Geetanjali Shree’s International Booker Prize winner Tomb of Sand, translated from the Hindi by Daisy Rockwell, is on the shortlist of this year’s Warwick Prize for Women in Translation. From a longlist of 14 books, seven are now in the running for the winner’s mantle and the £1000 cash award.
The 2022 shortlist includes works translated from Catalan, French, German, Greek, Hindi, Spanish and Swedish.
The shortlisted titles, in alphabetical order are:
- Brickmakers, Selva Almada, translated from Spanish by Annie McDermott, Charco Press
- Marzahn, Mon Amour, Katja Oskamp, translated from German by Jo Heinrich, Peirene Press
- Men Don’t Cry, Faïza Guène, translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone, Cassava Republic Press
- Osebol: Voices from a Swedish Village, Marit Kapla, translated from Swedish by Peter Graves, Penguin Random House
- Three Summers, Margarita Liberaki, translated from Greek by Karen Van Dyck, Penguin Random House
- Tomb of Sand, Geetanjali Shree, translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell, Tilted Axis Press
- When I Sing, Mountains Dance, Irene Solà, translated from Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem, Granta
Brickmakers, Selva Almada, translated from Spanish by Annie McDermott, Charco Press
Publishers’ Blurb: Oscar Tamai and Elvio Miranda, the patriarchs of two families of brickmakers, have for years nursed a mutual hatred, but their teenage sons, Pájaro and Ángelito, somehow fell in love. Brickmakers begins as Pájaro and Marciano, Ángelito’s older brother, lie dying in the mud at the base of a Ferris wheel. Inhabiting a dreamlike state between life and death, they recall the events that forced them to pay the price of their fathers’ petty feud. The Tamai and Miranda families are caught, like the Capulets and the Montagues, in an almost mythic conflict, one that emerges from stubborn pride and intractable machismo. Brickmakers is an extraordinary exploration of masculinity and the realities of working-class rural life.
Marzahn, Mon Amour, Katja Oskamp, translated from German by Jo Heinrich, Peirene Press
Publishers’ Blurb: A woman approaching the ‘invisible years’ of middle age abandons her failing writing career to retrain as a chiropodist in the suburb of Marzahn, once the GDR’s largest prefabricated housing estate, on the outskirts of Berlin. From her intimate vantage point at the foot of the clinic chair, she keenly observes her clients and co-workers, delving into their personal histories with all their quirks and vulnerabilities. Each story stands alone as a beautifully crafted vignette, told with humour and poignancy; together they form a nuanced and tender portrait of a community. Part memoir, part collective history, Katja Oskamp’s love letter to the inhabitants of Marzahn is a stunning reflection on life’s progression and the ability to forge connections in the unlikeliest of places.
Men Don’t Cry, Faïza Guène, translated from French by Sarah Ardizzone, Cassava Republic Press
Publishers’ Blurb: When his father has a stroke, Mourad is forced to rise above his fear of becoming an overweight bachelor, tied down to home by his mother’s cooking, and take steps to bridge the gulf between his family and estranged sister Dounia. This quest takes him to the Paris suburbs where he starts his teaching career, falls into the world of undocumented Algerian toyboys and discovers that Dounia has become a staunch feminist, aspiring politician and fierce assimilationist. Can Mourad adapt to his new, fast-paced Parisian life and uphold his family’s values?
Osebol: Voices from a Swedish Village, Marit Kapla, translated from Swedish by Peter Graves, Penguin Random House
Publishers’ Blurb: Near the river Klarälven, snug in the dense forest landscape of northern Värmland, lies the secluded village of Osebol. It is a quiet place: one where relationships take root over decades, and where the bustle of city life is replaced by the sound of wind in the trees. Over the last half-century, the automation of the lumber industry and the steady relocations to the cities have seen the village’s adult population fall to roughly forty. But still, life goes on; heirlooms are passed from hand to hand, and memories from mouth to mouth, while new arrivals come from near and far. Kapla has interviewed nearly every villager between the ages of 18 and 92, recording their stories verbatim. What emerges is at once a familiar chronicle of great social metamorphosis, told from the inside, and a beautifully microcosmic portrait of a place and its people.
Three Summers, Margarita Liberaki, translated from Greek by Karen Van Dyck, Penguin Random House
Publishers’ Blurb: Three Summers is a warm and tender tale of three sisters growing up in the countryside near Athens before the Second World War. Living in a ramshackle old house with their divorced mother are flirtatious, hot-headed Maria, beautiful but distant Infanta, and dreamy and rebellious Katerina, through whose eyes the story is mostly observed. Over three summers, the girls share and keep secrets, fall in and out of love, try to understand the strange ways of adults and decide what kind of adults they hope to become.
Tomb of Sand, Geetanjali Shree, translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell, Tilted Axis Press
Publishers’ Blurb: An eighty-year-old woman slips into a deep depression at the death of her husband, then resurfaces to gain a new lease on life. Her determination to fly in the face of convention – including striking up a friendship with a hijra (trans) woman – confuses her bohemian daughter, who is used to thinking of herself as the more ‘modern’ of the two.
To her family’s consternation, Ma insists on travelling to Pakistan, simultaneously confronting the unresolved trauma of her teenage experiences of Partition, and re-evaluating what it means to be a mother, a daughter, a woman, a feminist.
When I Sing, Mountains Dance, Irene Solà, translated from Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem, Granta
Publishers’ Blurb: Near a village high in the Pyrenees, Domènec wanders across a ridge, fancying himself more a poet than a farmer, to “reel off his verses over on this side of the mountain.” He gathers black chanterelles and attends to a troubled cow. And then storm clouds swell, full of electrifying power. Reckless, gleeful, they release their bolts of lightning, one of which strikes Domènec. He dies. The ghosts of seventeenth-century witches gather around him, taking up the chanterelles he’d harvested before going on their merry ways. So begins this novel that is as much about the mountains and the mushrooms as it is about the human dramas that unfold in their midst.