Visitation is a 2011 BTBA Finalist!

Well, I was certainly excited in January to find myself (twice!) on the fiction longlist for the 2011 Best Translated Book Award, and now the shortlist has just come out, and I’m on it with Jenny Erpenbeck’s wonderful novel Visitation, which I love so much I’ve already blogged about it repeatedly, so I won’t start with that again, though I’m tempted. It’s such an honor to appear on this 10-title shortlist, which is filled with wonderful books that all deserve to win a prize. The two publishers I’ve been working for recently (New Directions and New York Review Books) are each represented with two titles; my Columbia University colleagues Idra Novey and Anna Moschovakis are on the list as well; as is the illustrious David Bellos, recently featured on this blog; as well as several friends. It’s going to be hard for me not to feel celebratory if any of them wins the prize this year. Looking at this list, I am above all feeling gratified and delighted to see what excellent translated books came out in 2010. There’s a lot of good reading here. And what would the point of the BTBA be if not to draw our attention to all the wonderful books in translation published every year for our reading pleasure? All you have to do is visit a bookstore or library, and the prize is yours.

I am reproducing below the lists of 2011 BTBA Fiction and Poetry Finalists as they appear on Three Percent:

The 2011 BTBA Fiction Finalists (in alphabetical order by author):

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 (in alphabetical order by author):

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)

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