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08 March 2012

First Cut for Independent Foreign Fiction (Translated into English) Prize 2012 Out

From Beattie's Book Blog of New Zealand comes the whole "Long List" plus commentary.  In most if not all situations, the choice of translator is almost as crucial as the book written in its original language.  So often we must rely on these translations to see what the author wants us to read, experience and understand.  If you have ever tried to translate something from one language into another, you would understand the difficulty of achieving just the right tone and meaning, and the pride of accomplishment when you think you've "got" it.  A childhood friend of mine from West Babylon, NY, now living in Austin, TX, who studied many languages and works as a translator, has translated for opera, which I think is amazing.  We are talking not simply capturing the cadence of an author/lyricist but also, the rhythm and flow of the composer's music.  Translators of poetry also have a special responsibility.  Hats off to all the authors and the translators thus far honored.

Books on First has several of these available (I believe the hardcover $30.50 1Q84 by Haruki Murakami and principally translated by Jay Rubin, Harvard Professor of Japanese Literature, contains the entire story published in three parts in Japan) will soon have others, like Dream of Ding Village and the trade paperback version of Please Look After of Mom (of course, in the slacker USA, it's "Mom" instead of "Mother.").

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