Finalists for Best Translated Book Awards announced


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The finalists for the Best Translated Book Awards have been announced. Presented by 3 Percent, the translation-focused publishing house at the University of Rochester, the Best Translated Book Awards are now in their fourth year; for the first time, the winners will receive cash prizes.

There are ten fiction books and five poetry books on the Best Translated Book Awards shortlist announced Thursday. In fiction, three publishing houses have two finalists each: Dalkey Archive, New Directions and the New York Review of Books. Archipelago, Small Beer Press, Tin House and Yale University Press each have one book in the running.


With fiction and poetry taken together, there are works translated from 10 languages: four from French, two each from German and Spanish, and one each from Afrikaans, Albanian, Chinese, Czech, Japanese, Slovenian and Swedish.

The Best Translated Book Awards received a grant from Amazon to support prizes of $5,000 to be awarded to the author and translator of each winning book. The prizes will be awarded at a ceremony April 29 during the PEN World Voices Festival in New York.

After the jump, the complete list of finalists.

The 2011 BTBA Fiction Finalists:

‘The Literary Conference’ by César Aira, translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver (New Directions) ‘The Golden Age’ by Michal Ajvaz, translated from the Czech by Andrew Oakland (Dalkey Archive) ‘A Life on Paper’ by Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, translated from the French by Edward Gauvin (Small Beer) ‘The Jokers’ by Albert Cossery, translated from the French by Anna Moschovakis (New York Review Books) ‘Visitation’ by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky (New Directions) ‘Hocus Bogus’ by Romain Gary (writing as Émile Ajar), translated from the French by David Bellos (Yale University Press) ‘The True Deceiver’ by Tove Jansson, translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal (New York Review Books) ‘On Elegance While Sleeping’ by Emilio Lascano Tegui, translated from the Spanish by Idra Novey (Dalkey Archive) ‘Agaat’ by Marlene Van Niekerk, translated from the Afrikaans by Michiel Heyns (Tin House) ‘Georg Letham: Physician and Murderer’ by Ernst Weiss, translated from the German by Joel Rotenberg (Archipelago)

The 2011 BTBA Poetry Finalists:

‘Geometries’ by Eugene Guillevic, translated from the French by Richard Sieburth (Ugly Ducking) ‘Flash Cards’ by Yu Jian, translated from the Chinese by Wang Ping and Ron Padgett (Zephyr Press) ‘Time of Sky & Castles in the Air’ by Ayane Kawata, translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu (Litmus Press) ‘Child of Nature’ by Luljeta Lleshanaku, translated from the Albanian by Henry Israeli and Shpresa Qatipi (New Directions) ‘The Book of Things’ by Aleš Šteger, translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry (BOA Editions)


-- Carolyn Kellogg