10 Days to Go! The NTA Countdown to ALTA41: DANDELIONS

Join us as we count down to ALTA41: Performance, Props, and Platforms with the National Translation Award in Poetry and Prose long- and shortlisted titles! We will be featuring the titles in alphabetical order, moving first through the longlisted and then the shortlisted titles, alongside blurbs penned by our judges for the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. This year’s judges for poetry are Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Jennifer Feeley, and Sawako Nakayasu, and this year’s prose judges are Esther Allen, Tess Lewis, and Jeremy Tiang.

For quick reference, you may find the NTA longlists here, and the NTA shortlists here. Today we’re shining the spotlight on Dandelions, shortlisted for the National Translation Award in Prose:

DandelionsDandelions
by Yasunari Kawabata
translated from the Japanese by Michael Emmerich
(New Directions)

Ineko has been diagnosed with “somagnosia” or “body-blindness” and her mother and lover have just left her at an insane asylum. As they walk away they can hear a temple bell in the distance and they know Ineko is ringing it. Kawabata’s final masterpiece—begun half a decade before he won the Nobel Prize in 1968 and left unfinished by his 1972 suicide—follows the conversation as mother and lover wander through late afternoon and into the night. Michael Emmerich’s flawless prose echoes out like the bell from the asylum as the narrative plummets along the knife-edge that divides things seen from those unseen.

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11 Days to Go! The NTA Countdown to ALTA41: COMPASS

Join us as we count down to ALTA41: Performance, Props, and Platforms with the National Translation Award in Poetry and Prose long- and shortlisted titles! We will be featuring the titles in alphabetical order, moving first through the longlisted and then the shortlisted titles, alongside blurbs penned by our judges for the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. This year’s judges for poetry are Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Jennifer Feeley, and Sawako Nakayasu, and this year’s prose judges are Esther Allen, Tess Lewis, and Jeremy Tiang.

For quick reference, you may find the NTA longlists here, and the NTA shortlists here. Today we’re shining the spotlight on Compass, shortlisted for the National Translation Award in Prose:

Compass_Enard_1Compass
by Mathias Énard
translated from the French by Charlotte Mandell
(New Directions)

This virtuosic and engaging meditation on how the “Orient” has shaped Western thought and art and been shaped in turn is also a love letter to countries and cultures that have been damaged nearly beyond recognition. Over the course of a sleepless night, a Viennese musicologist broods over an ominous diagnosis and recalls with bittersweet wryness his unrequited love for Sarah, a brilliant scholar of Middle Eastern cultures. He punctuates his monologue with adventures and misadventures of a colorful cast of historical figures. Charlotte Mandell conveys the exhilaration, complexity and intellectual relish of Énard’s prose with every ounce of the original’s energy.

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12 Days to Go! The NTA Countdown to ALTA41: THE WORLD GOES ON

Join us as we count down to ALTA41: Performance, Props, and Platforms with the National Translation Award in Poetry and Prose long- and shortlisted titles! We will be featuring the titles in alphabetical order, moving first through the longlisted and then the shortlisted titles, alongside blurbs penned by our judges for the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. This year’s judges for poetry are Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Jennifer Feeley, and Sawako Nakayasu, and this year’s prose judges are Esther Allen, Tess Lewis, and Jeremy Tiang.

For quick reference, you may find the NTA longlists here, and the NTA shortlists here. Today we’re shining the spotlight on The World Goes On, longlisted for the National Translation Award in Prose:

World_Goes_OnThe World Goes On
by László Krasznahorkai
translated from the Hungarian by George Szirtes, Ottilie Mulzet, and John Batki
(New Directions)

Strange, bewildering, and as multifarious as the world itself, this book is a thrill ride – one moment we are in the middle of a tangle of Shanghai expressways, the next on the banks of the Ganges. The language is beautiful and fluid, and despite being the work of three separate translators, achieves a glorious unity. The reader is led through fantastical landscapes and convoluted scenarios, constantly thrown off balance but never allowed to get lost. The long sentences and complex thought processes are a risky high-wire act that pays off, a breathless adventure that we can only surrender to.

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13 Days to Go! The NTA Countdown to ALTA41: SPIRAL STAIRCASE

Join us as we count down to ALTA41: Performance, Props, and Platforms with the National Translation Award in Poetry and Prose long- and shortlisted titles! We will be featuring the titles in alphabetical order, moving first through the longlisted and then the shortlisted titles, alongside blurbs penned by our judges for the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. This year’s judges for poetry are Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Jennifer Feeley, and Sawako Nakayasu, and this year’s prose judges are Esther Allen, Tess Lewis, and Jeremy Tiang.

For quick reference, you may find the NTA longlists here, and the NTA shortlists here. Today we’re shining the spotlight on Spiral Staircase: Collected Poems, longlisted for the National Translation Award in Poetry:

Spiral_Staircase_CoverSpiral Staircase: Collected Poems
by Hirato Renkichi
translated from the Japanese by Sho Sugita
(Ugly Duckling Presse)

The speed of the future – a one-hundred-year-old future, from the 1920s – gushes forward in these feverish, thunderous poems by the Japanese Futurist poet Hirato Renkichi. Sho Sugita’s translation highlights the frenetic energy and restless forms tumbling out of Hirato’s exuberant vision of poetry. This edition combines Hirato’s posthumous Selected Poems with fifty-nine previously uncollected poems, unearthed through Sugita’s own editorial efforts – making this a more complete version than exists even in the Japanese. The book does not assimilate easily into the Anglophone landscape; rather, it is an invaluable contribution to a growing and renewed discussion on global Modernism.

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14 Days to Go! The NTA Countdown to ALTA41: OXYGEN

Join us as we count down to ALTA41: Performance, Props, and Platforms with the National Translation Award in Poetry and Prose long- and shortlisted titles! We will be featuring the titles in alphabetical order, moving first through the longlisted and then the shortlisted titles, alongside blurbs penned by our judges for the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. This year’s judges for poetry are Kareem James Abu-Zeid, Jennifer Feeley, and Sawako Nakayasu, and this year’s prose judges are Esther Allen, Tess Lewis, and Jeremy Tiang.

For quick reference, you may find the NTA longlists here, and the NTA shortlists here. Today we’re shining the spotlight on Oxygen: Selected Poems, longlisted for the National Translation Award in Poetry:

Oxygen_jpegOxygen: Selected Poems
by Julia Fiedorczuk
translated from the Polish by Bill Johnston
(Zephyr Press)

This first book in English by Julia Fiedorczuk, a rising star of ecopoetics and ecocriticism, probes the relationships between the human and natural worlds, exploring the strength and fragility of both realms while forging links between the quotidian and the larger universe. This allusive, imagistic poetry engages with science, ecology, language theory, history, philosophy, and feminism, scaling the highest heights to grab “a handful of stars” and plunging into the depths of the sea where fish swirl. The poems unfold in measured breaths, the supple sounds and oceanic rhythms of Bill Johnston’s English rolling effortlessly off the tongue.

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