On Monday, the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) announced the poetry and prose shortlists for the National Translation Award. On the prose list was Leri Price’s translation of Syrian author Khaled Khalifa’s No Knives in the Kitchens of This City:
No Knives advances to the NTA’s five-book shortlist along with titles translated from the Spanish, German, French, and Swedish.
This is the NTA’s nineteenth year, which is the only US “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 prose judges are Carol Apollonio, Eric M. B. Becker, and Ottilie Mulzet.
No Knives was one of two Arabic books to make the NTA longlists: Amjad Nasser’s poetry collection A Map of Signs and Scents, trans. Fady Joudah, was on the poetry longlist.
You can read an excerpt of No Knives at the Hoopoe website and a review by ArabLit’s editor at The National. Khalifa’s novel also made the eight-book shortlist for this year’s French translation prize, the Prix de la Littérature Arabe. Its original Arabic was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2014 and won the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature in 2013.
The two National Translation Award winners will be announced at ALTA’s annual conference in October, and winning translators will each receive a $2,500 cash prize.
The other four titles on the 2017 prose shortlist:
I am Behind You
by John Ajvide Lindqvist
translated from the Swedish by Marlaine Delargy
The Party Wall
by Catherine Leroux
translated from the French by Lazer Lederhendler
A Whole Life
by Robert Seethaler
translated from the German by Charlotte Collins
(Farrar, Straus, and Giroux)
by Antonio di Benedetto
translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen
(New York Review of Books)