Stochastic Bookmark

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Best Translated Books of 2012

(updates downthere)
It'll be three months before the long list for the Best Translated Book Awards is announced, but I feel I've already read many of the books likely to be on it. Not by design, just that this year's releases hit my buttons one way or another in a way that last coupla year's didn't (including the BTBA long list) (though I read half of the first coupla year's list, which got longer as the award established itself) (how do the judges do it?). So without much ado, and in the order read, a list of the worthies [with links to publisher sites] (and translator in parentheses) (when is a translator not in parentheses?) (oh yes, BTBA ...):

Jacques Roubaud, Mathematics: (Ian Monk) [Dalkey Archive]
Elias Khoury, As Though She Were Sleeping (Marilyn Booth) [Archipelago Books]
Eric Chevillard, Prehistoric Times (Alyson Waters) [Archipelago Books]
Laszlo Krasznahorkai, Satantango (George Szirtes) [New Directions]
César Aira, Varamo (Chris Andrews) [New Directions]
Clarice Lispector, A Breath of Life (Johnny Lorenz) [New Directions]
Andrei Makine, The Life of an Unknown Man (Geoffrey Strachan) [Graywolf]
Danilo Kis, Psalm 44 (John K. Cox) [Dalkey Archive]
Antonio Tabucchi, The Flying Creatures of Fra Angelico (Tim Parks) [Archipelago Books]
Danilo Kis, The Lute and the Scar (John K. Cox) [Dalkey Archive]
César Aira, The Miracle Cures of Dr. Aira (Katherine Silver) [New Directions]
Mikhail Shishkin, Maidenhair (Marian Schwartz) [Open Letter]
(and on order: *
Juan Filloy, Faction (Brendan Riley) [Dalkey Archive])

Of these, I expect Kraznahorkai and Shishkin to make the short list (four months away), along with perhaps Lispector or Makine (or Chevillard) (or non-exclusive, but there's only so much room) ...

Some likely long-listers I haven't read:
Laurent Binet, HHhH (Sam Taylor) [FSG]
Sergio Chejfec, Planets (Heather Cleary) [Open Letter]
Karl Knausgaard, My Struggle: Book One (Don Bartlett) [Archipelago Books]
Andrés Neuman, Traveler of the Century (Lorenzo Garcia) [FSG]
Enrique Vila-Matas, Dublinesque (Anne McLean) [New Directions]

And I haven't even mentioned new translations of Nobelaureates, nor university press offerings, nor the hard-to-categorize (such as Yves Bonnefoy's The Arriére-Pays (Stephen Romer) [Seagull Books] or Roberto Calasso's La Folie Baudelaire (Alastair McEwan) [FSG]) ...

but there's also a BTBA for poetry, which I've been delving into more, including a couple candidates for that long list:
Li Po, Bright Moon, White Clouds: Selected Poems of Li Po (J.P. Seaton) [Shambhala]
Nichita Stanescu, Wheel with a Single Spoke and other poems (Sean Cotter) [Archipelago Books]

... but further elaboration will have to be fodder for a future post.

(11.12.12) * at least I hope it's on order: snailmailed for Dalkey's special sale, running thru 15 Dec, online via Amazon account.

(12.12.12)Raised from comments: So far as Nobelaureates go, Miguel is right to highlight José Saramago's Raised from the Ground, which I will be reading at his instigation.
Also, while not eligible for BTBA (because previously translated even if out-of-print), one of the best of 2012 I've read is Witold Gombrowicz,
Diary (Lillian Vallee) [Yale]. Similarly ineligible but nonetheless noteworthy is Juan Rulfo, The Plain in Flames (Ilan Stavans w/ Harold Augenbraum)[Texas].


Blogger Miguel said...

No Margaret Jull Costa for Saramago's Raised from the Ground?

11/12/12 17:28  
Blogger nnyhav said...

If I read another José Saramago book I’ll go crazy.

Just kidding.

But yeah, should be on my list, and BTBA's. (I did say I didn't mention Nobelaureates. This may be top of that list.)

11/12/12 19:20  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boycott Dalkey:

13/12/12 04:57  
Blogger nnyhav said...

Far be it from me to get in the way of a silly meme, anonymous or no (and lazy, can't even link properly to its source). (MAO covers the ground better.) Moreso as I'm in the midst of Magnus Mills' The Restraint of Beasts (thx jabel).

13/12/12 12:06  
Blogger JAbel said...

I haven't ordered Beasts yet but received an early present from a brother today"Sled Run" by Ross Talarico set in 1959 Rochester NY and a short novel about young Italian Americans stealing from local warehouses to give to Toys for Tots.Interesting that it's done by Via Folios which has a whole list of books by Italian American writers in the back.Sent Frank Gado a note to see if he knew of any to point me to.

14/12/12 02:10  

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