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Best Translated Book Award shortlist announced

February 17, 2010 | 11:53 am


The Best Translated Book Awards of 2010 will be presented in March; today, the shortlist of 10 works of fiction was announced by Three Percent, the online arm of the University of Rochester's translation program, and Open Letter Press.

The contenders:

"Ghosts" by César Aira, translated by Chris Andrews, and "Rex" by José Manuel Prieto, translated by Esther Allen, both originally written in Spanish. 

"The Twin" by Gerbrand Bakker, translated by David Colmer, and "Wonder" by Hugo Claus, translated by Michael Henry Heim, both originally written in Dutch.

"The Weather 15 Years Ago" by Wolf Hass, translated by Stephanie Gilardi and Thomas S. Hansen, and "The Tanners" by Robert Walser, translated by Susan Bernofsky, both originally written in German.

"Anonymous Celebrity" by Ignácio de Loyola Brandão, translated from Portuguese by Nelson Vieira.

"The Confessions of Noa Weber" by Gail Hareven, translated from Hebrew by Dalya Bilu.

"Memories of the Future" by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, translated from Russian by Joanne Turnbull.

The books are, for the most part, published by small, high-quality independent presses -- New Directions, Archipelago Books, Ariadne Press, Melville House Publishing. and Dalkey Archive (whose site is currently having problems). Open Letter gets one of its own on the list, and higher-profile Grove and the New York Review of Books are also in the mix.

Ten poetry finalists were also announced, including "If I Were Another" by Mahmoud Darwash, translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah. The awards will be presented on March 10 at Idlewild Books in New York.

-- Carolyn Kellogg