Best Translated Book Award

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Best Translated Book Award
Awarded forBest original translation of a work of fiction and poetry into English
Sponsored byAmazon.com
CountryUnited States
Hosted byThree Percent
Reward(s)$5,000
First awarded2008
Last awardedActive
Websitebesttranslatedbook.org

The Best Translated Book Award is an American literary award that recognizes the previous year's best original translation into English, one book of poetry and one of fiction. It was inaugurated in 2008 and is conferred by Three Percent, the online literary magazine of Open Letter Books, which is the book translation press of the University of Rochester. A long list and short list are announced leading up to the award.

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."[1]

In October 2010 Amazon.com announced it would be underwriting the prize with a $25,000 grant.[2] 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.

Winners[edit]

Fiction[edit]

Year Author Work Translator Language Publisher Country
2008 Dorothea Dieckmann Guantanamo Tim Mohr German Soft Skull Germany
2009 Attila Bartis Tranquility Imre Goldstein Hungarian Archipelago Hungary
2010 Gail Hareven The Confessions of Noa Weber Dalya Bilu Hebrew Melville House Publishing Israel
2011 Tove Jansson The True Deceiver Thomas Teal Swedish New York Review Books Finland
2012 Wiesław Myśliwski Stone Upon Stone Bill Johnston Polish Archipelago Books Poland
2013 László Krasznahorkai Satantango George Szirtes Hungarian New Directions Hungary
2014 László Krasznahorkai Seiobo There Below Ottilie Mulzet Hungarian New Directions Hungary
2015 Can Xue The Last Lover Annelise Finegan Wasmoen Chinese Yale University Press China
2016 Yuri Herrera Signs Preceding the End of the World Lisa Dillman Spanish And Other Stories Mexico
2017 Lúcio Cardoso Chronicle of the Murdered House Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson Portuguese Open Letter Books Brazil
2018 Rodrigo Fresán The Invented Part Will Vanderhyden Spanish Open Letter Books Argentina
2019 Patrick Chamoiseau Slave Old Man Linda Coverdale French New Press Martinique

Poetry[edit]

Year Author Work Translator Language Publisher Country
2009 Takashi Hiraide For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut Sawako Nakayasu Japanese New Directions Japan
2010 Elena Fanailova The Russian Version Genya Turovskaya and Stephanie Sandler Russian Ugly Duckling Presse Russia
2011 Aleš Šteger The Book of Things Brian Henry Slovenian BOA Editions Slovenia
2012 Kiwao Nomura Spectacle & Pigsty Kyoko Yoshida and Forrest Gander Japanese Omnidawn Japan
2013 Nichita Stanescu Wheel with a Single Spoke Sean Cotter Romanian Archipelago Books Romania
2014 Elisa Biagini The Guest in the Wood Diana Thow, Sarah Stickney and Eugene Ostashevsky Italian Chelsea Editions Italy
2015 Rocío Cerón Diorama Anna Rosenwong Spanish Phoneme Media Mexico
2016 Angélica Freitas Rilke Shake Hilary Kaplan Portuguese Phoneme Media Brazil
2017 Alejandra Pizarnik Extracting the Stone of Madness Yvette Siegert Spanish New Directions Argentina
2018 Eleni Vakalo Before Lyricism Karen Emmerich Greek Ugly Duckling Presse Greece
2019 Hilda Hilst Of Death. Minimal Odes Laura Cesarco Eglin Portuguese co-im-press Brazil

Awards[edit]

The first awards were given in 2008 for books published in 2007. The Best Translation Book Awards are dated by the presentation year, with the book publication the previous year.[3]

Blue ribbon = winner.

2008[edit]

The award was announced January 4, 2008 for books published in 2007.[4] It was the first award and was based on open voting by readers of Three Percent, who also nominated the longlist.[5]

Fiction shortlist

Poetry shortlist

  • 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)

2009[edit]

The award was announced February 19, 2009 for book published in 2008. There was a ceremony at Melville House Publishing in Brooklyn hosted by author and critic Francisco Goldman.[6]

Fiction shortlist

Poetry shortlist

  • Blue ribbon For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut by Takashi Hiraide, translated from Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu. (New Directions)
  • Essential Poems and Writings by Robert Desnos, translated from 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 French by Cole Swensen. (Burning Deck)
  • As It Turned Out by Dmitry Golynko, translated from Russian by Eugene Ostashevsky, Rebecca Bella, and Simona Schneider. (Ugly Duckling)
  • Poems of A.O. Barnabooth by Valery Larbaud, translated from French by Ron Padgett & Bill Zavatsky. (Black Widow)
  • Night Wraps the Sky by Vladimir Mayakovsky, translated from 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 Swedish by Jennifer Hayashida. (Ugly Duckling)
  • EyeSeas by Raymond Queneau, translated from French by Daniela Hurezanu and Stephen Kessler. (Black Widow)
  • Peregrinary by Eugeniusz Tkaczyszyn-Dycki, translated from Polish by Bill Johnston. (Zephyr)
  • Eternal Enemies by Adam Zagajewski, translated from Polish by Clare Cavanagh. (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

2010[edit]

The award was announced March 10, 2010 at Idlewild Books.[7] 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."[8]

Fiction shortlist

Poetry shortlist

  • Blue ribbon Elena Fanailova, The Russian Version. Translated from Russian by Genya Turovskaya and Stephanie Sandler. (Russia, Ugly Duckling Presse)
  • Nicole Brossard, Selections. Translated from French by various. (Canada, University of California)
  • René Char, The Brittle Age and Returning Upland. Translated from French by Gustaf Sobin. (France, Counterpath)
  • Mahmoud Darwish, If I Were Another. Translated from Arabic by Fady Joudah (Palestine, FSG)
  • Hiromi Ito, Killing Kanoko. Translated from Japanese by Jeffrey Angles. (Japan, Action Books)
  • Marcelijus Martinaitis, KB: The Suspect. Translated from Lithuanian by Laima Vince. (Lithuania, White Pine)
  • Heeduk Ra, Scale and Stairs. Translated from Korean by Woo-Chung Kim and Christopher Merrill. (Korea, White Pine)
  • Novica Tadic, Dark Things. Translated from Serbian by Charles Simic. (Serbia, BOA Editions)
  • Liliana Ursu, Lightwall. Translated from Romanian by Sean Cotter. (Romania, Zephyr Press)
  • Wei Ying-wu, In Such Hard Times. Translated from Chinese by Red Pine. (China, Copper Canyon)

2011[edit]

On January 27, 2011, the 25-title fiction longlist was announced. On March 24 the shortlists were announced (10-fiction, 5-poetry),[9] and the winning titles were announced at the PEN World Voices Festival on April 29 by Lorin Stein.[10]

Fiction shortlist

Poetry shortlist

  • Blue ribbon The Book of Things by Aleš Šteger, translated from Slovenian by Brian Henry (BOA Editions) [12]
  • Geometries by Eugene Guillevic, translated from French by Richard Sieburth (Ugly Ducking)
  • Flash Cards by Yu Jian, translated from Chinese by Wang Ping and Ron Padgett (Zephyr Press)
  • Time of Sky & Castles in the Air by Ayane Kawata, translated from Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu (Litmus Press)
  • Child of Nature by Luljeta Lleshanaku, translated from Albanian by Henry Israeli and Shpresa Qatipi (New Directions)

2012[edit]

On February 28, 2012, the 25-title fiction longlist was announced.[13] On April 10, 2012, the 10 finalists were announced in fiction and 6 poetry.[14] The winners were announced on May 4.[15] 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.

Fiction shortlist

Poetry shortlist

2013[edit]

On March 5, 2013, the fiction longlist was announced. On April 10, 2013, the poetry and fiction shortlists were announced.[17][18] The winners were announced May 6.[19]

Fiction shortlist

Poetry shortlist

2014[edit]

The fiction longlist was announced March 11, 2014,[20] the shortlist was announced April 14,[21][22] and the winners and two runners-up in each category were announced April 28.[23]

Fiction shortlist, runners-up and winner

Poetry shortlist, runners-up and winner

2015[edit]

The longlist was announced April 7, 2015.[24][25] The shortlist was announced May 5, 2015.[26][27] The winners were announced May 27, 2015.[28]

Fiction shortlist and winner

Poetry shortlist and winner

2016[edit]

The longlist was announced on 29 March 2016[29] The shortlist was announced 19 April 2016.[30][31] The winners were announced on 4 May 2016.[32]

Fiction shortlist and winner

  • Blue ribbon Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, translated from Spanish by Lisa Dillman (Mexico, And Other Stories)
  • A General Theory of Oblivion by José Eduardo Agualusa, translated from Portuguese by Daniel Hahn (Angola, Archipelago Books)
  • Arvida by Samuel Archibald, translated from French by Donald Winkler (Canada, Biblioasis)
  • The Story of the Lost Child by Elena Ferrante, translated from Italian by Ann Goldstein (Italy, Europa Editions)
  • The Physics of Sorrow by Georgi Gospodinov, translated from Bulgarian by Angela Rodel (Bulgaria, Open Letter)
  • Moods by Yoel Hoffmann, translated from Hebrew by Peter Cole (Israel, New Directions)
  • The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector, translated from Portuguese by Katrina Dodson (Brazil, New Directions)
  • The Story of My Teeth by Valeria Luiselli, translated from Spanish by Christina MacSweeney (Mexico, Coffee House Press)
  • War, So Much War by Mercè Rodoreda, translated from Catalan by Maruxa Relaño and Martha Tennent (Spain, Open Letter)
  • Murder Most Serene by Gabrielle Wittkop, translated from French by Louise Rogers Lalaurie (France, Wakefield Press)

Poetry shortlist and winner

  • Blue ribbon Rilke Shake by Angélica Freitas, translated from Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan (Brazil, Phoneme Media)
  • Empty Chairs: Selected Poems by Liu Xia, translated from Chinese by Ming Di and Jennifer Stern (China, Graywolf)
  • Load Poems Like Guns: Women's Poetry from Herat, Afghanistan, edited and translated from Persian by Farzana Marie (Afghanistan, Holy Cow! Press)
  • Silvina Ocampo by Silvina Ocampo, translated from Spanish by Jason Weiss (Argentina, NYRB)
  • The Nomads, My Brothers, Go Out to Drink from the Big Dipper by Abdourahman A. Waberi, translated from French by Nancy Naomi Carlson (Djibouti, Seagull Books)
  • Sea Summit by Yi Lu, translated from Chinese by Fiona Sze-Lorrain (China, Milkweed)

2017[edit]

The longlist for fiction and poetry was announced March 28, 2017.[33] The shortlist was announced April 19, 2017.[34] The winners were announced May 4, 2017.[35]

Fiction shortlist
Poetry shortlist
  • Blue ribbon Extracting the Stone of Madness by Alejandra Pizarnik, translated from Spanish by Yvette Siegert (Argentina, New Directions)
  • Berlin-Hamlet by Szilárd Borbély, translated from Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet (Hungary, New York Review Books)
  • Of Things by Michael Donhauser, translated from German by Nick Hoff and Andrew Joron (Austria, Burning Deck Press)
  • Cheer Up, Femme Fatale by Yideum Kim, translated from Korean by Ji Yoon Lee, Don Mee Choi, and Johannes Göransson (South Korea, Action Books)
  • In Praise of Defeat by Abdellatif Laâbi, translated from French by Donald Nicholson-Smith (Morocco, Archipelago Books)

2018[edit]

The longlist for fiction and poetry was announced April 10, 2018.[36] The shortlist was announced May 15, 2018.[37] The winners were announced May 31, 2018.[38]

Fiction shortlist
  • Blue ribbon The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán, translated from Spanish by Will Vanderhyden (Argentina, Open Letter Books)
  • Suzanne by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, translated from French by Rhonda Mullins (Canada, Coach House)
  • Tómas Jónsson, Bestseller by Guðbergur Bergsson, translated from Icelandic by Lytton Smith (Iceland, Open Letter Books)
  • Compass by Mathias Énard, translated from French by Charlotte Mandell (France, New Directions)
  • Return to the Dark Valley by Santiago Gamboa, translated from Spanish by Howard Curtis (Colombia, Europa Editions)
  • Old Rendering Plant by Wolfgang Hilbig, translated from German by Isabel Fargo Cole (Germany, Two Lines Press)
  • I Am the Brother of XX by Fleur Jaeggy, translated from Italian by Gini Alhadeff (Switzerland, New Directions)
  • My Heart Hemmed In by Marie NDiaye, translated from French by Jordan Stump (France, Two Lines Press)
  • August by Romina Paula, translated from Spanish by Jennifer Croft (Argentina, Feminist Press)
  • Remains of Life by Wu He, translated from Chinese by Michael Berry (Taiwan, Columbia University Press)
Poetry shortlist
  • Blue ribbon Before Lyricism by Eleni Vakalo, translated from Greek by Karen Emmerich (Greece, Ugly Duckling Presse)
  • Hackers by Aase Berg, translated from Swedish by Johannes Goransson (Sweden, Black Ocean Press)
  • Paraguayan Sea by Wilson Bueno, translated from Portunhol and Guarani to Frenglish and Guarani by Erin Moore (Brazil, Nightboat Books)
  • Third-Millennium Heart by Ursula Andkjaer Olsen, translated from Danish by Katrine Øgaard Jensen (Denmark, Broken Dimanche Press)
  • Spiral Staircase by Hirato Renkichi, translated from Japanese by Sho Sugita (Japan, Ugly Duckling Press)
  • Directions for Use by Ana Ristović, translated from Serbian by Steven Teref and Maja Teref (Serbia, Zephyr Press)

2019[edit]

The longlist for fiction and poetry was announced April 10, 2019.[39] The shortlist was announced May 15, 2019. [40] The winners were announced on 29 May. [41]

Fiction Winner and Shortlist
Poetry Winner and Shortlist

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "EVENT: '2009 Best Translated Book Awards' to be Announced on Feb. 19", Feb 13, 2009
  2. ^ "Amazon.com to Underwrite Open Letter's Best Translated Book Awards". The Daily Record. 2010-10-21. Retrieved September 25, 2012.
  3. ^ 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.
  4. ^ "And the winner is..", post by Chad Post
  5. ^ 2007 long list
  6. ^ "2009 Best Translated Book Winners"
  7. ^ official 2010 BTBA Winners Press Release
  8. ^ Chad Post. "Best Translated Book Award Winners (BTBA) 2010", March 10, 2010.
  9. ^ 2011 Best Translated Book Award Finalists, Chad Post, March 23, 2011
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "Swedish novel, Slovenian poetry win $5,000 prizes". Associated Press. May 5, 2011.
  12. ^ RD Pohl (May 11, 2012). "Steger's "The Book of Things" wins Best Translated Book Award for BOA Editions". Buffalo News.
  13. ^ And Here It Is: The BTBA 2012 Fiction Longlist, Chad Post, Three Percent, 28 Feb 2012.
  14. ^ "2012 Best Translated Book Award Finalists: Fiction and Poetry", Chad Post, Three Percent, April 10, 2012.
  15. ^ The 2012 Best Translated Book Award Winners, Chad Post, Three Percent, May 4, 2012.
  16. ^ "Books from Japan and Poland win translation awards". Associated Press. May 4, 2012.
  17. ^ Chad W. Post (April 10, 2013). "2013 Best Translated Book Award: The Fiction Finalists". Three Percent. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  18. ^ Chad W. Post (April 10, 2013). "2013 Best Translated Book Award: The Poetry Finalists". Three Percent. Retrieved April 11, 2013.
  19. ^ Chad W. Post (May 6, 2013). "2013 BTBA Winners: Satantango and Wheel with a Single Spoke". Three Percent. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  20. ^ Chad W. Post (March 11, 2014). "BTBA 2014 Fiction Longlist: It's Here!". Three Percent. Retrieved March 11, 2014.
  21. ^ Chad W. Post (April 14, 2014). "2014 Best Translated Book Awards: Poetry Finalists". Three Percent. Retrieved April 16, 2014.
  22. ^ Chad W. Post (April 14, 2014). "2014 Best Translated Book Awards: Fiction Finalists". Three Percent. Retrieved April 18, 2014.
  23. ^ Chad W. Post (April 28, 2014). "BTBA 2014: Poetry and Fiction Winners". Three Percent. Retrieved April 28, 2014.
  24. ^ Chad Post (April 7, 2015). "2015 Best Translated Book Award Fiction Longlist (Fiction)". Three Percent. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  25. ^ Chad Post (April 7, 2015). "2015 Best Translated Book Award Fiction Longlist (Poetry)". Three Percent. Retrieved April 8, 2015.
  26. ^ Chad post (May 5, 2015). "2015 Best Translated Book Award Fiction Finalists". Three Percent. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  27. ^ Chad post (May 5, 2015). "2015 Best Translated Book Award Poetry Finalists". Three Percent. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  28. ^ Chad Post (May 27, 2015). "BTBA 2015 Winners: Can Xue and Rocío Cerón!". Three Percent. Retrieved May 28, 2015.
  29. ^ "Three Percent: 2016 BTBA Fiction Longlist". www.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
  30. ^ "Three Percent: 2016 Best Translated Book Award Fiction Finalists". www.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
  31. ^ "Three Percent: 2016 Best Translated Book Award Poetry Finalists". www.rochester.edu. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
  32. ^ Chad W. Post (May 4, 2016). "2016 Best Translated Book Award Winners: "Signs Preceding the End of the World" and "Rilke Shake"". Three Percent. Retrieved May 5, 2016.
  33. ^ "Announcing the 2017 BTBA Longlists for Fiction and Poetry". The Millions. March 28, 2017. Retrieved April 6, 2017.
  34. ^ "The 2017 Best Translated Book Award Shortlist". World Literature Today. April 18, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  35. ^ "And the Winners of the 2017 Best Translated Book Awards Are…". The Millions. May 4, 2017. Retrieved May 4, 2017.
  36. ^ "ANNOUNCING THE BEST TRANSLATED BOOK AWARD 2018 LONGLIST". Bookriot. April 10, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  37. ^ "The 2018 Best Translated Book Award Finalists Have Been Announced". Literary Hub. May 15, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  38. ^ "And the Winners of the 2018 Best Translated Book Awards Are…". The Millions. May 31, 2018. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  39. ^ "Best Translated Book Awards Names 2019 Longlists". The Millions. April 10, 2019. Retrieved May 5, 2019.
  40. ^ "Best Translated Book Awards Names 2019 Finalists". The Millions. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  41. ^ "And the Winners of the 2019 Best Translated Book Awards Are…". The Millions. Retrieved 29 May 2019.

External links[edit]