2023 Longlists Named by American Literary Translators Association

In News by Porter Anderson

Ahead of its first fully-physical conference since 2019, the American Literary Translators Association announces its longlists.

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Titles Longlisted in Prose and Poetry
Announced by the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA), the longlists in poetry and prose for the 2023 National Translation Awards are in their 25th year, and their ninth year in the presentation of the two separate awards.

Shortlists are expected on October 11, with the winners’ announcement set for November 11 during the association’s annual conference, set for November 8 to 11 this year and themed “The Place of Translation.” Winning translators are to receive US$4,000 each. The conference, in Tucson, is to be the first fully in-person conference the organization has staged since 2019.

The program’s organizers say they’ve had record-breaking submission levels , comprising 262 titles in the prose competition and 93 in the poetry contest.

The two longlists feature works by authors working in 19 languages and published by 19 presses. As in the past, a distinction of this particular award regime is that its jurors are able to evaluate both the quality of a source text in its original language and the success of its translation to English.

Prose jurors in this year’s competition are Natascha Bruce, Shelley Frisch, Jason Grunebaum, Sawad Hussain, and Lytton Smith. In poetry, the jury panel includes Pauline Fan, Heather Green, and David Shook (who works under the single name Shook).

In a prepared statement, the association’s vice-president, Chenxin Jiang, is quoted, saying that the association “is committed to rewarding excellence in literary translation, and each year, the National Translation Awards recognize some of the very best books published, period.”

Several of the longlisted titles on these lists do not credit their translators on their covers.

National Translation Award in Prose 2023 Longlist

1,000 Coils of Fear

  • By Olivia Wenzel
  • Translated from German by Priscilla Layne
  • Catapult

The Antarctica of Love

  • By Sara Stridsberg
  • Translated from Swedish by Deborah Bragan-Turner
  • Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Artisans: A Vanishing Chinese Village

  • By Shen Fuyu
  • Translated from Chinese by Jeremy Tiang
  • Astra House

Chinatown

  • By Thuận
  • Translated from Vietnamese by Nguyễn An Lý
  • New Directions | Tilted Axis Press

Concerning My Daughter

  • By Kim Hye-jin
  • Translated from Korean by Jamie Chang
  • Restless Books

Happy Stories, Mostly

Happy Stories, Mostly

  • By Norman Erikson Pasaribu
  • Translated from Indonesian by Tiffany Tsao
  • Giramondo Publishing | Tilted Axis Press

I’d Like to Say Sorry, But There’s No One to Say Sorry To

  • By Mikołaj Grynberg
  • Translated from Polish by Sean Gasper Bye
  • The New Press

Life and Political Reality: Two Novellas

  • By Shahidul Zahir
  • Translated from Bengali by V. Ramaswamy and Shahroza Nahrin
  • HarperCollins India

So Distant from My Life

  • By Monique Ilboudo
  • Translated from French by Yarri Kamara
  • Tilted Axis Press

Spadework for a Palace

  • By László Krasznahorkai
  • Translated from Hungarian by John Batki
  • New Directions

Stories of the True

  • By Jeyamohan
  • Translated from Tamil by Priyamvada Ramkumar
  • Juggernaut

Valli: A Novel

  • By Sheela Tomy
  • Translated from Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil
  • HarperCollins India
National Translation Award in Poetry 2023 Longlist

Cicada

  • By Phoebe Giannisi
  • Translated from Greek by Brian Sneeden
  • New Directions

Claus and the Scorpion

  • By Lara Dopazo Ruibal
  • Translated from Galician by Laura Cesarco Eglin
  • co•im•press

Flight and Metamorphosis

  • By Nelly Sachs
  • Translated from German by Joshua Weiner with Linda B. Parshall
  • Farrar, Straus and Giroux

In the Same Light: 200 Poems for Our Century from the Migrants and Exiles of the Tang Dynasty

  • By various writers
  • Translated from Chinese by Wong May
  • The Song Cave | Carcanet

Let Us Believe in the Beginning of the Cold Season

  • By Forough Farrokhzad
  • Translated from Persian by Elizabeth T. Gray, Jr.
  • New Directions

Names and Rivers

  • By Shuri Kido
  • Translated from Japanese by Tomoyuki Endo and Forrest Gander
  • Copper Canyon Press

The Rust of History

  • By Sotero Rivera Avilés
  • Translated from Spanish by Raquel Salas Rivera
  • Circumference Books

The Threshold

  • By Iman Mersal
  • Translated from Arabic by Robyn Creswell
  • Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Tideline

  • By Krystyna Dąbrowska
  • Translated from Polish by Karen Kovacik, Antonia Lloyd-Jones, and Mira Rosenthal
  • Zephyr Press

Underfoot

  • By Niillas Holmberg
  • Translated from Northern Sámi by Jennifer Kwon Dobbs & Johanna Domokos
  • White Pine Press

The Water People

  • By Vénus Khoury-Ghata
  • Translated from French by Marilyn Hacker
  • Poetry Translation Centre

When the Night Agrees to Speak to Me

  • By Ananda Devi
  • Translated from French by Kazim Ali
  • Phoneme / Deep Vellum

You can see text from the jurors’ rationales here for prose and here for poetry.


More from Publishing Perspectives on translation is here, more from us on the American Literary Translators Association is here, and more from us on publishing and book awards is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.