The Birdcage Archives

Tuesday 29 March 2016

The Best Translated Book Award Longlist 2016

Hello Gentle Reader,

Spring is now in the air. The flowers are poking their green fingers up through the cardboard stalks of autumn. The trees have begun to bud, with little green claws. The sky is less quilted, and in it, one can see dewy eyes of someone just awaking from a long sleep. Now though begins the preliminary to literary awards. The Man Booker International Prize has already announced its longlisted writers for its debut, as an annual award. Now The Best Translated Book Award has listed its longlist, and according to the “Three Percent Review,” website, it has been quite a year for submissions. There was 560 eligible titles to be listed for the award, coming from 160 publishers, with writers hailing from 80 different countries. This year’s list includes books written in nineteen different languages, with writers ranging from twenty-three different countries. The list itself includes well known and established writers, along with new writers and rising stars.

The following list is organized by the writer, the country in which the writer hails from, and then the English title of the book. Here Gentle Reader is this year’s Longlist for The Best Translated Book Award:

José Eduardo Agualusa – Angola – “A General Theory of Oblivion,”
Bae Suah – South Korea – “Nowhere To Be Found,”
Clarice Lispector – Brazil – “The Complete Stories,”
Elena Ferrante – Italy – “The Story of the Lost Child,”
Per Petterson – Norway – “I Refuse,”
Amir Tag Elsir – Sudan – “French Perfume,”
Fiston Mwanza Mujila – Democratic Republic of the Congo – “Tram 83,”
Gabrielle Wittkop – France – “Murder Most Serene,”
Anne Garréta – France – “Sphinx,”
Kamel Daoud – Algeria – “The Meursault Investigation,”
Samuel Archibald – Canada (Quebec) – “Arvida,”
Yan Lianke – China – “The Four Books,”
Ludmilla Ulitskaya – Russia – “The Big Green Tent,”
Aleš Šteger – Slovenia – “Berlin,”
Georgi Gospodinov – Bulgaria – “The Physics of Sorrow,”
Mercè Rodoreda – Spain (Catalan) – “War, So Much War,”
Daniel Sada – Mexico – “One Out of Two,”
Andés Neuman – Argentina – “The Things We Don’t Do,”
Guadaulpe Nettel – Mexico – “The Body Where I Was Born,”
Valeria Luiselli – Mexico – “The Story of My Teeth,”
Yuri Herrera – Mexico – “Signs Preceding the end of the World,”
Yoel Hoffmann – Israel – “Moods,”
Eka Kurniawan – Indonesia – “Beauty Is a Wound,”
Wolfgang Hilbig – Germany – “The Sleep of the Righteous,”
Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi – India – “Mirages of the Mind,”

There it is Gentle Reader the Fiction Longlist for The Best Translated Book Award for 2016. The list is 25 books longs, and 25 writers strong. The list compiles five French language novels and writers, from Quebec Canada, to Algeria. The list also has five writers, writing in the Spanish language from Mexico, to Argentina. There are two Portuguese writers, one from Brazil and one from Angola; as well as one writer from Spain, who had wrote in Catalan. Political dissidence also makes an appearance on the list with Yan Lianke whose satirical novels have been censored and banned in some cases within China. Aleš Šteger also comes back to award, after taking the Poetry portion of the award back in two-thousand and eleven with his poetry collection: “The Book of Things.” Now Aleš Šteger is on the fiction longlist with his book of literary contemplation “Berlin,” composed of both photographs and prose pieces discussing Berlin and the writers who have lived there.

[ II The Poetry Longlist ]

The following list Gentle Reader is the Poetry Longlist for this year’s Best Translated Book Award, it is arranged in no particular order, and is organized in the same method organized for the Fiction longlist:

Yevgeny Baratynsky – Russia – “A Science Not for the Earth: Selected Poems and Letter,”
Liu Xia – China – “Empty Chairs: Selected Poems,”
Angélica Freitas – Brazil – “Rilke Shake,”
Frédéric Forte – France – “Minute-Operas,”
Silvina Ocampo – Argentina – “Silvina Ocampo,”
Natalia Toledo – Mexico – “The Black Flower and Other Zapotec Poems,”
Yi Lu – China – “Sea Summit,”

Abdourahmaa A. Waberi – Djibouti – “The Nomads, My Brothers, Go Out to Drink from the Big Dipper,”

Various writers/edited by: Lakshmi Holmström – India – “Wild Words: Four Tamil Poets,”

Various writers/Edited by: Farzana Marie – Afghanistan – “Load Poems Like Guns: Women’s Poetry from Herat, Afghanistan,”

Here is the Poetry longlist Gentle Reader, compromised by different poets – two anthologies from the appearance, as well as old grand masters, and new writers once again. On the poetry longlist we have two Chinese writers both of different political extremes. The first is Liu Xia, the wife of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate of 2010 Liu Xiaobo, who has been incarcerated by the Chinese government still for his non-violent protest seeking democratic reform in China, and the end to the one party system. The second is Yi Lu, a Chinese poet who appears more ideological acceptable or less politically challenging, then the other two Chinese writers who have been longlsited for both the fiction and poetry section of the award.

It’s a unique list of writers for this year’s award for both fiction and poetry! It will be exciting to see who makes it to the shortlist and who will possibly walk away with the award themselves.

Good luck to each of the writers, and thank-you to the Best Translated Book Award Judges, for showcasing new writers and books that may have been overlooked in prior searches for unique new literature to read.

Thank-you For Reading Gentle Reader
Take Care
And As Always
Stay Well Read

M. Mary

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