Of course PW’s¬†reviewers¬†haven’t read all the books that have come out this year — and likely few of the Arabic books in translation, which are not widely reviewed — but they did choose¬†The Corpse Exhibition¬†from a pool of around 9,000:

downloadEven better, among the 10 chosen on this year’s top list, there are¬†three books¬†that were translated from other languages: Blasim’s, from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright;¬†Emmanuel Carr√®re’s¬†Limonov,¬†translated¬†from the French by John Lambert; and Elena Ferrante’s¬†Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay,translated¬†from the Italian by Ann Goldstein.

These is excellent attention for freshly translated literature in the US.

Moreover, even more translated titles were chosen for¬†this year’s fiction longlist, including books from the Spanish, German, Danish, Dutch, and Russian. More than a third¬†of the longer fiction list — 9 out of 25 — were translated literature.

Certainly, in particular, this has been a remarkable year for Blasim’s work in English (brought here by Jonathan Wright): In May, Blasim and Wright won the 2014 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize (IFFP) for¬†The Iraqi Christ, which became¬†the first Arabic book and the first collection of short stories to win the IFFP; in July, Iraq + 100,¬†a short-story collection edited by Blasim, won a PEN grant;¬†in July and August, a theatrical adaptation of Blasim’s short story “The Nightmares of Carlos Fuentes” was staged in London.

All the while, Blasim’s US-published collection — which brings together stories from both his UK collections — got wide attention in the US press.

It is unusual attention for a translated book of short stories by an author who doesn’t have a Nobel, or really any prize attention in Arabic. Hopefully, some of this heightened attention can shine onto other books out in 2014: Amjad Nasser’s¬†Land of No Rain,¬†Nael Eltoukhy’s¬†Women of Karantina,¬†the rest of al-Shidyaq’s¬†Leg over Leg,¬†Youssef Rakha’s¬†Sultan’s Seal,¬†as well as many remarkable books forthcoming in 2015.

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