The National Book Awards revealed the longlist for their translated literature prizes, with authors from Chile, Japan, Rwanda and seven other countries making the cut.
Notable contenders for the award, now in its second year, include Danish memoirist Naja Marie Aidt for When Death Takes Something From You Give It Back (translated by Denise Newman; the book is also a Kirkus Prize finalist this year), Chilean novelist Nona Fernández for Space Invaders (translated by Natasha Wimmer) and Polish author Olga Tokarczuk for Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead (translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones). Tokarczuk was a finalist in the category last year for Flights, winner of the Man Booker International Prize.
In addition to Aidt’s memoir, two other nonfiction books made the list: The Barefoot Woman, written by Rwandan author Scholastique Mukasonga and translated by Jordan Stump, and The Collector of Leftover Souls, written by Brazilian journalist Eliane Brum and translated by Diane Grosklaus Whitty.
Rounding out the list are five novels: Vigdis Hjorth’s Will and Testament (translated by Charlotte Barslund), Khaled Khalifa’s Death is Hard Work (translated by Leri Price), László Krasznahorkai’s Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming (translated by Ottilie Mulzet), Yoko Ogawa’s The Memory Police (translated by Stephen Snyder) and Pajtim Statovci’s Crossing (translated by David Hackston).
The National Book Award for Translated Literature was first awarded last year, to Yoko Tawada’s The Emissary (translated by Margaret Mitsutani). An earlier version of the prize existed from 1967 to 1983, but it was only given to works of fiction.
The longlist will be shortened into a five-book shortlist, which the National Book Foundation will reveal on Oct. 8. The winners of the awards will be announced at a ceremony in New York on Nov. 20.
Michael Schaub is an Austin, Texas-based journalist and regular contributor to NPR.