Two Icelandic novels are nominated for this year’s Best Translated Book Award. The longlist for the award was announced this week by online magazine The Millions.
The books in question are ‘Öræfi: The Wasteland’ by Ófeigur Sigurðsson, translated by Lytton Smith and published by Dallas based publisher Deep Vellum, and CoDex 1962 by Sjón, published by UK publisher Sceptre and translated by Victoria Cribb, who in 2017 was awarded the Orðstýr Award by Iceland’s President, Guðni Th. Jóhannesson, for her work as a translator of Icelandic fiction.
The Best Translated Book Award (BTBA) is an American literary award founded in 2008 that sets out to “honour and celebrate the translators, editors, publishers, and other literary supporters who help make literature from other cultures available to American readers”. The award takes into account the combined quality of the translation and the original work and has previously been awarded to books by authors such as Tove Jansson, Roberto Bolaño, Stefan Zweig, Clarice Lispector, Karl Ove Knausgaard and more.
The award has yet to be claimed by an Icelandic book but as the publication of English language translations of Icelandic fiction and poetry has grown exponentially over the past decade there is a good chance of future Icelandic titlists.
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