2 Arabic Books Make 2017 ‘National Translation Award’ Longlists

The American Literary Translators Association, otherwise known as ALTA, yesterday announced the longlists for the 2017 National Translation Awards in both poetry and prose:

The National Translation Awards, now in their nineteenth year, promise to be “the only national award for translated fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction that includes a rigorous examination of both the source text and its relation to the finished English work.”

This year’s lists feature works from 11 different source languages, including two from Arabic: Amjad Nasser’s A Map of Signs and Scents, trans. Fady Joudah and Khaled Mattawa and Khaled Khalifa’s No Knives in the Kitchens of This Citytrans. Leri Price.

You can read an excerpt of No Knives at the Hoopoe website; Khalifa’s novel also made the eight-book shortlist for this year’s Prix de la Littérature Arabe. Six poems by Amjad Nasser can be found at PEN America.

The 2017 National Translation Award judges for poetry are Ani Gjika, Katrine Øgaard Jensen, and Gregory Racz, and the year’s prose judges are Carol Apollonio, Eric Becker, and Ottilie Mulzet. (If you do a double-take when looking at the list below, as I did, Ottilie Mulzet is a judge for the prose award but on the longlist for the poetry award.)

The 5-title shortlists are set to be announced in August, with the winners announced at ALTA’s annual conference in October. The winning translators will each receive a $2,500 cash prize.

The full longlists, as provided by ALTA, “listed alphabetically by title”:


A Map of Signs and Scents
by Amjad Nasser
translated by Fady Joudah & Khaled Mattawa
(Northwest University Press)

Screen-shot-2015-07-30-at-6.18.04-PM-275x300Absolute Solitude
by Dulce Maria Loynaz
translated by James O’Connor
(Archipelago Books)

diseno de tapa olvido finalAnd We Were All Alive
by Olvido García Valdés
translated by Catherine Hammond
(Cardboard House Press)

Berlin-Hamlet_1024x1024Berlin · Hamlet
by Szilárd Borbély
translated by Ottilie Mulzet
(New York Review of Books)

NerudaCanto-interim_FrontCoverCanto General 
by Pablo Neruda
translated by Mariela Giffor
(Tupelo Press)

XiXi_frtcvrNot Written Words
by Xi Xi
translated by Jennifer Feeley
(New Mexico State University Press)

by Rafael Alberti
translated by Carolyn Tipton
(White Pine Press)

by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez
translated by Katherine Hedeen
(co im press)

TheEndOfTheDarkEraCoverThe End of the Dark Era
by Tseveendorjin Oidov
translated by Simon Wickhamsmith
(Phoneme Media)

9780986204944The Hunchbacks’ Bus
by Nora Iuga
translated by Adam Sorkin and Diane Manole
(Bitter Oleander Press)

Cvr_Morales_mktgThe World as Presence
by Marcelo Morales
translated by Kristin Dykstra
(University of Alabama Press)

by Galo Ghigliotto
translated by Daniel Borzutsky
(Coim Press)



National Translation Award Longlist in Prose:

Chronicle_of_the_Murdered_House-front_largeChronicle of the Murdered House
by Lucio Cardoso
translated by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson
(Open Letter Books)

france storyFrance, Story of a Childhood
by Zahia Rahmani
translated by Laura Vergnaud
(Yale University Press)

Lindqvist_BehindYouI am Behind You
by John Ajvide Lindqvist
translated by Marlaine Delargy
(Text Publishing)

Kafka_The_Early_YearsKafka, the Early Years
by Reiner Stach
translated by Shelley Frisch
(Princeton University Press)

9789774167812No Knives in the Kitchens of This City
by Khaled Khalifa
translated by Leri Price
(American University of Cairo Press)

shinobu_bookThe Book of the Dead
by Orikuchi Shinobu
translated by Jeffrey Angles
(University of New Mexico Press)

9780802125828The Explosion Chronicles
by Yan Lianke
translated by Carlos Rojas
(Grove Atlantic)

Screen_Shot_2017-03-31_at_4.21.34_PMThe Last Wolf & Herman
by László Krasznahorkai
translated by George Szirtes and John Batki
(New Directions)

Party_Wall_frontCover_-_GillerThe Party Wall
by Catherine Leroux
translated by Lazer Lederhendler

WickedWeeds_CVR_FinalWicked Weeds: A Zombie Novel
by Pedro Cabiya
translated by Jessica Powell
(Mandel Vilar Press)

by Antonio de Benedetto
translated by Esther Allen
(New York Review of Books)