The finalists for the 10th annual Best Translated Book Awards were announced Tuesday morning, with 10 authors and translators nominated in the fiction category and five in the poetry category. The shortlists were first announced by the literary website the Millions.
This year's finalists represent 13 countries and nine languages, with books translated from Spanish leading the pack with five nominees. The Spanish-language finalists include Laia Jufresa's debut novel, “Umami,” translated by Sophie Hughes, and Daniel Saldaña Paris' “Among Strange Victims,” translated by Christina MacSweeney.
French was the second-most represented language, with three books making the cut. They include Mauritian author Ananda Devi's novel “Eve Out of Her Ruins,” translated by Jeffrey Zuckerman, and Marie NDiaye's “Ladivine,” translated by Jordan Stump.
NDaiye, who won France’s biggest literary prize, the Prix Goncourt, in 2009, is likely the best-known of the finalists. Her book was published by Knopf, but many of the others come from small independent presses.
The five poetry finalists include South Korean writer Yideum Kim's “Cheer Up, Femme Fatale,” translated by Ji Yoon Lee, Don Mee Choi and Johannes Göransson, and Hungarian poet Szilárd Borbély's “Berlin-Hamlet,” translated by Ottilie Mulzet.
Mulzet could become the first translator to win in both the fiction and poetry categories. Her translation of László Krasznahorkai's novel “Seiobo There Below” won the Best Translated Book Award for fiction in 2014.
This year's finalists include a host of authors making their English-language debuts. Eight of the ten nominated books in the fiction category are by authors who have never had their books translated into English before.
The Best Translated Book Awards were established in 2008 by Three Percent, the online companion magazine to the University of Rochester's Open Letter Books. Past winning authors have included Tove Jansson of Finland, Can Xue of China and Yuri Herrera of Mexico.
The awards come with $5,000 cash prizes, sponsored by Amazon Literary Partnership, for the winning authors and translators. The winners of this year's awards will be announced on May 4 at a ceremony at The Folly, a restaurant in New York, and on The Millions website.