2011 Best Translated Book Award Long List Out Now

The Best Translated Book Award Long List at Three Percent is out now. It is an interesting list and sad to say I’ve only read one of them, The Rest Is Jungle. I do own a few of them and hope to read others in the near future. These caught my eye.

Touch by Adania Shibli, translated from the Arabic by Paula Haydar (Clockroot)

The Black Minutes by Martín Solares, translated from the Spanish by Aura Estrada and John Pluecker (Grove/Black Cat)

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)

Microscripts by Robert Walser, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky (New Directions/Christine Burgin)

Kristy at Books On Spain points out that the list is quite short on women especially those from Spanish speaking countries.

<rant>At risk of continuing to beat that poor deceased equine, I will just note in passing that while on the shortlist overall, the ratio is 21 male to 6 female authors, every single one of the Spanish-language authors is male. Is it boring and nitpicky of me still to be ever so slightly annoyed by that? I don’t think this has anything to do with the prize – far from it, in fact. Prize committees and longlisters, and even translators and publishers, can only work with what’s out there in the public eye. As I’ve noted here before, there’s a real issue with the public face of Spanish-language literature and criticism, and the economies of prestige in operation around them,  which are still, after all the time and words and blood and outrage, unmistakably one-dimensional. (/rant)