By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
See also: US National Book Award 2021 Longlist: Young People’s Literature
Translations to English From Seven LanguagesThe second category listing to be released in the United States’ 2021 National Book Awards longlists is for Translated Literature. The newest of the five categories, this one was implemented in 2018, and is not unlike the Booker International Prize, which similarly recognizes work translated into English.
For Publishing Perspectives‘ internationalist readership of world publishing executives and rights specialists, this category is of keen interest. Indeed, some of these translations have been followed for some time by our readers.
For example, here is Benjamin Labatut’s When We Cease To Understand the World in its translation by Adrian Nathan West. It was shortlisted for the International Booker in June in its UK edition from Pushkin Press. Another translation our readers know is Sasha Dugdale’s translation of Maria Stepanova’s In Memory of Memory from, in England, the translation house Fitzcarraldo Editions. It, too, was shortlisted for the International Booker, which was won, of course, by David Diop and translator Anna Maschovakis.
Chat Post‘s Open Letter is represented here with the longlisting of Elisa Shua Dusapin’s Winter in Sokcho in its translation from French by Aneesa Abbas Higgins. More translation publishers with work longlisted this year include World Editions, New York Review Books, Graywolf Press, Kaya Press, Two Lines Press, and New Directions.
In this iteration of the Translated Literature category of the National Book Awards, the 10 longlisted entries give us two works in French, one in Chinese, one in Korean, one in Arabic, one in German, one in Russian, and three in Spanish.
Publishers submitted a total of 164 books for the 2021 National Book Award for Translated Literature. Finalists—the shortlisted entries—are to be named October 5. The 2021 awards ceremony now is set for November 17 and is anticipated to be, for the most part, an in-person event for fully vaccinated attendees in New York City at the customary home of the gala, Cipriani Wall Street.
Jurors in the Translated Literature category this year are Stephen Snyder (chair), Jessie Chaffee, Sergio de la Pava, Madhu H. Kaza, and Achy Obejas.
Translated Literature 2021 Longlist
|Author||Title||Original Language||Translator||Publisher / Imprint|
|Maryse Condé||Waiting for the Waters To Rise||French||Richard Philcox||World Editions|
|Elisa Shua Dusapin||Winter in Sokcho||French||Aneesa Abbas Higgins||Open Letter|
|Ge Fei||Peach Blossom Paradise||Chinese||Canaan Morse||New York Review Books|
|Nona Fernández||The Twilight Zone||Spanish||Natasha Wimmer||Graywolf Press|
|Bo-Young Kim||On the Origin of the Species and Other Stories||Korean||Joungmin Lee Comfort and Sora Kim-Russell||Kaya Press|
|Benjamin Labatut||When We Cease To Understand the World||Spanish||Adrian Nathan West||New York Review Books|
|Elvira Navarro||Rabbit Island: Stories||Spanish||Christina MacSweeney||Two Lines Press|
|Judith Schalansky||An Inventory of Losses||German||Jackie Smith||New Directions|
|Maria Stepanova||In Memory of Memory||Russian||Sasha Dugdale||New Directions|
|Samar Yazbek||Planet of Clay||Arabic||Leri Price||World Editions|
The jury’s decisions are made independently of the National Book Foundation staff and board of directors and deliberations are strictly confidential.
More from Publishing Perspectives on the National Book Awards is here, and on awards programs in general is here. More from us on translation and translators is here.
More on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here.