I’ve been looking forward to this for days!

  • The Literary Conference by César Aira, tr. from the Spanish by Katherine Silver (New Directions)
  • The Golden Age by Michal Ajvaz, tr. from the Czech by Andrew Oakland (Dalkey Archive)
  • The Rest Is Jungle & Other Stories by Mario Benedetti, tr. from the Spanish by Harry Morales (Host Publications)
  • A Life on Paper by Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, tr. from the French by Edward Gauvin (Small Beer)
  • A Jew Must Die by Jacques Chessex, tr. from the French by Donald Wilson (Bitter Lemon)
  • A Splendid Conspiracy by Albert Cossery, tr. from the French by Alyson Waters (New Directions)
  • The Jokers by Albert Cossery, tr. from the French by Anna Moschovakis (NYRB Classics)
  • Eline Vere by Louis Couperus, tr. from the Dutch by Ina Rilke (Archipelago)
  • Visitation by Jenny Erpenbeck, tr. from the German by Susan Bernofsky (New Directions)
  • The Blindness of the Heart by Julia Franck, tr. from the German by Anthea Bell (Grove)
  • Hocus Bogus by Romain Gary (writing as Émile Ajar), tr. from the French by David Bellos (Yale University Press)
  • To the End of the Land by David Grossman, tr. from the Hebrew by Jessica Cohen (Knopf)
  • The True Deceiver by Tove Jansson, tr. from the Swedish by Thomas Teal (NYRB Classics)
  • The Clash of Images by Abdelfattah Kilito, tr. from the French by Robyn Creswell (New Directions)
  • Bad Nature, or With Elvis in Mexico by Javier Marías, tr. from the Spanish by Esther Allen (New Directions)
  • Cyclops by Ranko Marinkovic, tr. from the Croatian by Vlada Stojiljkovic, edited by Ellen Elias-Bursac (Yale University Press)
  • Hygiene and the Assassin by Amélie Nothomb, tr. from the French by Alison Anderson (Europa Editions)
  • I Curse the River of Time by Per Petterson, tr. from the Norwegian by Charlotte Barslund and the author (Graywolf Press)
  • A Thousand Peaceful Cities by Jerzy Pilch, tr. from the Polish by David Frick (Open Letter)
  • Touch by Adania Shibli, tr. from the Arabic by Paula Haydar (Clockroot)
  • The Black Minutes by Martín Solares, tr. from the Spanish by Aura Estrada and John Pluecker (Grove/Black Cat)
  • On Elegance While Sleeping by Emilio Lascano Tegui, tr. from the Spanish by Idra Novey (Dalkey Archive)
  • Agaat by Marlene Van Niekerk, tr. from the Afrikaans by Michiel Heyns (Tin House)
  • Microscripts by Robert Walser, tr. from the German by Susan Bernofsky (New Directions)
  • Georg Letham: Physician and Murderer by Ernst Weiss, tr. from the German by Joel Rotenberg (Archipelago)

Whew! That’s quite a list! It will be narrowed down to a ten-title short list on March 24, which is also when the poetry finalists will be announced. The winners will be announced on April 29.

I’ve read three of these (each a strong work) and have eight others on hand, which I now have more reason to read. Conspicuously missing: the publishing house of last year’s winner, Melville House, who, upon hearing that Amazon would be underwriting the award announced they would not be participating. Chad Post, who organizes the award, responded that the award was not based on publisher submissions, so their books would be eligible regardless. Which means they just didn’t have a book that made the longlist.

New Directions, on the other hand, has six books on the list. After looking at their 2011 catalog, they’ll certainly be all over it again next year.

Language breakdowns are as follows: French (7), Spanish (5), Afrikaans (1), Arabic (1), German (4), Croation (1), Czech (1), Dutch (1), Hebrew (1), Norwegian (1), Polish (1), and Swedish (1).

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