Some Longlists, Spring 2015

The Man Booker International Prize just posted its list of finalists today, which reminds me how remiss I’ve been in communicating all the other longlist first-prize-1267543615information that’s been coming out for the past few weeks. So without further ado, let the lists begin!

1. The Man Booker International Prize – a hefty (£60,000) prize for a body of work. This year 80% of the finalists are writers of languages other than English, making this the most translation-friendly Man Booker longlist to date. What’s more, if a foreign-language writer wins the prize, s/he is invited to select one of her/his translators to receive a supplementary £15,000 award. Nice!

I suppose this is technically a shortlist rather than a longlist. The winner of the Man Booker International Prize will be announced May 19.

2. PEN American Center Translation Prizes:

The PEN Award for Poetry in Translation:

  • Sorrowtoothpaste Mirrorcream by Kim Hyesoon (Action Books), translated from the Korean by Don Mee Choi
  • Love Poems by Bertolt Brecht (Liveright), translated from the German by David Constantine and Tom Kuhn
  • I Am the Beggar of the World (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), translated from the Pashto by Eliza Griswold
  • Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz by Juana Inés de la Cruz (W. W. Norton & Company), translated from the Spanish by Edith Grossman
  • Where Are the Trees Going? by Venus Khoury-Ghata (Northwestern University Press), translated from the French by Marilyn Hacker
  • Breathturn into Timestead by Paul Celan (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), translated from the German by Pierre Joris
  • Guantanamo by Frank Smith (Les Figues Press), translated from the French by Vanessa Place
  • Skin by Tone Škrjanec (Tavern Books), translated from the Slovenian by Matthew Rohrer and Ana Pepelnik
  • Diana’s Tree by Alejandra Pizarnik (Ugly Duckling Presse), translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert
  • Autoepitaph by Reinaldo Arenas (University Press of Florida), translated from the Spanish by Kelly Washbourne

PEN Translation Prize:

  • Trans-Atlantyk by Witold Gombrowicz (Yale/Margellos), translated from the Polish by Danuta Borchardt
  • The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla (New York Review Books), translated from the Catalan by Peter Bush
  • The Symmetry Teacher by Andrei Bitov (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), translated from the Russian by Polly Gannon
  • The Master of Confessions by Thierry Cruvellier (Ecco), translated from the French by Alex Gilly
  • The Man Who Loved Dogs by Leonardo Padura (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), translated from the Spanish by Anna Kushner
  • I Ching (Viking Books), translated from the Chinese by John Minford
  • Baboon by Naja Marie Aidt (Two Lines Press), translated from the Danish by Denise Newman
  • Texas: The Great Theft by Carmen Boullosa (Deep Vellum Publishing), translated from the Spanish by Samantha Schnee
  • Self-Portrait in Green by Marie NDiaye (Two Lines Press), translated from the French by Jordan Stump
  • The Woman Who Borrowed Memories by Tove Jansson (New York Review Books), translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal & Silvester Mazzarella

Both PEN shortlists will be announced on April 15, the winners on May 13.

My enthusiasm at seeing these two lists was dampened by the announcement last week that PEN had selected Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle to be celebrated as its “Publisher Honoree” at the 2015 PEN Gala this May. Readers of this blog know that Penguin Random House – currently the world’s largest trade publisher – recently slashed the pay of all its literary translators in Spain.

3. The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

I’m particularly excited about this one, because a book I translated is on it. It’s a very German-happy list; five of the 15 books on the longlist are translations from German. (I’ve borrowed this copy of the list from The Guardian, so the links are to reviews in that paper.) This one comes with £5000 each for author and translator, plus a bottle of bubbly.

  • Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage by Haruki Murakami (Harvill Secker), translated from Japanese by Philip Gabriel
    Boyhood Island by Karl Ove Knausgaard (Harvill Secker), translated from Norwegian by Don Bartlett
  • The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck (Portobello Books) translated from German by Susan Bernofsky
  • The Giraffe’s Neck by Judith Schalansky (Bloomsbury), translated from German by Shaun Whiteside
  • F by Daniel Kehlmann (Quercus), translated from German by Carol Brown Janeway
  • Look Who’s Back by Timur Vermes (MacLehose Press), translated from German by Jamie Bulloch
  • Tiger Milk by Stefanie de Velasco (Head of Zeus), translated from German by Tim Mohr
    In the Beginning Was the Sea by Tomás González (Pushkin Press), translated from Spanish by Frank Wynne
  • The Ravens by Tomas Bannerhed (The Clerkenwell Press), translated from Swedish by Sarah Death
  • Bloodlines by Marcello Fois (MacLehose Press), translated from Italian by Silvester Mazzarella
  • The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov (Peirene Press), translated from the Russian by Andrew Bromfield
  • While the Gods Were Sleeping by Erwin Mortier (Pushkin Press), translated from Dutch by Paul Vincent
  • The Investigation by Jung-Myung Lee (Mantle), translated from Korean by Chi-Young Kim
  • The Last Lover by Can Xue (Margellos World Republic of Letters), translated from Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen
  • By Night the Mountain Burns by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel (And Other Stories), translated from Spanish by Jethro Soutar

The shortlist will be announced April 9.

4. Best Translated Book Award

Oops, not out yet. But according to the BTBA website, both the fiction and poetry longlists will be coming out April 7, with shortlists on May 5 and a prize ceremony at Book Expo America on May 27.

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