The Best Translated Book Awards announces fiction longlist


The finalists for the Best Translated Book Awards were announced Tuesday, featuring 25 works originally published in 16 languages -- none of them English.

American publishing traditionally publishes a smaller percentage of works in translation than other nations -- meaning we have a trade imbalance of culture. The blog Three Percent, which started the Best Translated Book Awards (BTBAs) in 2007, seeks to ameliorate that by highlighting excellent literature in translation.

BTBAs are awarded for both fiction and poetry (this year’s longlist has not been announced). The winning authors -- and their translators -- are each given a prize of $5,000.


The longlist includes authors of widely varied profiles, from little-known debut novelists to two Nobel Prize winners. There are 23 publishers on the list, from the world’s largest, Random House, to Tam Tam Books, a small independent press based in Los Angeles.

Three Percent, now run out of the University of Rochester and in conjunction with the translation publishing house Open Letter Press, will post arguments for each of its longlisted finalists during the weeks leading up to the awards, which will be held April 15.

The complete fiction longlist is below.

“Horses of God” by Mahi Binebine, translated from the French by Lulu Norman (Morocco; Tin House)

“Blinding” by Mircea Cartarescu, translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter (Romania; Archipelago Books)

“Textile” by Orly Castel-Bloom, translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu (Israel; Feminist Press)

“Sleet” by Stig Dagerman, translated from the Swedish by Steven Hartman (Sweden; David R. Godine)


“The Story of a New Name” by Elena Ferrante, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Italy; Europa Editions)

“Tirza” by Arnon Grunberg, translated from the Dutch by Sam Garrett (Netherlands; Open Letter Books)

“Her Not All Her” by Elfriede Jelinek, translated from the German by Damion Searls (Austria; Sylph Editions)

“My Struggle: Book Two” by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated from the Norwegian by Don Bartlett (Norway; Archipelago Books)

“Seiobo There Below” by László Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet (Hungary; New Directions)

“Autobiography of a Corpse” by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, translated from the Russian by Joanne Turnbull (Ukraine; NYRB)

“The Missing Year” of Juan Salvatierra by Pedro Mairal, translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor (Argentina; New Vessel Press)

“The Infatuations” by Javier Marías, translated from the Spanish by Margaret Jull Costa (Spain; Random House)

“A True Novel” by Minae Mizumura, translated from the Japanese by Juliet Winters (Japan; Other Press)

“In the Night of Time” by Antonio Muñoz Molina, translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman (Spain; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

“The African Shore” by Rodrigo Rey Rosa, translated from the Spanish by Jeffrey Gray (Guatemala; Yale University Press)

“Through the Night” by Stig Sæterbakken, translated from the Norwegian by Seán Kinsella (Norway; Dalkey Archive)

“Commentary” by Marcelle Sauvageot, translated from the French by Christine Schwartz Hartley & Anna Moschovakis (France; Ugly Duckling Presse)

“Leg Over Leg: Vol. 1” by Ahmad Faris al-Shidyaq, translated from the Arabic by Humphrey Davies (Lebanon; New York University Press)

“The Whispering Muse” by Sjón, translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb (Iceland; FSG)

“The Forbidden Kingdom” by Jan Jacob Slauerhoff, translated from the Dutch by Paul Vincent (Netherlands; Pushkin Press)

“The Devil’s Workshop” by Jáchym Topol, translated from the Czech by Alex Zucker (Czech Republic; Portobello Books)

“The End of Love” by Marcos Giralt Torrente, translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver (Spain; McSweeney’s)

“Red Grass” by Boris Vian, translated from the French by Paul Knobloch (France; Tam Tam Books)

“City of Angels, or, The Overcoat of Dr. Freud” by Christa Wolf, translated from the German by Damion Searls (Germany; FSG)

“Sandalwood Death” by Mo Yan, translated from the Chinese by Howard Goldblatt (China; University of Oklahoma Press)


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