The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) announced the 2023 National Translation Award in Prose on Friday. The shortlist will be announced on October 11, and the winners will be announced on November 11. The winning translators will receive a $4,000 cash prize. The award is open to English language translations published anywhere in the world and not just in the UK.
This year’s judges are Natascha Bruce, writer; Shelley Frisch, translator; Jason Grunebaum, translator; Sawad Hussain, translator; and Lytton Smith, poet.
The three longlisted works of translated fiction from South Asia are:
- Shahidul Zahir, translated from Bangla by V Ramaswamy and Shahroza Nahrin (HarperCollins India).
Shahidul Zahir was a Bangladeshi writer. V Ramaswamy is an Indian translator and Shahroza Nahrin is Bangladeshi. “[The translators’] exquisite, polyphonous translation channels Shahidul Zahir’s cascading Bangla, expanding and enlarging the English,” said the jury about the translation.
- Stories of the True, Jeyamohan, translated from Tamil by Priyamvada Ramkumar (Juggernaut)
About the translation, the jury said, “...Priyamvada Ramkumar deploys a playful turn of phrase; a masterful stretching of the English language; and an incisive awareness of the barriers imposed by the politics of caste, class and gender to lay bare disconcerting truths about human nature.”
- Valli: A Novel, Sheela Tomy, translated from Malayalam by Jayasree Kalathil (HarperCollins India)
“...Jayasree Kalathil navigates the currents of Malayalam, the scriptless Paniya and Biblical quotations; demonstrates just how elastic the English language can be; and leverages an acute appreciation for inertia in the face of unwelcome change to forge an eco-fictional tour de force for the ages,” said the jury.
The other longlisted books are:
- 1,000 Coils of Fear, Olivia Wenzel, translated from German by Priscilla Layne (Catapult)
- The Antarctica of Love, Sara Stridsberg, translated from Swedish by Deborah Bragan-Turner (Farrar Straus and Giroux)
- The Artisans: A Vanishing Chinese Village, Shen Fuyu, translated from Chinese by Jeremy Tiang (Astra House)
- Chinatown, Thuận, translated from Vietnamese by Nguyễn An Lý (New Directions | Tilted Axis Press)
- Concerning My Daughter, Kim Hye-jin, translated from Korean by Jamie Chang (Restless Books)
- Happy Stories, Mostly, Norman Erikson Pasaribu, translated from Indonesian by Tiffany Tsao (Giramondo Publishing | Tilted Axis Press)
- I’d Like to Say Sorry, But There’s No One to Say Sorry To, Mikołaj Grynberg, translated from Polish by Sean Gasper Bye (The New Press)
- So Distant from My Life, Monique Ilboudo, translated from French by Yarri Kamara (Tilted Axis Press)
- Spadework for a Palace, by László Krasznahorkai, translated from Hungarian by John Batki (New Directions)