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18th of November 2018


The 2018 National Book Awards Longlist: Translated Literature

This week, The New Yorker will be announcing the longlists for the 2018 National Book Awards. Today, we are presenting the ten contenders in the categories of Young People’s Literature and Translated Literature. Check back tomorrow for Poetry and Nonfiction.

2018 marks the inaugural year for the National Book Award in translated literature, which means that all of the authors on the longlist are first-time contenders. They have, however, already attracted favorable attention outside of their countries of origin. Earlier this year, Olga Tokarczuk won the Man Booker prize for her novel “Flights,” a meditation on travel and motion, which was translated from the Polish. Gunnhild Øyehaug has been praised by the New Yorker critic James Wood, who calls her writing “playful, often surreal, intellectually rigorous,” and “captivating.” Her novel “Wait, Blink: A Perfect Picture of Inner Life” is about a group of creative women and the challenges of making art amid the disappointments of ordinary life, and was translated from the Norwegian. And on, David Wallace recommended Tatyana Tolstaya’s collection of short stories, “Aetherial Worlds,” commending the “beautiful, meticulous vision” that she demonstrates in stories that “trace that intersection of imagination and memory, where the two become something greater by not being merely one or the other.”

The full list is below.

Négar Djavadi, “Disoriental”Translated by Tina KoverEuropa Editions

Roque Larraquy, “Comemadre”Translated by Heather ClearyCoffee House Press

Dunya Mikhail, “The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq”Translated by Max Weiss and Dunya MikhailNew Directions Publishing

Perumal Murugan, “One Part Woman”Translated by Aniruddhan VasudevanBlack Cat / Grove Atlantic

Hanne Ørstavik, “Love”Translated by Martin AitkenArchipelago Books

Gunnhild Øyehaug, “Wait, Blink: A Perfect Picture of Inner Life”Translated by Kari DicksonFarrar, Straus and Giroux / Macmillan Publishers

Domenico Starnone, “Trick”Translated by Jhumpa LahiriEuropa Editions

Yoko Tawada, “The Emissary”Translated by Margaret MitsutaniNew Directions Publishing

Olga Tokarczuk, “Flights”Translated by Jennifer CroftRiverhead Books / Penguin Random House

Tatyana Tolstaya, “Aetherial Worlds”Translated by Anya MigdalAlfred A. Knopf / Penguin Random House

The judges for the category this year are Harold Augenbraum, the acting editor of The Yale Review and the former executive director of the National Book Foundation; Karen Maeda Allman, the author-events co-coördinator at the Elliott Bay Book Company, in Seattle; Sinan Antoon, a poet, novelist, and translator; Susan Bernofsky, who directs the literary translation program at the Columbia University School of the Arts, and Álvaro Enrigue, whose most recent novel is “Sudden Death.”

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