This time it is Latin America - and I need a new reading list!!
From Daily News:
Latin American literature got a high spot at last Thursday’s first Best Translated Book Awards.
Although the top prize for best fiction went to Attila Bartis’ "Tranquility" (Archipelago Books), translated from Hungarian to English by Imre Goldstein, the two finalists were Latin American novels.
Chilean Roberto Bolaño’s posthumous "2666" (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux), translated from Spanish by Natasha Wimmer, and "Senselessness" (New Directions), by Salvadoran Horacio Castellanos Moya and translated by Katherine Silver, were among the final three.
The event highlighted the domino effect of translations of Bolaño — starting with "The Savage Detectives" released in 2007 — which put the spotlight on contemporary Spanish-language literature.
"It always helps us when a writer has that kind of impact because it opens the door for everybody," said host Francisco Goldman, a journalist and author of Guatemalan descent.
"Translation of Spanish-language literature is leading the way of this whole translation boom we’re seeing right now."
Bolaño’s last novel, "2666," was originally published in Spanish in 2004 and centers on the unsolved murders of hundreds of young women in Mexico’s Ciudad Juarez. The author died in 2003.
"Senselessness" is the first of Castellanos Moya’s novels to be translated into English.
Only 160 pages long, it’s the story of a freelance journalist hired to edit a Catholic Church report on the military massacres of indigenous people in an unnamed Central American nation. The author, who was born in Honduras, uses gruesome details and humor to describe the events.
The 2009 Best Translated Book Awards were presented at Melville House Books of DUMBO, Brooklyn.
They are the brainchild of Three Percent, a University of Rochester online blog and resource for reviews that takes its name from the fact that only 3% of books published in the U.S. are translations — and of those, only .7% are literary fiction or poetry.
Takashi Hiraide’s "For the Fighting Spirit of the Walnut" (New Directions), translated from Japanese by Sawako Nakayasu, won for best translated poetry book.
"A translation is a new thing," said Chad Post, director of Three Percent and Open letter, a translation press. "It’s not just taking [the original work] and putting it in a new language. It’s about finding the spirit of that book and making it its own entity."
The awards, which will become an annual event, are presented to the translator and publisher for works published the previous year.