Best Translated Book Award announces international fiction shortlist

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The Independent Culture

Belgian author Huge Claus, Austrian writer Wolf Haas, and Argentina's César Aira are among shortlisted authors for the 2009 Best Translated Book Award. Three Percent, a resource for international literature based at the University of Rochester, USA, announced its selections on February 16.

The Best Translated Book Award was created in 2007 to draw attention to translated titles, which otherwise rarely had a place on "best-of" book lists. For readers, the award provides an excellent resource for finding new authors and titles, many of which are as yet relatively unknown in English-spreaking countries.

In order to be considered for the 2010 prize, books must have been published in the United States in English translation between December 1, 2008 and November 30, 2009. Books are evaluated not only for the caliber of their translations, but for the work as a whole.

Shortlisted fiction titles:

by César Aira (Argentina)
Translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews

The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker (Netherlands)
Translated from the Dutch by David Colmer

Anonymous Celebrity by Ignácio de Loyola Brandão (Brazil)
Translated from the Portuguese by Nelson Vieira

Wonder by Hugo Claus (Belgium)
Translated from the Dutch by Michael Henry Heim

The Weather Fifteen Years Ago by Wolf Haas (Austria)
Translated from the German by Stephanie Gilardi and Thomas S. Hansen

The Confessions of Noa Weber by Gail Hareven (Israel)
Translated from the Hebrew by Dalya Bilu

The Discoverer by Jan Kjærstad (Norway)
Translated from the Norwegian by Barbara Haveland

Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky (Russia)
Translated from the Russian by Joanne Turnbull

Rex by José Manuel Prieto (Cuba)
Translated from the Spanish by Esther Allen

The Tanners by Robert Walser (Switzerland)
Translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky

The overall winner will be announced on March 10. Choosing the winning books is a panel of nine judges, including representatives from the Center for the Art of Translation, Words Without Borders, and Public Radio International.