The finalists for this year’s Best Translated Book Award were announced and Central European books made a strong showing, with three titles on the 10-title shortlist. Last year there were only two finalists from the region whereas this year two Polish writers – Magdalena Tulli and Wiesław Myśliwski – made the cut along with Hungarian Dezső Kosztolányi .
When last year’s longlist was announced I was at a total loss as to what picture I could use to accompany the article so I used a photo of Kafka we had and mentioned the fact that Kafka’s friend Ernst Weiss was on the longlist. This year the Kafka connection is perhaps even more tenuous, as Brazilian writer Moacyr Scliar harks back to his own Eastern European Jewish ancestry in Kafka’s Leopards.
The winner will be announced at New York’s McNally Jackson Books as part of the PEN World Voices Festival. For the full list of finalists and more information about all the books, authors and translators go to Three Percent.
Photo – (Not Kafka’s) Leopard by Marcel Burkhard