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2010 Best Translated Book Awards

Posted by Mariko Fujinaka in books publishing translation on March 15, 2010

confessions of noa weberrussian version

We have a deep interest in translated works here at Thomas Riggs & Company. Not only are we planning to publish translated books but we also have personal interests in various languages (one coworker even uses French software). The other day we were discussing the power and difficulty of translation; when translating works of fiction or poetry, how literal should the translator be? How much liberty is the translator allowed? Language is infused with cultural nuances, so how are those translated? So, yes, it’s very complex, which is why good translators should be applauded.

The 2010 Best Translated Book Awards just announced its winners, and the fiction and poetry winners both came from independent presses. The fiction winner was The Confessions of Noa Weber, a book in Hebrew by Gail Hareven, translated by Dalya Bilu and published by Melville House Press. Bilu has been translating Hebrew literature for some time and is highly respected in her field. The poetry winner was The Russian Version by Elena Fanailova, translated from Russian by Genya Turovskaya and Stephanie Sandler and published by Ugly Duckling Presse. Turovskaya, a poet herself, immigrated to the United States from the Ukraine, and Sandler is a professor at Harvard University’s Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies.

Here’s a list of the other fiction finalists, in case you need more titles to add to your reading lists!

Ghosts
by César Aira
translated by Chris Andrews
published by New Directions
language: Spanish

The Twin
by Gerbrand Bakker
translated by David Colmer
published by Archipelago
language: Dutch

Anonymous Celebrity
by Ignácio de Loyola Brandão
translated by Nelson Vieira
published by Dalkey Archive
language: Portuguese

Wonder

by Hugo Claus
translated by Michael Henry Heim
published by Archipelago
language: Dutch

The Weather Fifteen Years Ago
by Wolf Haas
translated by Stephanie Gilardi and Thomas S. Hansen
published by Ariadne Press
language: German

The Discoverer
by Jan Kjærstad
translated by Barbara Haveland
published by Open Letter
language: Norwegian

Memories of the Future

by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky
translated by Joanne Turnbull
published by New York Review Books
language: Russian

Rex
by José Manuel Prieto
translated by Esther Allen
published by Grove
language: Spanish

The Tanners
by Robert Walser
translated by Susan Bernofsky
published by New Directions
language: German

For a list of the poetry finalists and more information about the Best Translated Book Awards, go here.

      

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