Best Translated Book Award
|Best Translated Book Award|
|Awarded for||Best original translation of a work of fiction and poetry into English|
|Official website||Best Translated Book Award|
Best Translated Book Award is an annual literature award given by Three Percent, the online literature magazine of Open Letter Books, which is the book translation press of the University of Rochester. It is awarded to the best original translation (into English) published that year. A long list and short list are announced leading up to the award. There are two awards, one for fiction and one for poetry.
The award takes into consideration not only the quality of the translation but the entire package: the work of the original writer, translator, editor, and publisher. The award is "..an opportunity to honor and celebrate the translators, editors, publishers, and other literary supporters who help make literature from other cultures available to American readers."
In October 2010 Amazon.com announced it would be underwriting the prize with a $25,000 grant. This would allow both the translator and author to receive a $5,000 prize. Prior to this the award did not carry a cash prize.
The first award was given in 2008 for books published in 2007. The award is variously named for the year in which the award is won, for example the 2009 award is for books published in 2008, and sometimes named for the year the books were published. This article uses the year in which the award is announced (year after publication).
- Guantanamo by Dorothea Dieckmann, translated from German by Tim Mohr. (Soft Skull)
- The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño, translated from Spanish by Natasha Wimmer. (FSG)
- Autonauts of the Cosmoroute by Julio Cortázar, translated from Spanish by Anne McLean. (Archipelago Books)
- Missing Soluch by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, translated from Persian by Kamran Rastegar. (Melville House)
- Ravel by Jean Echenoz, translated from French by Linda Coverdale. (New Press)
- Sunflower by Gyula Krudy, translated from Hungarian by John Batki. (NYRB)
- Out Stealing Horses by Per Petterson, translated from Norwegian by Anne Born. (Graywolf Press)
- Omega Minor by Paul Verhaeghen, translated from Flemish by the author. (Dalkey Archive)
- Montano's Malady by Enrique Vila-Matas, translated from Spanish by Jonathan Dunne. (New Directions)
- The Assistant by Robert Walser, translated from German by Susan Bernofsky. (New Directions)
- The Drug of Art: Selected Poems by Ivan Blatny, translated from Czech by Justin Quinn, Matthew Sweney, Alex Zucker, Veronika Tuckerova, and Anna Moschovakis. (Ugly Duckling)
- The Dream of the Poem: Hebrew Poetry from Muslim and Christian Spain, 950–1492 edited and translated from Hebrew by Peter Cole. (Princeton)
- The Collected Poems: 1956–1998 by Zbigniew Herbert, translated from Polish by Czesław Miłosz, Peter Dale Scott, and Alissa Valles. (Ecco)
- Tranquility by Attila Bartis, translated from the Hungarian by Imre Goldstein. (Archipelago Books)
- 2666 by Roberto Bolaño, translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
- Nazi Literature in the Americas by Roberto Bolaño, translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews. (New Directions)
- Voice Over by Céline Curiol, translated from the French by Sam Richard. (Seven Stories)
- The Darkroom of Damocles by Willem Frederik Hermans, translated from the Dutch by Ina Rilke. (Overlook)
- Yalo by Elias Khoury, translated from the Arabic by Peter Theroux. (Archipelago Books)
- Senselessness by Horacio Castellanos Moya, translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver. (New Directions)
- Unforgiving Years by Victor Serge, translated from the French by Richard Greeman. (New York Review of Books)
- Bonsai by Alejandro Zambra, translated from the Spanish by Carolina De Robertis. (Melville House Publishing)
- The Post Office Girl by Stefan Zweig, translated from the German by Joel Rotenberg. (New York Review of Books)
- For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut by Takashi Hiraide, translated from the Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu. (New Directions)
- Essential Poems and Writings by Robert Desnos, translated from the French by Mary Ann Caws, Terry Hale, Bill Zavatsky, Martin Sorrell, Jonathan Eburne, Katherine Connelly, Patricia Terry, and Paul Auster. (Black Widow)
- You Are the Business by Caroline Dubois, translated from the French by Cole Swensen. (Burning Deck)
- As It Turned Out by Dmitry Golynko, translated from the Russian by Eugene Ostashevsky, Rebecca Bella, and Simona Schneider. (Ugly Duckling)
- Poems of A.O. Barnabooth by Valery Larbaud, translated from the French by Ron Padgett & Bill Zavatsky. (Black Widow)
- Night Wraps the Sky by Vladimir Mayakovsky, translated from the Russian by Katya Apekina, Val Vinokur, and Matvei Yankelevich, and edited by Michael Almereyda. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
- A Different Practice by Fredrik Nyberg, translated from the Swedish by Jennifer Hayashida. (Ugly Duckling)
- EyeSeas by Raymond Queneau, translated from the French by Daniela Hurezanu and Stephen Kessler. (Black Widow)
- Peregrinary by Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki, translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston. (Zephyr)
- Eternal Enemies by Adam Zagajewski, translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)
The award was announced March 10, 2010 at Idlewild Books. According to award organizer Chad Post, "On the fiction side of things we debated and debated for weeks. There were easily four other titles that could’ve easily won this thing. Walser, Prieto, Aira were all very strong contenders."
- The Confessions of Noa Weber by Gail Hareven. Translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu. (Israel, Melville House)
- Anonymous Celebrity by Ignácio de Loyola Brandão. Translated from the Portuguese by Nelson Vieira. (Brazil, Dalkey Archive)
- The Discoverer by Jan Kjaerstad. Translated from the Norwegian by Barbara Haveland. (Norway, Open Letter)
- Ghosts by Cesar Aira. Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews. (Argentina, New Directions)
- Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky. Translated from the Russian by Joanne Turnbull. (Russia, New York Review Books)
- Rex by José Manuel Prieto. Translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen. (Cuba, Grove Books)
- The Tanners by Robert Walser. Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky. (Switzerland, New Directions)
- The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker. Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer. (Netherlands, Archipelago Books)
- The Weather Fifteen Years Ago by Wolf Haas. Translated from the German by Stephanie Gilardi and Thomas S. Hansen. (Austria, Ariadne Press)
- Wonder by Hugo Claus. Translated from the Dutch by Michael Henry Heim. (Belgium, Archipelago Books)
- Elena Fanailova, The Russian Version. Translated from the Russian by Genya Turovskaya and Stephanie Sandler. (Russia, Ugly Duckling Presse)
- Nicole Brossard, Selections. Translated from the French by various. (Canada, University of California)
- René Char, The Brittle Age and Returning Upland. Translated from the French by Gustaf Sobin. (France, Counterpath)
- Mahmoud Darwish, If I Were Another. Translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah (Palestine, FSG)
- Hiromi Ito, Killing Kanoko. Translated from the Japanese by Jeffrey Angles. (Japan, Action Books)
- Marcelijus Martinaitis, KB: The Suspect. Translated from the Lithuanian by Laima Vince. (Lithuania, White Pine)
- Heeduk Ra, Scale and Stairs. Translated from the Korean by Woo-Chung Kim and Christopher Merrill. (Korea, White Pine)
- Novica Tadic, Dark Things. Translated from the Serbian by Charles Simic. (Serbia, BOA Editions)
- Liliana Ursu, Lightwall. Translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter. (Romania, Zephyr Press)
- Wei Ying-wu, In Such Hard Times. Translated from the Chinese by Red Pine. (China, Copper Canyon)
On January 27, 2011, the 25-title fiction longlist was announced. On March 24 the shortlists were announced (10-fiction, 5-poetry), and the winning titles were announced at the PEN World Voices Festival on April 29 by Lorin Stein.
- The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson, translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal (New York Review Books) 
- 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)
- 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 Book of Things by Aleš Šteger, translated from the Slovenian by Brian Henry (BOA Editions) 
- 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)
On February 28, 2012, the 25-title fiction longlist was announced. On April 10, 2012, the 10 finalists were announced in fiction and 6 poetry. The winners were announced on May 4. Each winning book received $10,000 of prize money divided among the author and translators, the second year a cash prize was awarded with the sponsorship of Amazon.com.
- Stone Upon Stone by Wiesław Myśliwski, translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston (Archipelago Books) 
- Lightning by Jean Echenoz, translated from the French by Linda Coverdale (New Press)
- Upstaged by Jacques Jouet, translated from the French by Leland de la Durantaye (Dalkey Archive Press)
- Kornél Esti by Kosztolányi Dezső, translated from the Hungarian by Bernard Adams (New Directions)
- I Am a Japanese Writer by Dany Laferrière, translated from the French by David Homel (Douglas & MacIntyre)
- New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani, translated from the Italian by Judith Landry (Dedalus)
- Scars by Juan José Saer, translated from the Spanish by Steve Dolph (Open Letter)
- Kafka's Leopards by Moacyr Scliar, translated from the Portuguese by Thomas O. Beebee (Texas Tech University Press)
- In Red by Magdalena Tulli, translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston (Archipelago Books)
- Never Any End to Paris by Enrique Vila-Matas, translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean (New Directions)
- Spectacle & Pigsty by Kiwao Nomura, translated from the Japanese by Kyoko Yoshida and Forrest Gander (Omnidawn)
- Hagar Before the Occupation, Hagar After the Occupation by Amal al-Jubouri, translated from the Arabic by Rebecca Gayle Howell with Husam Qaisi (Alice James Books)
- Last Verses by Jules Laforgue, translated from the French by Donald Revell (Omnidawn)
- A Fireproof Box by Gleb Shulpyakov, translated from the Russian by Christopher Mattison (Canarium Books)
- engulf—enkindle by Anja Utler, translation from the German by Kurt Beals (Burning Deck)
- False Friends by Uljana Wolf, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky (Ugly Duckling Presse)
- Satantango by László Krasznahorkai, translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes (New Directions; Hungary)
- The Planets by Sergio Chejfec, translated from the Spanish by Heather Cleary (Open Letter Books; Argentina)
- Prehistoric Times by Eric Chevillard, translated from the French by Alyson Waters (Archipelago Books; France)
- The Colonel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, translated from the Persian by Tom Patterdale (Melville House; Iran)
- Autoportrait by Edouard Levé, translated from the French by Lorin Stein (Dalkey Archive Press; France)
- A Breath of Life: Pulsations by Clarice Lispector, translated from the Portuguese by Johnny Lorenz (New Directions; Brazil)
- The Hunger Angel by Herta Müller, translated from the German by Philip Boehm (Metropolitan Books; Romania)
- Maidenhair by Mikhail Shishkin, translated from the Russian by Marian Schwartz (Open Letter Books; Russia)
- Transit by Abdourahman A. Waberi, translated from the French by David Ball and Nicole Ball (Indiana University Press; Djibouti)
- My Father's Book by Urs Widmer, translated from the German by Donal McLaughlin (Seagull Books; Switzerland)
- Wheel with a Single Spoke by Nichita Stanescu, translated from the Romanian by Sean Cotter (Archipelago Books; Romania)
- Transfer Fat by Aase Berg, translated from the Swedish by Johannes Göransson (Ugly Duckling Press; Sweden)
- pH Neutral History by Lidija Dimkovska, translated from the Macedonian by Ljubica Arsovska and Peggy Reid (Copper Canyon Press; Macedonia)
- The Invention of Glass by Emmanuel Hocquard, translated from the French by Cole Swensen and Rod Smith (Canarium Books; France)
- Notes on the Mosquito by Xi Chuan, translated from the Chinese by Lucas Klein (New Directions; China)
- Almost 1 Book / Almost 1 Life by Elfriede Czurda, translated from the German by Rosmarie Waldrop (Burning Deck; Austria)
- "EVENT: '2009 Best Translated Book Awards' to be Announced on Feb. 19", Feb 13, 2009
- "Amazon.com to Underwrite Open Letter's Best Translated Book Awards". The Daily Record. 2010-10-21. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
- Three Percent has been inconsistent in naming the award, sometimes using the year in which the books were published, as in this example, other times naming it for the year in which the award is given (the following year), as in this official press release.
- "And the winner is..", post by Chad Post
- 2007 long list
- "2009 Best Translated Book Winners"
- official 2010 BTBA Winners Press Release
- Chad Post. "Best Translated Book Award Winners (BTBA) 2010", March 10, 2010.
- 2011 Best Translated Book Award Finalists, Chad Post, March 23, 2011
- "2011 Best Translated Book Award Winners: Aleš Šteger’s "The Book of Things" and Tove Jansson’s "The True Deceiver"", Chad Post, Three Percent, April 29, 2011.
- "Swedish novel, Slovenian poetry win $5,000 prizes". Associated Press. May 5, 2011.
- RD Pohl (May 11, 2012). "Steger's "The Book of Things" wins Best Translated Book Award for BOA Editions". Buffalo News.
- And Here It Is: The BTBA 2012 Fiction Longlist, Chad Post, Three Percent, 28 Feb 2012.
- "2012 Best Translated Book Award Finalists: Fiction and Poetry", Chad Post, Three Percent, April 10, 2012.
- The 2012 Best Translated Book Award Winners, Chad Post, Three Percent, May 4, 2012.
- "Books from Japan and Poland win translation awards". Associated Press. May 4, 2012.
- Chad W. Post (April 10, 2013). "2013 Best Translated Book Award: The Fiction Finalists". Three Percent. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
- Chad W. Post. "2013 Best Translated Book Award: The Poetry Finalists". Three Percent. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
- Best Translated Book Award, official website