US National Book Awards 2023 Longlist: Translation

In News by Porter Anderson

Established in 2018, the US National Book Awards’ newest category, Translated Literature, this year drew 154 submissions.

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

See also:
US National Book Awards 2023 Longlist: Young People’s Literature

Second of Five Categories’ Longlists
Now here with the United States’ National Book Foundation‘s second-released 2023 longlist for translation. The foundation made its widely praised move to add this new category for work translated into English in 2018.

Publishers submitted a total 154 books for this category, up from 146 last year.

Shortlists, called finalists in National Book Awards terminology, are to be announced in all five categories on October 3, with winners named at the program’s annual fundraising gala in New York City on November 15.

The full schedule of this week’s annual volley of categories’ longlists:

  • Wednesday (September 13): Young People’s Literature
  • Later Wednesday: Translated Literature
  • Thursday (September 14): Poetry
  • Later Thursday: Nonfiction
  • Friday (September 15): Fiction

The 10 works longlisted in the translation category were published originally in seven languages: Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Korean, Portuguese, and Spanish.

Six titles previously have been recognized as longlisters or finalists for the National Book Award for Translated Literature: Khaled Khalifa and Leri Price were finalists in 2019 for Death Is Hard Work, and Price was a finalist again in 2021 for Samar Yzabek’s Planet of  Clay; Fernanda Melchor and Sophie Hughes were longlisted in 2020 for Hurricane Season; and Pilar Quintana and Lisa Dillman were finalists in 2020 for The Bitch.

The 2023 Translated Literature Longlist

The jurors for the translation category this year are Geoffrey Brock, Arthur Malcolm Dixon, Cristina Rodriguez, T. Denean Sharpley Whiting, and Jeremy Tiang (chair).

The authors and translators on the list have been recognized by international prizes including the Thornton Wilder Prize for Translation; the Biblioteca de Narrativa Prize; the Prix Goncourt; the Goncourt Prize, the International Booker Prize, the Otras Voces Otros Ámbitos Prize, the P.C. Hooft Prize; the PEN Translation Prize; and the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation.

The 10 books longlisted here all appear to have their translators credited on their covers.

Author Title Original Language Translator Publisher / Imprint
Juan Cárdenas The Devil of the Provinces Spanish Lizzie Davis Coffee House Press
Bora Chung Cursed Bunny Korean Anton Hur Hachette Book Group / Algonquin Books
David Diop Beyond the Door of No Return French Sam Taylor Macmillan Publishers / Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Jenny Erpenbeck Karios German Michael Hofmann New Directions
Stênio Gardel The Words That Remain Portuguese Bruna Dantas Lobato New Vessel Press
Khaled Khalifa No One Prayed Over Their Graves Arabic Leri Price Macmillan Publishers / Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Fernanda Melchor This Is Not Miami Spanish Sophie Hughes New Directions
Pilar Quintana Abyss Spanish Lisa Dillman World Editions
Astrid Roemer On a Woman’s Madness Dutch Lucy Scott Two Lines Press
Mohamed Mbouger Sarr The Most Secret Memory of Men French Lara Vergnaud Other Press

As always, the jury’s decisions are made independently of the National Book Foundation staff and board of directors and deliberations are strictly confidential.

More on the 2023 National Book Awards:
US National Book Foundation: Poet Rita Dove Wins the 2023 Medal for Distinguished Contribution
US National Book Foundation: Bookseller Paul Yamazaki Wins the 2023 Literarian Medal


More from Publishing Perspectives on the National Book Awards in the United States is here and more on the huge field of international book awards and prizes is here. More from us on translation and translators is here, more on international publishing rights is here, and more on the United States’ market 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.