According to a University of Rochester press release (and via the Literary Saloon, thank you Michael):

Amazon.com has awarded the University of Rochester/Three Percent website a $25,000 grant in support of the 2011 Best Translated Book Awards. This grant will support $5,000 cash prizes for both the winning translators and authors.

The “Best Translated Book Awards” were launched in 2007, and aim—like the Independent’s Foreign Fiction Award—to give a higher profile to fiction and poetry in translation.

The press release says the translation must have be published in the U.S. to be eligible (which makes sense), but this page says only that it must have been published between Dec. 1 and Nov. 30. (Well, they have the year wrong, but never mind that.) Also: There seems to be no limit on the number of titles a publisher can send?

Back over at the Literary Saloon, M.A. Orthofer says that he’s gotten only a few submissions so far this year. I’m going to guess Archipelago has already responsibly submitted their books (ISA they’ve nestled White Masks and Journal of an Ordinary Grief among them), and probably Interlink as well (and I absolutely insist that Adania Shibli’s Touch be among the submissions, as well as Radwa Ashour’s Specters), but what about the rest of you? University of Texas, have you sent in Ibrahim al-Koni’s The Puppet? Come on now! Put your back into it!

The release explains the year’s awards schedule:

On January 27, 2011, the 25-title fiction longlist will be announced on the Three Percent and Best Translated Book Award (http://www.besttranslatedbook.org) websites. … 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.

And yes, I am still waving the flag for Sonallah Ibrahim’s Stealth, but since Aflame is a U.K. publisher, I’m imagining it isn’t eligible. NOTE FOR THOSE IN THE UAE: On Monday, Dec. 6, Read Kutub members will meet to discuss Stealth. Insha’allah we’ll manage to have some sort of corollary discussion/event over here.

2 thoughts on “Amazon.Com Puts Money Behind the ‘Best Translated Book’ Award

  1. The official page has now been updated, so even the year is correct — anything published between 1 December 2009 and 30 November 2010 (as long as it’s not a re-translation, etc. etc.) is eligible. And of course publishers can — should ! — submit all their eligible titles (indeed, we even consider those they don’t submit — no Man Booker-like restrictions here ! — if we can somehow get our hands on them (until the longlist stage, at least — then we really do need copies from them)). As to what I’ve seen: Archipelago, check; Interlink ? not so much. And this is the first I’ve heard al-Koni’s “The Puppet” is coming out (but then it’s not quite been released yet so I’ll give them the … benefit of my doubt) ….. The Aflame editions are usually simultaneously released in the US, but I fear their current business situation has complicated matters; I usually get all their titles, but haven’t seen “Stealth” yet either.

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    1. Ah, maybe /The Puppet/ was released first in Cairo, as it’s being released this fall by AUC & Arabia & and U of Texas all around the same-ish time.

      You haven’t seen Stealth? That is a crime. I know they’re having financial troubles, but….

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