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November 15, 2010

Amazon funds Best Translated Book Awards

Amazon.com has awarded the Open Letter Books’ Three Percent Web site a $25,000 grant to support the 2011 Best Translated Book Awards. The grant will support $5,000 cash prizes for both the winning translators and authors.

Launched by Three Percent (www.rochester.edu/threepercent) in 2007, the Best Translated Book Awards aim to bring attention to the best original works of international fiction and poetry published in the United States during the previous year. Judges base their decision on both the quality of the original work and the quality of the English translation. Until this year the award carried no cash prize.

“Over the past few years, the awards have grown in stature, and the introduction of a cash prize for the winners will greatly enhance the reputation and reach of the award,” says Chad Post, director of Open Letter Books and Three Percent.

According to fiction panelist Matthew Jakubowski, “Without a doubt, this level of support for translated literature helps enrich book culture in our country. Publishers, authors, translators, and, of course, the growing number of readers attuned to new literature from around the world will benefit. And best of all, every year (the awards) provide a great way to learn about dozens of great new books that we’d otherwise hear little about.”

On Jan. 27, 2011, the 25-title fiction longlist will be announced on the Three Percent and Best Translated Book Award Web sites, and during the following month each title will be individually highlighted through short write-ups by the various judges.

The 10-title shortlists for both fiction and poetry will be announced on March 24, and the winning titles will be celebrated at a special reception during the PEN World Voices Festival at the end of April.

Information about how to submit a title for the 2011 Best Translated Book Awards can be found at www.besttranslatedbook.org.

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