Weekly News Roundup, 1st April 2016: Not April Fool’s Day

This week's literary highlights from across the world

Happy Friday, Asymptote! It’s April Fool’s (Fools’?) Day today, but I promise I won’t prank you—this roundup-writer is far too pooped from the last week of March to even think about the kinds of deep-cut literary jokes you’d find funny. Plus, too many serious (and big) things happening this week to distract you: AWP is going on right as we speak in Los Angeles, and a number of you are likely checking out all the translation offerings via the famous, tempting ALTA Bookfair Bingo—right? 

This week was big for literary translation for other reasons, too: the nominees for Three Percent‘s Best Translated Book Award were announced, and guys—I don’t know how they’ll choose. The fiction longlist is fifteen titles long and so, so good: blog interviewee and translator from the French Emma Ramadan is nominated for her translation of Anne Garréta’s Sphinx, as well as fellow interviewee and translator from the Portuguese Katrina Dodson for her translation of Brazilian phenomenon Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories. 

The poetry longlist, meanwhile, contains ten heavy hitters—some of whom you can certainly preview in Asymptote‘s archives, like Chinese poet Yi Lu (translated by Fiona Sze-Lorrain) and French poet Fréderic Forteé (though in Emma Ramadan’s translation).  Oh, and did you see? Former blog co-editor Katrine Øgaard Jensen is judging! Good luck Katrine—we miss you!

The debates around the award have already begun, too (complicating the issue even further): here’s a “Why this Book Should Win” column for Mercè Rodoreda’s War, So Much War (check out our “New in Translation” review for the book here!).

And in other translation worlds: this translation of the Babylonian Talmud into Italian will be the first of its kind in 500 years (what took them so long?). And Hungarian Nobel laureate Imre Kertesz has passed away this week. Dig through our archives to find a short story of his, “Fiasco,” translated by Tim Wilkinson. Or read a Translator Questionnaire with Wilkinson himself.

In this age of AWP, we remember writers and readers aren’t so introverted, after all. Even German literature might be returning to the “social novel.”

  • nnyhav

    First words on link: “It’s here! The twenty-five best translations of 2015 according to our esteemed panel of judges.” How this got reduced to fifteen in various news reports is a headscratcher.