Without further ado, here are the books that our nine1 judges selected for this year’s Best Translated Book Award Fiction Longlist.
The Planets by Sergio Chejfec, translated from the Spanish by Heather Cleary (Open Letter Books; Argentina)
Prehistoric Times by Eric Chevillard, translated from the French by Alyson Waters (Archipelago Books; France)
The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, translated from the Persian by Tom Patterdale (Melville House; Iran)
Atlas by Dung Kai-Cheung, translated from the Chinese by Anders Hansson and Bonnie S. McDougall (Columbia University Press; China)
Kite by Dominique Eddé, translated from the French by Ros Schwartz (Seagull Books; Lebanon)
We, The Children of Cats by Tomoyuki Hoshino, translated from the Japanese by Brian Bergstrom and Lucy Fraser (PM Press; Japan)
The Map and the Territory by Michel Houellebecq, translated from the French by Gavin Bowd (Knopf; France)
Basti by Intizar Husain, translated from the Urdu by Frances W. Pritchett (New York Review Books; Pakistan)
Mama Leone by Miljenko Jergović, translated from the Croatian by David Williams (Archipelago Books; Croatia)
Awakening to the Great Sleep War by Gert Jonke, translated from the German by Jean M. Snook (Dalkey Archive Press; Austria)
My Struggle: Book One by Karl Knausgaard, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett (Archipelago Books; Norway)
Satantango by László Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes (New Directions; Hungary)
Autoportrait by Edouard Levé, translated from the French by Lorin Stein (Dalkey Archive Press; France)
A Breath of Life: Pulsations by Clarice Lispector, translated from the Portuguese by Johnny Lorenz (New Directions; Brazil)
The Lair by Norman Manea, translated from the Romanian by Oana Sanziana Marian (Yale University Press; Romania)
The Hunger Angel by Herta Müller, translated from the German by Philip Boehm (Metropolitan Books; Romania)
Traveler of the Century by Andrés Neuman, translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux; Argentina)
Happy Moscow by Andrey Platonov, translated from the Russian by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler (New York Review Books; Russia)
With the Animals by Noëlle Revaz, translated from the French by Donald W. Wilson (Dalkey Archive Press; Switzerland)
Maidenhair by Mikhail Shishkin, translated from the Russian by Marian Schwartz (Open Letter Books; Russia)
Joseph Walser’s Machine by Gonçalo M. Tavares, translated from the Portuguese by Rhett McNeil (Dalkey Archive Press; Portugal)
Island of Second Sight by Albert Vigoleis Thelen, translated from the German by Donald O. White (Overlook; Germany)
Dublinesque by Enrique Vila-Matas, translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey and Anne McLean (New Directions; Spain)
Transit by Abdourahman A. Waberi, translated from the French by David Ball and Nicole Ball (Indiana University Press; Djibouti)
My Father’s Book by Urs Widmer, translated from the German by Donal McLaughlin (Seagull Books; Switzerland)
As in recent years, we will be awarding $20,000 in cash prizes thanks to support from Amazon.com.
On April 10th, we’ll announce the finalists in both the fiction and poetry categories, with the award ceremony taking place in New York City on Saturday, May 4th. (More details to come.)
1 This year’s fiction judges are: Monica Carter, Salonica; Tess Doering Lewis, translator and critic; Scott Esposito, Conversational Reading and Center for the Art of Translation; Susan Harris, Words Without Borders; Bill Martin, translator; Bill Marx, Arts Fuse; Michael Orthofer, Complete Review; Stephen Sparks, Green Apple Books; and Jenn Witte, Skylight Books.
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .
Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .
Founded in 1960 by such creative pioneers as George Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino, the Oulipo, shorthand for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, came about in when a group of writers and mathematicians sought constraints to find new structures and. . .
There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in Morse, My Deaf Friend— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .
The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .