Three Percent announced the poetry and fiction longlists for the 2016 Best Translated Book Awards last week and while I know that two of my last four posts on this blog have been about Mercè Rodoreda, I still have to say it–hooray, Rodoreda made the longlist! It’s her novel, War, So Much War (Quanta, quanta guerra) translated by Martha Tennent and Maruxa Relaño. (My experimental review). If you haven’t already seen the full list of books, click on over to see who else made it (fiction longlist | poetry longlist) and be sure to follow the BTBA blog for guest posts by a fine array of people arguing why their favorite books should win.
On that note I know you may be thinking, so Matt, where’s the link to your guest post on that very same blog making a stunning argument about why Rodoreda should win? Well, I wasn’t asked. Which is cool. Because the wonderful Mark Haber of Brazos Bookstore (and a BTBA judge) wrote this great piece that says it almost as well as I could have. Actually, it’s far better, because near the end of his post he talks about people coming into the bookstore excited to read more Rodoreda and admits he thinks she should win a posthumous Nobel, which has crossed my mind more than once, too.
On the subject of translation, I want to give a quick shout-out to two recent novels about translators. Translator Idra Novey’s “Ways to Disappear” has been getting great reviews all over the place and I can’t wait to read it. And earlier this year, to equal acclaim, there was Rachel Cantor’s “Good on Paper,” which I need to read soon as well. Their approaches to exploring what it is and means to be a translator are different (Novey’s novel sounds a bit more experimental), but it’s very nice to see that not only are publishers willing to invest in novels about translators, but the books are getting some much-deserved media attention. And hooray for that as well.