In January 2009, the city of St. Petersburg launched a year-long project, “Reading St. Petersburg 2009: Choose the Best Foreign Writer,” with the intention of generating more interest in overseas writers. The project, which was supported by a year-long series of events, is now in its final stage and the public has been invited to vote for the “Best Foreign Writer,” both translated and untranslated, via an online poll.
You can check out the poll here (via Google Translate), which offers two nominees in each category as provided by various national consulates or libraries in the city.
The United States, for example, puts Michael Chabon against Toni Morrison in the “translated” category, while Jhumpa Lahiri faces off with Junot Diaz in the “untranslated” category.
As of the beginning of December, the overall top vote getters were as follows:
- Edgar Keret (Israel)
- Peter Høeg (Denmark)
- Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio (France)
- Arturo Perez-Reverte (Spain)
- Alessandro Baricco (Italy)
- Eshkol Nevo (Israel)
- Amir Gotfreund (Israel)
- Roberto Saviano (Italy)
- Eleonora Hummel (Germany)
- Hannu Väisänen (Finland)