A few days ago, the UK’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (IFFP) longlist was announced. Today, the longlist for the US’s similar prize, the Best Translated Book Award (BTBA), came out.
There is only a four-book overlap between the two — which is not terribly surprising, as the prizes have a slightly different ethic and many of the titles were published on only one side of the Atlantic. For instance, Khaled Khalifa’s In Praise of Hatred made the IFFP, but has not yet been published in the US.
The opposite is so for Dominique Eddé’s The Kite, brought out by Seagull Press in the US, trans. (from the French) Ros Schwartz. I haven’t yet seen the book*, but according to a dust-jacket summary:
Beginning in the 1960s and ending in the late ’80s, it is at once a narrative of a passionate, and ultimately tragic, relationship between Mali and Farid and the simultaneous decline of Egyptian-Lebanese society. Densely populated with myriad characters, Kite chronicles the casualties of social conventions, religious divisions and cultural clichés.
You can read an excerpt on Asymptote, either in the original French or translated into English or Chinese. Eddé is both a novelist and a translator, having brought some of Edward Said’s work into French.
Meanwhile, BTBA organizers will announce finalists in fiction and poetry categories (poetry doesn’t get a longlist) on April 10, with the award ceremony set to take place in New York City on Saturday, May 4.
The rest of the BTBA list (the four overlap titles are starred):
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)
We, The Children of Cats by Tomoyuki Hoshino, translated from the Japanese by Brian Bergstom 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)
*Update: It’s in the mail. I’m sure I’m not the only one who requested a copy just today…
Categories: Best Translated Book Award