Friday, 2 March 2012

Best Translated Book Awards. . .

The 25 book longlist for the 2012 Best Translated Book Awards has just been announced and there are some really interesting books to explore if, like myself, you love reading international literature.  I've alas only read two of the books on the list, but can wholeheartedly recommend them:  Peter Stamm's Seven Years, translated by Michael Hofman, which is a fascinating dissection of a modern marriage and an obsessive affair, and Never Any End to Paris by Enrique Vilas-Matas, translated by Anne McLean, which is an amusing take on trying to write in a garret in Paris, some decades after Hemingway.

I do have several others waiting on the shelves so I can delve more deeply into the list. There's Zone by Mathias Enard, translated by Charlotte Mandel, a five hundred page book constructed entirely in one sentence (not everyone's cup of tea I do acknowledge, but I love literary experimentation), and Buzz Aldrin, What Happened to You in All the Confusion? by Johan Harstad, translated by Deborah Dawkin, which promises to be Scandinavian literature that's a bit more on the light side, The Truth About Marie by Jean-Philippe Toussaint, translated by Matthew B. Smith  (I do love quirky French novels), and Kornel Esti by Dezso Kosztolanyi, translated by Bernard Adams (I loved Kosztolanyi's previous novel Skylark) have also moved to the nightstand pile.

So a list well worth checking out.  You can see the full longlist here and the Three Percent blog will be dedicating a detailed post about each book in the coming weeks.  Run by Open Letter Books, it's nice to see their work has been recognized by some nominations for this award too - they publish very attractive books and I've been introduced to many fascinating authors through them.

No comments: