Stochastic Bookmark

abstruse unfinished commentary

about correspondence


BTBA fiction shortlist 2017

Finalists for the Best Translated Book Awards announced today at 1E6s, presented here with links to the 3% series on Why This Book Should Win:

Antonio di Benedetto, Zama (Esther Allen: Spanish [Argentina]) [nyrb]
Sergi Lebedev, Oblivion (Antonina W. Bouis: Russian) [New Vessel]
Laia Jufresa, Umami (Sophie Hughes: Spanish [Mexico]) [Oneworld]
Marie NDiaye, Ladivine (Jordan Stump: French) [Knopf]
Pedro Cabiya, Wicked Weeds (Jessica Powell: Spanish [Dominican Republic]) [Mandel Vilar]
Lúcio Cardoso, Chronicle of the Murdered House (Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson: Portuguese [Brazil]) [Open Letter]
Ananda Devi, Eve Out of Her Ruins (Jeffrey Zuckerman: French [Mauritius]) [Deep Vellum]
Boubacar Boris Diop, Doomi Golo (Vera Wülfing-Leckie and El Hadji Moustapha Diop: Wolof [Senegal]) [Michigan State]
Stefan Hertmans, War and Turpentine (David McKay: Dutch [Belgium]) [Pantheon]
Daniel Saldaña Paris, Among Strange Victims (Christina MacSweeney: Spanish [Mexico]) [Coffee House]

This year's shortlist is something of a departure from past practice (which is not to say good or bad). Two-time BTBA press winners were winnowed out: this is the first year that Archipelago Books didn't make the fiction shortlist, and only the second time New Directions didn't, despite having four titles on the longlist (both are however present on the poetry shortlist). Conversely, congrats to newcomers Oneworld, Deep Vellum, New Vessel and Mandel Vilar! (and to more established first-timers Knopf, Pantheon and MSU). Lots of newcomers among the authors and translators as well! There's more of a regional concentration: half of this year's titles are Latin American. Relatedly, only two language home countries are represented, Russia and France, by Sergi Lebedev and Marie NDiaye respectively (I think the latter a favorite to win [though still to be read], but I'm out of synch and so will keep prognostication to a minimum). For other thoughts, see hear 3% podcast (fiction starts 9:45 in).