In its 13th year of honoring literature in translation, the Best Translated Book Awards named its 2020 longlists for fiction and poetry.
Announced exclusively here at The Millions, the BTBA longlists feature a diverse group of authors and translators from a variety of publishers, both large and small. The 35 books on this year’s longlists represent 20 different countries and feature authors writing in 18 languages.
No previous BTBA winners were nominated this year, though readers will find familiar translators on both lists, including legends like Geraldine Harcourt; experienced veterans like Erin Mouré, Natasha Wimmer, and Jonathan Wright; and newer stars like Emma Ramadan and Aaron Robertson. The authors on this year’s lists follow suit, with nominees including Daša Drndić, Marie NDiaye, Olga Tokarczuk, Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, and Vasily Grossman.
From now until the winners are announced, Three Percent will host arguments for why each nominee deserves to win this year’s award.
Thanks to financial support from the Amazon Literary Partnership, the winning authors and translators will receive a monetary prize. The shortlists for both the fiction and poetry awards will be announced by early May.
Best Translated Book Award 2020: Fiction Longlist
The Wind that Lays Waste by Selva Almada, translated from the Spanish by Chris Andrews (Argentina, Graywolf)
The Book of Collateral Damage by Sinan Antoon, translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright (Iraq, Yale University Press)
Welcome to America by Linda Boström Knausgård, translated from the Swedish by Martin Aitken (Sweden, World Editions)
Animalia by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo, translated from the French by Frank Wynne (France, Grove)
Vernon Subutex 1 by Virginie Despentes, translated from the French by Frank Wynne (France, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
A Girl Returned by Donatella Di Pietrantonio, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein (Italy, Europa Editions)
EEG by Daša Drndić, translated from the Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth (Croatia, New Directions)
Space Invaders by Nona Fernández, translated from the Spanish by Natasha Wimmer (Chile Graywolf)
Stalingrad by Vasily Grossman, translated from the Russian by Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler (Russia, New York Review Books)
Die, My Love by Ariana Harwicz, translated from the Spanish by Sara Moses and Carolina Orloff (Argentina, Charco Press)
Will and Testament by Vigdis Hjorth, translated from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund (Norway, Verso)
Good Will Come From the Sea by Christos Ikonomou, translated from the Greek by Karen Emmerich (Greece, Archipelago Books)
Tentacle by Rita Indiana, translated from the Spanish by Achy Obejas (Dominican Republic, And Other Stories)
China Dream by Ma Jian, translated from the Chinese by Flora Drew (China, Counterpoint)
Parade by Hiromi Kawakami, translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell (Japan, Soft Skull)
Death Is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa, translated from the Arabic by Leri Price (Syria, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
The Boy by Marcus Malte, translated from the French by Emma Ramadan and Tom Roberge (France, Restless Books)
The Cheffe: A Cook’s Novel by Marie NDiaye, translated from the French by Jordon Stump (France, Knopf)
The Memory Police by Yoko Ogawa, translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder (Japan, Pantheon)
A Dream Come True by Juan Carlos Onetti, translated from the Spanish by Katherine Silver (Uruguay, Archipelago Books)
77 by Guillermo Saccomanno, translated from the Spanish by Andrea G. Labinger (Argentina, Open Letter Books)
Beyond Babylon by Igiaba Scego, translated from the Italian by Aaron Robertson (Italy, Two Lines Press)
Labyrinth by Burhan Sönmez, translated from the Turkish by Umit Hussein (Turkey, Other Press)
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead by Olga Tokarczuk, translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones (Poland, Riverhead)
Territory of Light by Yuko Tsushima, translated from the Japanese by Geraldine Harcourt (Japan, Farrar, Straus and Giroux)
This year’s fiction jury is comprised of Elisa Wouk Almino, Pierce Alquist, Hailey Dezort, Louisa Ermelino, Hal Hlavinka, Keaton Patterson, Christopher Phipps, Lesley Rains, and Justin Walls.
Best Translated Book Award 2020: Poetry Longlist
Aviva-No by Shimon Adaf, translated from the Hebrew by Yael Segalovitz (Israel, Alice James Books)
Time by Etel Adnan, translated from the French by Sarah Riggs (Lebanon, Nightboat Books)
Materia Prima by Amanda Berenguer, translated from the Spanish by Gillian Brassil, Anna Deeny Morales, Mónica de la Torre, Urayoán Noel, Jeannine Marie Pitas, Kristin Dykstra, Kent Johnson, and Alex Verdolini (Uruguay, Ugly Duckling Presse)
Next Loves by Stéphane Bouquet, translated from the French by Lindsay Turner (France, Nightboat Books)
Camouflage by Lupe Gómez, translated from the Galician by Erín Moure (Spain, Circumference Books)
Book of Minutes by Gemma Gorga, translated from the Catalan by Sharon Dolin (Spain, Oberlin College Press)
The Catalan Poems by Pere Gimferrer, translated from the Catalan by Adrian Nathan West (Spain, Carcanet)
Tell Me, Kenyalang by Kulleh Grasi, translated from the Malay and Iban by Pauline Fan (Malaysia, Circumference Books)
A Drink of Red Mirror by Kim Hyesoon, translated from the Korean by Jiwon Shin, Lauren Albin, and Sue Hyon Bae (South Korea, Action Books)
The Winter Garden Photograph by Reina María Rodríguez, translate from the Spanish by Kristin Dykstra and Nancy Gates Madsen (Cuba, Ugly Duckling Presse)
This year’s poetry jury is comprised of Nancy Naomi Carlson, Patricia Lockwood, Aditi Machado, Laura Marris, and Brandon Shimoda.
For more information, visit the Best Translated Book Award site, the BTBA Facebook page, and the BTBA Twitter. And check out our coverage from 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019.