTBA longlist, but it may very well be the ...

Contribute to the "Why This Book Should Win" Series

Hopefully you’ve been enjoying the “Why This Book Should Win the BTBA” series that’s been running the past few weeks. It’s a great way to find out about all twenty-five titles on the fiction longlist (and the poetry shortlist, when we get there), and gives each book a bit more exposure. We ...

Why this book should win – Through the Night by Stig Saeterbakken, translated by Seán Kinsella

Stephen Sparks is a buyer at Green Apple Books. He lives in San Francisco and blogs at Invisible Stories. Through the Night was the last novel Stig Saeterbakken wrote before killing himself in 2012. Maybe this shouldn’t matter when it comes to determining whether it was the best-translated book published in 2013, but ...

Why This Book Should Win: Leg Over Leg Vol. 1, Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, translated by Humphrey Davies

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. Why should Humphrey Davies’ translation of Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq Leg Over Leg (Vol. 1) win this year’s Best Translated Book Award? Well, simply put: because it is ...

Seiobo There Below by László Krasznahorkai – Why This Book Should Win

Judge Daniel Medin hands over the reins to Madeleine LaRue, Social Media Manager for Music and Literature. If, on the one hand, the BTBA aims to bring attention to a neglected work of international fiction, then I’m afraid Seiobo There Below is a poor candidate. Neither the book nor its author, László Krasznahorkai, ...

My Struggle: Book Two by Karl Ove Knausgaard – Why This Book Should Win

This post is courtesy of BTBA judge, Scott Esposito. Scott Esposito blogs at Conversational Reading and you can find his tweets here. I’ve read three volumes of My Struggle so far, and I’m almost certain that I like Vol 2 the best. I hate comparisons of My Struggle to Proust because they always end up being ...

Commentary by Marcelle Sauvageot – Why This Book Should Win

Monica Carter curates Salonica World Lit. She is a writer and reviewer. Her most recent critical piece appeared in World Literature Today (September 2013). Consider this: You are a woman living in France during the 1920s and 1930s. You hold the highest teaching awarded in France. In your early thirties, you are in love ...

Latest Review: "Commentary" by Marcelle Sauvageot

The latest addition to our Reviews section is by Peter Biello on Commentary by Marcelle Sauvageot, translated by Anna Moschovakis (and introduction from Jennifer Moxley), published by Ugly Duckling Presse. Peter not only runs the Burlington Writers Workshop, but is also a friend to Open Letter—we had the pleasure of ...

The Infatuations – Why This Book Should Win

This post is courtesy of Best Translated Book Award judge, the inimitable George Carroll. Not only is he one hell of a West Coast sales rep for publishing companies large and small, he has an inexhaustible knowledge of translated literature. The Infatuations by Javier Marias rolled into its publication date with more ...

The AWP of Bubbles, Balloons, and Lonely Hipsters [Some March 2014 Translations]

Last weekend, over 14,000 writers, publishers, agents, translators, reviewers, professors, and readers swarmed the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle for the annual Associated Writing Programs conference—four days of heavy drinking, pot-chocolate (it’s legal in Washington!), endless craft panels, a ...

Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2014: The Longlist

Next Tuesday we’ll be announcing the 25-title Best Translated Book Award longlist, which makes today’s announcement of the IFFP longlist even that more intriguing . . . Although there are different eligibility rules between the two prizes—and different books published in the UK vs. the U.S.—there often ...

Finalists for Bookstore of the Year

I was probably asleep at the wheel in years past, but I think it’s really cool that Publishers Weekly announced the names of the five finalists for 2014 Bookstore of the Year. Here’s the list of the finalists with some commentary on why they should win: The Elliott Bay Book Company (Seattle, ...

Elizabeth Harris Tells Us Why Translation Makes All the Difference

Elizabeth Harris has translated fiction by Mario Rigoni Stern, Fabio Stassi, and Marco Candida, among others. Her translation of Giulio Mozzi’s story collection Questo è il giardino (This Is the Garden) will be published by Open Letter Books in 2014; the individual stories have appeared in The Literary Review, The Missouri ...

Michael Orthofer's Final Selections

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. Final selections The deadlines approach – well, that one first, big deadline: with the Best Translated Book Award longlist due to be announced March 11 we judges have to decide what ...

Reason #387 Why Publishing Is a Thankless, Frustrating Business

Last year we brought out Tirza by Arnon Grunberg, one of my favorite books of the past few years. (And a title that deserves to at least be shortlisted for this year’s BTBA . . .) At the time I talked to Arnon about doing two of his other books—The Man without Illness and The Asylum Seekers—since we all ...

Room 237 vs. "People Powered Publishing" [Some February Translations]

The other night I finally got around to watching Room 237, which, if you haven’t heard of it already, is a documentary about people obsessed with Kubrick’s The Shining and their various, often wacky, theories about what’s really going on in the movie. It’s absolutely fascinating, and not necessarily ...

Slim Little Stories

Sarah Gerard is a writer who used to work at McNally Jackson Books, but recently took a job at BOMB Magazine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Bookforum, the Paris Review Daily, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Slice Magazine, and other publications. Her new book, “Things I Told My ...

Down the Home Stretch

This post is courtesy of BTBA judge, Scott Esposito. Scott Esposito blogs at Conversational Reading and you can find his tweets here. We are just about done reading for the longlist of the Best Translated Book Award. Here are a few last books that I haven’t read yet but will be considering very closely as we come on ...

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Chad's 2013 Books

As I mentioned in an earlier post—or two—I ended up reading 111 books last year. A lot of South Korean titles—as part of my judging their biannual translation contest—and a random assortment of other things, both that Open Letter is publishing, or that I wanted to review/think might be BTBA longlist ...

The Genre Heap

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. A common complaint leveled against the Man Booker Prize is that it ignores genre fiction – for a couple of years there was the obligatory Ian Rankin denunciation of how unfair it was ...

Dutch Treats

Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. One of the many interesting things about judging the Best Translated Book Award is the sense it gives you of what (and how much) is actually being translated into English (and ...

Pixy Stick Infused Candy Canes [Some December Translations]

So, my 9-year-old daughter recently moved to a new school—one that encourages its students to participate in something called Odyssey of the Mind. If you’re not familiar with this, which I totally wasn’t, it’s basically a competition in which teams perform different tasks that highlight ...

Four Titles from the Big Stacks

Sarah Gerard is a writer who used to work at McNally Jackson Books, but recently took a job at BOMB Magazine. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Bookforum, the Paris Review Daily, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Slice Magazine, and other publications. Her new book, “Things I Told My ...

Step Out of Line, The Man Comes . . .

This week’s BTBA post is written by George Carroll, a publishers representative based in Seattle who blogs at North-North-West. He is also the soccer editor for Shelf Awareness and he and Chad frequently spent part of the weekend texting about EPL match-ups and Manchester Fucking United. Paranoia by Victor ...

Short Stories, STAT!

Monica Carter curates Salonica World Lit. She is a writer and her most recent piece appeared in World Literature Today (September 2013). Being a judge for the Best Translated Book Award is one of the pleasures I have had the opportunity to participate in for the past few years. Not only because I am able to read the ...

November 2013 Translations Worth Checking Out: The "ORDNUNG!" Edition

Before getting into this month’s list of recommended translations—which is kind of long, mostly because I couldn’t decide on which titles to cut—I want to follow-up a bit on last month’s post about our trip to the Frankfurt Book Fair. Actually, to be more specific, I want to talk about Germans ...

Ineligible Books

Stephen Sparks is a buyer at Green Apple Books. He lives in San Francisco and blogs at Invisible Stories. The fine print attached to the Best Translated Book Award states that in order to be eligible, a work cannot have been previously translated. I don’t disagree with the rule, especially as we already over 350 books to ...

October 2013 Translations Worth Checking Out: The "Our Flight to Frankfurt Is Delayed" Edition

As mentioned last month, I decided to start this monthly round-up for two reasons—to highlight a few interesting books in translation that other venues likely won’t, and because I think there’s more to literature that the monthly Flavorwire listicles. (One more Flavorwire thing: It’s totally fine that ...

Nobel Considerations

BTBA blog post – Michael Orthofer Michael Orthofer runs the Complete Review – a book review site with a focus on international fiction – and its Literary Saloon weblog. This Thursday or next the Swedish Academy will likely announce who will receive the 2013 Nobel Prize in Literature – still considered the ultimate ...

Sarah Gerard's Three Longlist Contenders

Sarah Gerard is a writer and a bookseller at McNally Jackson Books. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine, Bookforum, the Paris Review Daily, the Los Angeles Review of Books, Slice Magazine, and other publications. She holds an MFA from The New School and lives in Brooklyn. I’m only going to talk ...

Reviews in Translation

This post is courtesy of BTBA judge, Scott Esposito. Scott Esposito blogs at Conversational Reading and tweets. So here are some things that I’ve reviewed, will review, or will do something with in some way at some point that I think are strong contenders for the 2013 BTBA. First up: The Ingenious Gentleman and Poet ...

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Three Percent #63: Spermatic Economy

This week’s podcast is a special combo version featuring two separate conversations: one between Chad, Stephen Sparks (BTBA judge, Green Apple bookseller, and excellent reviewers), and George Carroll; and one between Chad and Paul Yamazaki (legendary City Lights bookseller). Topics range from soccer to Karl Pohrt to ...

2014 Best Translated Book Award . . . The Beginning

Although the announcement of the 2013 Best Translated Book Award winners is only a couple of months old, it’s already time to start thinking about next year’s award. First up—announcing the fiction jury and the deadline for fiction submissions. Easy bit first: As with years previous, to submit a title for ...

Why Bury the Lede? AmazonCrossing Publishes More Books in Translation than Anyone Else (In 2013. Probably.)

For everyone interested in the state of literature in translation today, I just posted updates to the 2012 Translation Database and the 2013 one. First things first: In 2012, AmazonCrossing published more works of fiction and poetry in translation than any other press except for Dalkey Archive, and is the largest publisher ...

2013 Best Translated Book Award Ceremony

For whatever reason, PEN World Voices doesn’t have this event listed on their event calendar (at least not clearly), so let this post serve as the official announcement of the event, and a personal invitation from me to all of you to come out, celebrate the winners, and get drunk in the street. First, the specifics: ...

2013 Best Translated Book Award: The Poetry Finalists

Over at the Poetry Foundation, the names of the six poetry finalists for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards have been revealed. Before reproducing the list below, I just want to take a second to thank all six judges for this year’s competition: Brandon Holmquest, poet, translator, editor of CALQUE; Jennifer ...

2013 Best Translated Book Award: The Fiction Finalists

I’m really excited about this year’s list of finalists—it’s a pretty loaded list that includes works from eight different countries, ranging from Russia to Argentina to Djibouti. All ten books have a valid chance of winning the award depending on what criteria you want to emphasize. (Click here to see ...

Time for More Speculation

OK, so, tomorrow at 10am sharp (or as sharp as I can make it), we’ll be announcing the 10 fiction finalists for this year’s BTBA, while over at the Poetry Foundation’s blog the 6 poetry finalists will be revealed. As of this moment, I know which books made the poetry list, but have NO IDEA what’s on ...

What DID Make the Best Translated Book Award longlist?

Over the past few weeks, I’ve dropped a couple of clues as to what did make the BTBA longlist, which will be announced tomorrow morning at 10am, but nothing all that specific. I told you that two of the finalists for the French-American Translation Prize made it; I mentioned that three of the IFFP longlist are also on ...

2013 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Longlist

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist was announced this morning, and is pretty spectacular. As you’ll find out on Tuesday, four of the books on the IFFP longlist are also on the BTBA longlist. (Which may seem small, but a number of these—The Detour, The Sound of Things Falling—have yet to be ...

The New Gerbrand Bakker Novel [Weekend Reading]

I hate to admit it, but a few years ago, when Archipelago first sent me a copy of Gerbrand Bakker’s The Twin, I assumed that it was a book that I was probably never going to read. I mean, it’s a book about a farmer. A quiet book about a farmer. An introspective aging farmer taking care of his invalid father. ...

HIPPO Reads: TED Talks for the Literary Set

Just this morning, Kaitlin Solimine (whom I was lucky enough to meet in Lisbon this past summer), launched HIPPO Reads, an intriguing new project: HIPPO Reads is a literary startup focused on curating and delivering high quality, previously published content with an academic bent. Think of us as TED Talks for ...

The Millions 2013 (Although Mostly Spring) Book Preview

The Millions just released it’s Most Anticipated: The Great 2013 Book Preview, and although there’s not a single Open Letter book included on this list, which, honestly makes it pretty damn suspect in my mind, since, if they’re skipping books like Tirza and the never-before translated L’Amour by ...

2013 Resolutions!

One of my favorite 2012 posts to write was this one in which I got to ramble unchecked about stuff I wanted to do in the New Year. Since that was so fun, I’m going to keep up the tradition with some looking back, some new resoluting, and some stupid jokes. So here goes! Resolution #1: Drink More Mimosas Seriously. ...

A Special Appeal from Open Letter

As the year comes to a close, we thought we’d take a minute to look back at what we’ve done over the past twelve months. It’s also that time of year when we thank you for your continued support, and ask for your help in the year to come by participating in our Annual Campaign. You probably already know that Three ...

Quarterly Conversation #30 [The Translator Interviews]

Following on the earlier post about Quarterly Conversation, here are excerpts from two interviews with translators that appear in the new issue, starting with Heather Cleary, the translator of two Open Letter books—The Planets and The Dark by Sergio Chejfec. This interview was conducted by Stephen Sparks, one of the ...

Brenner and God

Brenner and God is the first book in the “Brenner” series to come out in English, and only the second Wolf Haas title overall. The Weather Fifteen Years Ago came out from Ariadne Press a few years back and blew away the BTBA fiction committee—one reason why I was really excited to pick up this novel. ...

Latest Review: "Brenner and God" by Wolf Haas

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece that I wrote about Wolf Haas’s Brenner and God, which is translated from the German by Annie Janusch and available from Melville House. This is the first Brenner book to come out in English, but actually the seventh in the series. I believe that Melville House has ...

I'll Take Some of It Back [IMPAC 2013]

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, ...

2013 Best Translated Book Award: Fiction Update

OK, now that ALTA is over and the new catalog doesn’t come out for two months, I have a bit of time to concentrate on this year’s Best Translated Book Awards. Over the next couple weeks I’ll be posting information about the fiction and poetry panelists, along with an updated list of all translations ...

2012 PEN Literary Awards

The other day, PEN announced the winners of this year’s literary awards which range from the PEN/ESPN Award for Literary Sports Writing (which went to Dan Berry) to the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for a debut work (which went to Vanessa Veselka). There are also a number of translation-related awards handed out which ...

Almost Ready to Start Blogging Again

I know it’s been a terribly slow summer on Three Percent, and I apologize for that. Every day I come in with good intentions and 3-4 ideas for posts, but then I get sucked into planning the ALTA conference, or the never-ending deluge of emails, managing interns, printing things to mail, etc., etc. It’s been a ...

European Literature Prize 2012

Congratulations to author Julian Barnes and translator Ronald Vlek, whose novel Alsof het voorbij is (The Sense of an Ending, published by Atlas Contact) just won the 2012 European Literature Prize. Initiated in 2011, the Prize selects the best Dutch translations of European literary novels to appear in the last year. For ...

Very Short List: World in Translation Month

The people at Very Short List were kind enough to ask me to put together a special list featuring items related to World in Translation Month. For anyone who doesn’t know, VSL started a few years ago with a very simple idea: every day subscribers would receive an email highlighting one cool and interesting thing. ...

World in Translation Month Redux [And a Book Suggestion for You!]

Earlier this month I posted about World in Translation Month, and asked everyone to buy one Open Letter book to a) celebrate this special month and b) save our fiscal year (which is Quite Bad). I want to take a minute to thank all of you who have helped out by buying a book directly from us (a lot of you did!), or from ...

Kiwao Nomura's "Spectacle & Pigsty" at Two Lines

As you already know, Kiwao Nomura’s Spectacle & Pigsty, translated from the Japanese by Forrest Gander and Kyoko Yoshida won this year’s BTBA for Poetry. As it turns out, the Center for the Art of Translation published a chunk of his work online. I would excerpt an excerpt of this excerpt, but the spacing ...

The 2012 Best Translated Book Award Winners: Wiesław Myśliwski’s "Stone Upon Stone" and Kiwao Nomura’s "Spectacle & Pigsty"

The winning titles and translators of this year’s Best Translated Book Award were announced earlier this evening at McNally Jackson Books as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. In poetry, Kiwao Nomura’s Spectacle & Pigsty, translated from the Japanese by Kyoko Yoshida and Forrest Gander, took the top honor, and ...

2012 Best Translated Book Award Finalists: Fiction and Poetry

April 10, 2012—On Tuesday evening, the poetry and fiction finalists for the 2012 Best Translated Book Awards were announced during a special event at the University of Rochester, and on Three Percent, the university’s translation-centric website (www.rochester.edu/threepercent). “In previous years, there was much less ...

Latest Review: "Of Flies and Monkeys" by Jacques Dupin

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Vincent Francone on Jacques Dupin’s Of Flies and Monkeys, which is translated from the French by John Taylor and available from Bitter Oleander Press. (Probably easiest to order this directly from SPD.) “Vincent Francone” is one of our regular ...

You Too Can Be a Three Percent Writer

So, as you probably know, for the next four+ weeks, we’re going to be featuring a book a day from the BTBA Fiction Longlist. These posts aren’t reviews per se, but more like little intros designed to both intrigue new readers and make a case for why that particular book deserves to win the whole thing. ...

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Three Percent #30: Half-Baked Literary Freak

In this week’s podcast, Chad and Tom welcome Ed Nawotka, editor of Publishing Perspectives, to unpack the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist that was announced this week. (Also, Harry Potter, the Oscars, and other fun miscellany all make random appearances.) (And, in honor of the big BTBA longlist ...

Criticism Is Where It's At [NBCC Awards]

This weekend, the National Book Critics Circle announced the finalists for its books wards for publishing 2011 and—not to bury the lede—including Dubravka Ugresic’s Karaoke Culture as one of the five finalists in the Criticism category. This is the first major book award that one of our titles has been ...

It's 2012–Time for Some Resoluting!

Back when I was a kid, I used to love the start of every New Year. A fresh calendar, new journal to write in every day for a week before forgetting it in the back corner of a desk, dedicated routines (read for an hour a day! only watch TV once a week!), promises of better health and finally talking to that girl I’d been ...

Latest Review: "Death as a Side Effect" by Ana Maria Shua

The latest addition to our Book Review section is a piece by Emily Davis on Ana Maria Shua’s Death as a Side Effect, which is translated from the Spanish by Andrea G. Labinger and available from the University of Nebraska Press. Emily Davis a MALTS student here, and translates from Spanish. As you might be able to ...

CONTEXT #23 [Back!]

After an absurdly extended hiatus, Dalkey Archive Press’s tri-ennial quarterly occasional tabloid magazine, CONTEXT is back! For anyone familiar with it, this is great news . . . CONTEXT is consistently interesting, and one of the best ways to discover and learn about “experimental,” “strange,” ...

Today's Nobel Prize Odds Update + The Coolest Class Ever

So, following on yesterday’s post on the forthcoming announcement of the Nobel Prize in Literature (supposed to happen on Thursday) and the current odds at Ladbrokes, I just want to point out that the big mover today is Bob Dylan, who shot up from 50/1 to 10/1. Interesting . . . * More interesting though is this ...

Matthew Battles on Tove Jansson

Over at the B&N Review, Matthew Battles (Harvard University’s rare books librarian and author of Library: An Unquiet History, Widener: Biography of a Library, along with other articles) has a long, interesting piece on Tove Jansson. He talks a bit about the recently released Fair Play, but I really like this bit ...

New Issue of Two Lines

“Counterfeits,” the new issue of Two Lines, just came out from The Center for the Art of Translation, and looks pretty amazing. As it should, considering that it was guest edited by Luc Sante and Rosanna Warren . . . This latest volume leads with a special section of innovative, international noir literature ...

Interns–They Grow Up Too Fast

Back in the tumultuous summer of 2009, Timothy Nassau was an intern here at Open Letter. He read some manuscripts, he packed some orders, he listened to a variety of rants, wrote a few blog posts and reviews, and returned to Brown University a bit wiser and with ambition in his heart. Fast-forward two years, and young ...

The Days of the King by Filip Florian [Read This Next]

This week’s Read This Next title is Filip Florian’s The Days of the King, translated from the Romanian by Alistair Ian Blyth and coming out on August 16th from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Florian’s first translated title—Little Fingers—got a lot of great attention (Michael Orthofer gave it a ...

The Final Frontier: Translating Sci-Fi & Fantasy with Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud

On June 20, 2011 Small Beer Press was delighted to announce their winners for their inaugural Science Fiction & Fantasy Translation “Award.”:http://tinyurl.com/3wpflje This year’s long-form award went to celebrated short story writer Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, author of the winning book A Life on Paper: ...

Latest Review: "A Life on Paper: Stories" by Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Catherine Bailey on A Life on Paper: Stories by Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, translated from the French by Edward Gauvin, and available from Small Beer Press. Catherine Bailey is an English grad student here at the University of Rochester. (Or maybe was . . . I ...

Latest Review: "Hocus Bogus" by Romain Gary (writing as Emile Ajar)

The latest addition to our Book Reviews section is a piece by Stephen Weiner (who runs the Suspicious Humanist newsletter) about Emile Ajar/Romain Gary’s Hocus Bogus, translated from the French by David Bellos and published by Yale University Press. Hocus Bogus was one of my favorite books from the 2011 BTBA ...

2011 Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize

Earlier this week, the Goethe Institut in Chicago announced that Jean Snook was this year’s winner of the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize for her translation of Austrian writer Gert Jonke’s The Distant Sound, which was published by Dalkey Archive Press. Here’s what the jury had to ...

European Book Club Reads "Primeval and Other Times"

If I was on last year’s BTBA fiction panel, I would have lobbied hard for Olga Tokarczuk’s Primeval and Other Times, a fascinating book about a small Polish village, its inhabitants, and all that happens to them over the course of the twentieth century. It’s a wonderful book that’s built out of small, ...

Eating Enough to Keep Drinking [PEN Receptions]

Totally stealing this title from Geoff Dyer via Joshua Furst, so thanks to both of you . . . But it really is the perfect description for what the first couple days of the PEN World Voices Festival was for me. My PEN experience started at 5:30am, when I picked up Thomas Pletzinger and Ross Benjamin from their hotel in ...

2011 Best Translated Book Award Winners: Aleš Šteger’s "The Book of Things" and Tove Jansson’s "The True Deceiver"

April 29, 2011 — The winning titles and translators for this year’s Best Translated Book Awards were announced earlier this evening at the Bowery Poetry Club as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. In poetry, Aleš Šteger’s The Book of Things, translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry, took the top honor. In ...

Latest Review: "The Book of Things" by Aleš Šteger

For the second time this week, we’re running a review of a BTBA Poetry Finalist. Up today is Aleš Šteger’s The Book of Things, which is translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry and published by BOA Editions. David Shook review this for us. He’s a poet and translator in Los Angeles, where he edits ...

Latest Review: "Flash Cards" by Yu Jian

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Tim Nassau on Yu Jian’s Flash Cards, translated from the Chinese by Wang Ping and Ron Padgett, and published by Zephyr Press last year. Most notably, Flash Cards is a finalist for this year’s BTBA for poetry. I’ll try to handicap the poetry titles ...

Iowa Review Interview with Thomas Pletzinger

Thomas Pletzinger’s Funeral for a Dog (translated from the German by Ross Benjamin) has been getting a ton of great attention recently. It was praised in the New York Times and a Powells.com Review-a-Day. The mysterious forces behind the iBookstore chose it as the “Book of the Week.” We’re going to be ...

2011 IFFP Shortlist [Some Other Awards: Part II]

The Shortlist for the 2011 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize was announced on Monday and is a really interesting group of six titles: Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Susan Bernofsky from the German Kamchatka by Marcelo Figueras, translated by Frank Wynne from the Spanish The Museum of Innocence ...

2010 French-American Translation Prizes

The Florence Gould Foundation and the French-American Foundation recently announced the finalists for this, the 24th annual, French Translation Prizes. Winners will be announced in May at a swanky event, and they’ll each receive $10,000. You can find more details about the history of the prize, etc., by clicking ...

2011 Best Translated Book Award Finalists

After months of reading, discussing, evaluating, and collaborating, the 14 fiction and poetry judges have settled on the 2011 Best Translated Book Award Finalists. Here’s the official press release. Highlights from this year’s fiction list include Ernst Weiss’s Georg Letham: Physician and Murder, translated from ...

Latest Review: "Fair Play" by Tove Jansson

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Larissa Kyzer on Tove Jansson’s Fair Play, which was translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal and officially comes out from NYRB Classics next Tuesday. (Or in NCAA time: The day of the “first” round of the tournament, which for once, could be cool. ...

It's Good to Be Here [Excuses & Bits]

Admittedly, things have been a bit slow around here lately. I’ve been in NY for the Festival of New French Writing (more below), and hard at work on a grant for the National Endowment for the Arts. It’s due next week, but, I have to finish tomorrow (along with review for Bookforum) or suffer the bureaucratic wrath ...

Herve Le Tellier & PEN World Voices [Sensible Pricing]

I’ll post about this again as the time grows closer, but I wanted to announce that on Monday, May 2nd, Herve Le Tellier, Amelie Nothomb, and Carsten Jensen will be here in Rochester for our annual PEN World Voices event. For this year’s event, we’ve partnered with the admirable Writers & Books who will ...

Latest Review: "engulf–enkindle" by Anja Utler

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Erica Mena on Anja Utler’s engulf—enkindle, which is translated by Kurt Beals and came out in December from the admirable Burning Deck. The best source for info on German poet Anja Utler seems to be this site (which, for those of you into poetry of the ...

New Issue of Bookslut

The new issue of everyone’s favorite provocatively named webmag/blog is now available and includes a few translation-related items. First off, there’s a review of To Hell with Cronje by Ingrid Winterbach and translated from the Afrikaans by Elsa Silke. The review is solid, and starts with a nice bit that ...

European Literature Prize Longlist

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 ...

2011 Best Translated Book Awards: Fiction Longlist

Commentary and analysis will go in another post . . . for now, here’s the official press release. January 27, 2011—The 25-title fiction longlist for the 2011 Best Translated Book Awards was announced this morning at Three Percent—a resource for international literature at the University of Rochester. According to ...

Non-Fiction Conference 2011 [Amsterdam!]

As mentioned in the previous post, I’m going to be gone basically all next week to participate in this year’s Non-Fiction Conference, which is taking place in Amsterdam and is put together by the Dutch Foundation for Literature. This is a pretty amazing opportunity—not just to see Amsterdam, but because ...

Jan 2011 Words Without Borders

The January 2011 issue of Words Without Borders is now available, and has a number of really interesting pieces. This issue’s theme is “The Work Force,” which is elaborated on in the little intro to the issue: Whether loathed or loved, work provides both livelihood and identity; and in times of economic ...

Welcome to the Latest Year to Look Weird on Checks . . .

Ever since the year 2000, every year seems less believable to me . . . When I was a kid, I never thought I’d see the year 2000, much less the year 2010, after which, 2011 seems sort of anti-climactic. Sure, this technically marks the start of a new decade, but since we never named the last one, it feels pretty ...

A Special Message from Three Percent & Open Letter Books

Dear Readers, Over this past year we’ve been working so hard that we sometimes forget to look up and take stock of all we’ve accomplished. The year started with an exceptional profile in the New York Times that nurtured, more than we could have imagined, a widespread awareness of Three Percent and Open ...

Latest Review: "Birds for a Demolition" by Manoel de Barros

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by BTBA judge Erica Mena on fellow BTBA judge Idra Novey’s translation from the Portuguese of Manoel de Barros’s Birds for a Demolition, which came out from Carnegie Mellon University Press earlier this year. Erica Mena is a poet, a translator, and visible. ...

Latest Review: "Visitation" by Jenny Erpenbeck

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Phillip Witte on Jenny Erpenbeck’s Visitation, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky and published earlier this year by New Directions. Phillip Witte was an intern for Open Letter way back in the day, and also had a summer internship at New Directions. ...

Santiago Roncagliolo [Granta's Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists]

As we mentioned last Friday, we’re going to spend the next 21 days highlighting all of the authors selected for Granta’s _“Best of Young Spanish-Language Novelists” special issue. All past and future posts related to this issue can be found by clicking here. Up today: Peruvian author Santiago ...

Latest Review: "The Jokers" by Albert Cossery

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is something I wrote on Albert Cossery’s The Jokers, which was translated from the French by Anna Moschovakis and published by NYRB earlier this year. For a long time I was planning a post called “Albert Cossery is $%^&ing Amazing,” after reading A Splendid ...

International IMPAC Dublin Award 2011 Longlist [International Prizes, Take One]

So the 2011 longlist for the IMPAC Award was announced this morning, and includes 162 books from 43 countries. According to the press release 42 are titles in translation, covering 14 different languages. This is where I usually complain about the IMPAC’s website, the absurdity of a 162 book longlist, of the name of ...

Melville House Discourages Translators from Trying to Win Cash Prize, Recognition

As we announced last week, both here and at the American Literary Translators Association annual conference, Amazon.com is underwriting the 2011 Best Translated Book Awards to the tune of $25,000, allowing each winning translator and author receive a $5,000 cash prize. (And the leftover $5K will allow all of our 14 judges to ...

Amazon.com to Underwrite Best Translated Book Awards

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 ...

The Year in Translations (So Far): "The Literary Conference" by Cesar Aira

Last week I was on the Wisconsin Public Radio show Here On Earth to make some international literature summer reading recommendations. We weren’t able to cover the full list of books I came up with, so I thought I’d post about them one-by-one over the next couple weeks with additional info, why these titles sound ...

The 2010 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award Shortlist

I’m not entirely sure why—maybe it’s the absurdly long longlist, or the unparalleled eclecticism (re: poorly designed) of the prize’s website, or the fact that this prize is sponsored by the “World’s Leading Specialists in Management Productivity Improvement” (productivity improvement ...

Hello there!

I feel like it’s been ages since I last posted anything new here . . . In my defense, it’s kind of tricky finding the time to come up with good material during a ten-day trip to Abu Dhabi, two panels (including the 2010 BTBA announcement), and an extended trip to New York. Two-and-a-half weeks of traveling is ...

Latest Review: "World's End" by Pablo Neruda

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is Erica Mena’s examination of Pablo Neruda’s World’s End, which came out last year from Copper Canyon, and is translated from the Spanish by William O’Daly. In case anyone’s keeping track, that makes two—count ‘em, two—poetry reviews ...

Indie Bookstore Pics (Part I)

The other week I was talking with Paul Kozlowski of Other Press about studies that have been done on what gets a reader to actually purchase a book. As we all cynically assume, when it comes to purchasing a physical book from a brick-and-mortar store, reviews hardly matter at all—it’s all about the cover and the ...

Indie Presses on Campuses

This PW article by Judith Rosen actually came out last, but I got so busy with life—and the BTBA longlist write-ups—that I never had a chance to post about it . . . Entitled “Indie Presses Find a Home on Campuses,” the piece focuses on the handful of presses located on university campuses, what the ...

Latest Review: "Tales of a Finnish Tupa" adapted by James Cloyd Bowman and Margery Bianco

The latest addition to our Reviews Section is a piece by Larissa Kyzer on Tales of a Finnish Tupa, adapted by James Cloyd Bowman and Margery Bianco from a translation by Aili Kolehmainen with illustrations by Laura Bannon. I know we’ve been a bit slow about getting new reviews online, but now that the BTBA fiction ...

So Translation Is Having a Moment . . . (Part II)

When I was in New York last week for sales calls and publicity meetings (which is why the blog has been so slow . . . But I’m back! And excited about life, the BTBAs, books, and everything, so expect an onslaught of material for the next few days . . . ), everyone was all abuzz about the fact that the New Yorker ran an ...

Latest Review: "Monsieur Pain" by Roberto Bolaño

The latest addition to our Review Section is a piece on Roberto Bolaño’s first novel to come out in 2010: Monsieur Pain, translated by Chris Andrews and published by New Directions. This review is by Dan Vitale, a writer and editor who has written a number of pieces for Three Percent. And he definitely makes this ...

Latest Review: "Desert" by J.M.G. Le Clézio

The latest addition to our Review Section is a piece on Nobel Prize winner J.M.G. Le Clézio’s Desert, translated from the French by C. Dickson and published by David R. Godine as part of the amazing Verba Mundi series. Timothy Nassau, an intern here last summer and current student at Brown, wrote this review. ...

2010 Best Translated Book Awards: Honorable Mention

Before jumping into the day-by-day look at each of the 25 titles on the Best Translated Book Award fiction longlist I thought I’d post about a few of the books that didn’t make the list. It’s cliched to even say, but it really is difficult coming up with this list. Down to the final moment of voting, I was ...

New Round of French Voices

French Voices is a program that started a few years ago as a way of promoting contemporary French fiction and non-fiction. The goal is to select ten works a year that were published since the year 2000 that represent “new trends in fiction and under-represented perspectives or points of view in non-fiction works” ...

Winter Reading List

One of the best unexpected results of putting together the translation databases is being able to put together an awesome reading list of forthcoming translations. (Or, to put it in a slightly more negative light: to know about way more interesting books than I’ll ever have time to read.) The spring is a perfect ...

Interview with Amelie Nothomb

The Winter issue of Tin House is now available, and includes an interesting interview Heather Hartley conducted with French Belgian Japanese cosmopolitan writer Amelie Nothomb. Hartley’s intro does a great job in pointing out the huge difference between Nothomb’s popularity in the States (despite being published ...

Best Translated Book Award: Poetry!

A few weeks back, I posted about the 2010 Best Translated Book Award and included all of the dates and information for the Fiction selections. (To recap: We’ll announce the 25-title longlist on Tuesday, January 5th, the ten finalists on Tuesday, February 16th, and the winner at a TBD day in mid-March.) In terms of ...

The 2010 Edition of the Best Translated Book Award

Although it seems (to me at least) like we just had the 2009 Best Translated Book Award ceremony a couple months ago, it’s getting to be that time again . . . For the 2010 award, our group of nine fiction panelists (more on them below and more on the poetry people next week), all original translations published ...

Attila Bartis and Brian Evenson

Thanks to Bud Parr for posting this amazing video featuring Attila Bartis, whose Tranquility won the 2009 Best Translated Book Award. The footage is mostly taken from a conversation between Brian Evenson and Bartis that took place at Idlewild Books that took a couple months ago. Very cool. Very, very cool. ...

Interview with Susan Bernofsky

Very interesting interview with Susan Bernofsky (“widely considered to be one of the best English translators of German literature today,” who has translated Robert Walser, Jenny Erpenbeck, and Yoko Tawada, among others) in The Brooklyn Rail. Theoretically, this interview is supposed to be about her forthcoming ...

Latest Review: The Ninth by Ferenc Barnas

As you may remember, Hungarian lit dominated last year’s Best Translated Book Award with three titles on the longlist, including Attila Bartis’s Tranquility, the eventual winner. Not sure that’s ever going to happen again, but the literary buzz around Ferenc Barnas’s The Ninth proves that Hungarian ...

Karen Emmerich and Greek Literature

Scott Esposito at Conversational Reading has a wonderfully detailed write up of the Center for the Art of Translation Event that took place last week where Karen Emmerich read from the work of four of her favorite Greek authors. You should really read Scott’s complete write-up, but here’s are the brief ...

The New Look Three Percent

As you probably noticed, we underwent a pretty significant redesign over the weekend. E.J. could explain this a lot better than I can, but basically, over the past two years, we’ve come to use the site is a slightly different way than initially conceived. When launched, we had no idea Three Percent would come to host ...

2009 Best Translated Book Award Ceremony

Following on last week’s post with some pictures, here’s the video (thanks, Monica!) from the 2009 BTB Award ceremony at which Francisco Goldman told a great story about translating Gabriel Garcia Marquez for Playboy, and I managed to give the wrong award to Barbara Epler. ...

2009 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize longlist

The longlist for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize has (finally!) been announced. Here you go: Voice Over by Céline Curiol (trans. Sam Richard) A Blessed Child by Linn Ullman (trans. Sarah Death) The Blue Fox by Sjon (trans. Victoria Cribb) Friendly Fire by A.B. Yehoshua (trans. Stuart Schoffman) My ...

Best Translated Book of 2008: Fiction Finalists

I think I speak for all the panelists when I say that this was a pretty difficult task. I think we all had 13-15 books that we felt deserved to be in the top 10 . . . But in the end, I think we came up with a very solid list. For additional info about any of these titles, click on the links below, or visit the pretty minisite ...

Best Translated Book of 2008: Poetry Finalists

Here, at long last, are the ten poetry finalists for the Best Translated Book of the Year award: Essential Poems and Writings by Robert Desnos, translated from the French by Mary Ann Caws, Terry Hale, Bill Zavatsky, Martin Sorrell, Jonathan Eburne, Katherine Connelly, Patricia Terry, and Paul Auster (Black ...

Best Translated Books of 2008: University Presses

Admittedly, books from university presses are under-represented on this year’s Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, a situation that will hopefully change next year. But for now, I thought that before announcing the finalists for fiction and poetry (and yes, I do know what they are, but that post ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa

This is it—the last overview of a book from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist. The 10 finalists will be announced on Tuesday . . . Click here for all previous overviews. The Book of Chameleons by Jose Eduardo Agualusa, translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn. (Angola, Simon & ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig

We’re into the home stretch now . . . For the next two days we’ll be highlighting a book-a-day from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, leading up to the announcement of the 10 finalists. Click here for all previous write-ups. The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig, translated ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: Khirbet Khizeh by S. Yizhar

We’re into the home stretch now . . . For the next three days we’ll be highlighting a book-a-day from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, leading up to the announcement of the 10 finalists. Click here for all previous write-ups. Khirbet Khizeh by S. Yizhar, translated from the ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: Voice Over by Celine Curiol

We’re into the home stretch now . . . Over the next four days we’ll be highlighting a book-a-day from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, leading up to the announcement of the 10 finalists. Click here for all previous write-ups. Voice Over by Celine Curiol, translated from the ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: Yalo by Elias Khoury

We’re into the home stretch now . . . Over the next five days we’ll be highlighting a book-a-day from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, leading up to the announcement of the 10 finalists. Click here for all previous write-ups. Yalo by Elias Khoury, translated from the Arabic ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: Detective Story by Imre Kertesz

We’re into the home stretch now . . . Through next Friday we’ll be highlighting a book-a-day from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, leading up to the announcement of the 10 finalists. Click here for all previous write-ups. Detective Story by Imre Kertesz, translated from the ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: The Darkroom of Damocles by Willem Frederik Hermans

We’re into the home stretch now . . . Through next Friday we’ll be highlighting a book-a-day from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, leading up to the announcement of the 10 finalists. Click here for all previous write-ups. The Darkroom of Damocles by Willem Frederik Hermans, ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: Tranquility by Attila Bartis

We’re into the home stretch now . . . Through next Friday we’ll be highlighting a book-a-day from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, leading up to the announcement of the 10 finalists. Click here for all previous write-ups. Tranquility by Attila Bartis, translated from the ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

We’re into the home stretch now . . . For the next two weeks we’ll be highlighting a book-a-day from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, leading up to the announcement of the 10 finalists. Click here for all previous write-ups. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery, ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: Homage to Czerny: Studies in Virtuoso Technique by Gert Jonke

We’re into the home stretch now . . . For the next two weeks we’ll be highlighting a book-a-day from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, leading up to the announcement of the 10 finalists. Click here for all previous write-ups. Homage to Czerny: Studies in Virtuoso Technique by ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: Metropole by Ferenc Karinthy

For the next several weeks we’ll be highlighting a book-a-day from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, leading up to the announcement of the 10 finalists. Click here for all previous write-ups. Metropole by Ferenc Karinthy, translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes. (Hungary, ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: Unforgiving Years by Victor Serge

For the next several weeks we’ll be highlighting a book-a-day from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, leading up to the announcement of the 10 finalists. Click here for all previous write-ups. Unforgiving Years by Victor Serge, translated from the French by Richard Greeman. (France1, ...

Open Letter and the Best Translated Book Award on Facebook

I know we should’ve done this sooner, but we just set up an Open Letter group and a Best Translated Book Award group on Facebook. So if you’re on Facebook, please join. (And feel free to invite all of your friends.) We don’t have much on the Open Letter site (yet), but on the BTB group there are cover ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: The Waitress Was New by Dominique Fabre

For the next several weeks we’ll be highlighting a book-a-day from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, leading up to the announcement of the 10 finalists. Click here for all previous write-ups. The Waitress Was New by Dominique Fabre, translated from the French by Jordan Stump. ...

Best Translated Book 2008 Longlist: Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya

For the next several weeks we’ll be highlighting a book-a-day from the 25-title Best Translated Book of 2008 fiction longlist, leading up to the announcement of the 10 finalists. Click here for all previous write-ups. Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya, translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver. ...