Thursday, 27 January 2011

Four German Titles on Best Book Fiction Awards Longlist

Yes, they just announced the fiction longlist of 25 titles for the Best Translated Book Award. Along with lots of other no doubt fabulous books translated from eleven other languages, the list features four titles translated from German:

Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated by Susan Bernofsky (New Directions)

The Blindness of the Heart by Julia Franck, translated by Anthea Bell (Grove)

Microscripts by Robert Walser, translated by Susan Bernofsky (New Directions)

Georg Letham: Physician and Murderer by Ernst Weiss, translated by Joel Rotenberg (Archipelago)

The 10-title fiction shortlist is out on 24 March, as is the poetry shortlist. Winners will be announced on 29 April at the PEN World Voices Festival in New York.

I've only read the first two books, as the others are by dead people - yes, I know I'm probably missing out. And I'm rooting for Erpenbeck/Bernofsky, as I love the book a tiny bit more than I love the Franck/Bell title (which is still a great read).

To quote liberally from the press release:

“Not only is this a collection of the year’s most important and compelling books in translation, it’s a list of high quality books that deserve readers’ attention,” said fiction judge Monica Carter. “These books represent a global perspective that, due to the dedication and talent of the translators, can open up the world to readers of English. The Best Translated Book Awards serve the world literature community of writers, translators, and readers in a way that no other award can.”

Hear, hear. And I love that the award gives so much kudos to translators.

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