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Monday, May 17, 2010

Independent foreign fiction prize (2009-10)

2010 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Longlist
from Three Percent - article by E.J. Van Lanen

So, even though we’re in danger right now of becoming a blog that only writes about book prizes (or maybe I’m only feeling that way because the Best Translated Book Award has been on my mind for so long), we would be remiss if we didn’t make mention of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize Longlist:

* Boris Akunin The Coronation (translated by Andrew Bromfield from the Russian)
* Ketil Bjørnstad To Music (Deborah Dawkin & Erik Skuggevik; Norwegian)
* Hassan Blasim The Madman of Freedom Square (Jonathan Wright; Arabic) Comma Press
* Philippe Claudel Brodeck’s Report (John Cullen; French) MacLehose Press  --Winner!
* Julia Franck The Blind Side of the Heart (Anthea Bell; German) Harvill Secker  --shortlist
* Pietro Grossi Fists (Howard Curtis; Italian)   --shortlist
* Elias Khoury Yalo (Humphrey Davies; Arabic) MacLehose Press
* Jonathan Littell The Kindly Ones (Charlotte Mandell; French) Chatto & Windus
* Alain Mabanckou Broken Glass (Helen Stevenson; French)   --shortlist
* Javier Marías Your Face Tomorrow, Vol 3: Poison, Shadow and Farewell (Margaret Jull Costa; Spanish
* Yoko Ogawa The Housekeeper and the Professor (Stephen Snyder; Japanese) Harvill Secker
* Claudia Piñeiro Thursday Night Widows (Miranda France; Spanish) Bitter Lemon Press
* Sankar Chowringhee (Arunava Sinha; Bengali)   --shortlist
* Rafik Schami The Dark Side of Love (Anthea Bell; German)   --shortlist
* Bahaa Taher Sunset Oasis (Humphrey Davies; Arabic) Sceptre

There are a few things to note: Although the bigger presses, or big name presses, are well represented, it’s interesting to note how much of the heavy lifting for translation in the UK is done by smaller independent presses (Comma, Maia, Bitter Lemon); there are three books (three!) that are translated from Arabic, which has to be some kind of record; and Humphrey Davies and Anthea Bell have the knack—two nominated titles each.

2009 Info

The Armies by Evelio Rosero, translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean, won the Independent Foreign Fiction prize. Author and translator share the £10,000 (US$15,181) award.

Boyd Tonkin praised the winner in the Independent: "Gentle in voice but ferocious in impact, The Armies tells the story of the destruction of a small highland town by the rival bands of soldiers, guerrillas and paramilitaries that have plagued rural Colombia for so many bitter years. Immaculately pitched and paced, Anne McLean's English version does it lavish justice."

Two Colombian authors, Evelio Rosero and Juan Gabriel Vásquez, are among the six writers shortlisted for the £10,000 (US$14,439) Independent foreign fiction prize, the Guardian reported. The award acknowledges both novelist and translator, dividing the prize money equally between the two.

The Independent prize shortlist:
Voice Over by Céline Curiol, translated by Sam Richard from the French
Beijing Coma: A Novel by Ma Jian, translated by Flora Drew from the Chinese
The Siege by Ismail Kadare, translated by David Bellos from the Albanian
The Armies by Evelio Rosero, translated by Anne McLean from the Spanish
The Informers by Juan Gabriel Vasquez, translated by Anne McLean from the Spanish
Friendly Fire by A B Yehoshua, translated by Stuart Schoffman from the Hebrew

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