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  • Vespucci Languages

National book awards list has names from all over the globe

The national book awards longlist mentions authors from Asia, Africa and South America for translated literature, a category started last year.

The books that were announced on Tuesday, fiction and nonfiction includes the celebrated polish author Olga Tokarczuk’s novel “Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead,” translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones.

Among others cited there is Yoko Ogawa’s novel “The Memory Police,” translated from Japanese by Stephen Snyder, and Brazilian journalist Eliane Brum’s nonfictional prose “The Collector of Leftover Souls,” translated from Portuguese by Diane Grosklaus Whitty.

Chilean author-actress Nona Fernandez’s “Space Invaders,” was translated by Natasha Wimmer, from Spanish, and Rwandan author Scholastique Mukasonga’s “The Barefoot Woman” was translated by Jordan Stump, from French.

Others mentioned on the longlist are Pajtim Statovci’s “Crossing” (translated from Finnish by David Hackston), Vigdis Hjorth’s “Will and Testament” (translated from Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund), Khaled Khalifa’s “Death is HardWork” (translated from Arabic by Leri Price), Laszlo Krasznahorkai’s “Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming” (translated from Hungarian by Ottilie Mulzet) and Naja Marie Aidt’s memoir about the death of her son , “When Death Takes Something from You Give It Back: Carl’s Book” (translated by Denise Newman).

The judges for this category of National Book Awards are Keith Gessen, founding editor of n+1, and author of “A Terrible Country”; Elizabeth Jaquette, the executive director and a translator of the American Literary Translators Association; Katie Kitamura, whose most recently written novel, “A Separation”, has been translated into sixteen languages; Idra Novey, the author of “Those Who Knew”, a teacher at Princeton university teaching fiction; and Shuchi Saraswat, who has worked at Houghton, Grubstreet, Mifflin Harcourt, and an independent bookseller.

The lists are going to be narrowed to 5 finalists on 8th of October.

Winners will be announced on 20th of November.

The awards are being bestowed by the National Book Foundation.

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