BTBA 2014: Krasznahorkai does it again

For the second year running Hungarian László Krasznahorkai has won the Best Translated Book Award for fiction. His novel Seiobo There Below, translated by Ottilie Mulzet, was the winner after he won the 2013 prize for Sátántangó in a translation by George Szirtes.

Krasznahorkai came by his publisher New Directions’ offices and gave a short acceptance speech. Though known for being very soft-spoken he was surprisingly cocky, raising three fingers in the air, chanting “threepeat” with a vow to win next year again. He also made reference to all the “pundits and ignorant idiots” who didn’t think he would win. (Okay, only kidding. The pundit reference was from Richard Sherman of the Seattle Seahawks. I always get those two mixed up. And Krasznahorkai didn’t mention next year as far as I could tell. The truth is he’s so soft-spoken that, listening to the speech in a café and even with the volume all the way up, I couldn’t hear a single word he said.)

Read an interview with the novel’s translator Ottilie Mulzet at The Quarterly Conversation here

The poetry winner is The Guest in the Wood by Elisa Biagini, translated from the Italian by Diana Thow, Sarah Stickney, and Eugene Ostashevsky.

Read more about the award and runners-up at Three Percent here

Photo – László Krasznahorkai/

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Categories: Literary Prizes


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