BTBA BYTES: Sentences from the Best Translated Book Award Longlist

Since 2008, the announcement of Three Percent's Best Translated Book Award has become something of an annual event for readers of literature in translation. This year's longlist, announced March 11th, is no exception: it reads like a veritable Who's Who of international literature. Weighing in at 25 books, it is broadly inclusive, featuring works translated from more than a dozen languages and published in a variety of formats (from commercial hardcovers to limited edition chapbooks). 

This week's post is for those of you who are eager for a taste of each work but might not have the time or resources to track down all the longlisted titles. Plus it's also just plain fun. Open Letter's Chad Post (the man behind the magic!) and Biblioasis decided to ask the publishers and translators of each book to select a single iconic or in some way representative sentence from their respective books: once compiled, the sentences would work as a kind of mini-anthology and stylistic shorthand to the year's longlist. We then decided to go one further: why not post the respective sentences without attribution, embedding links to the pages of the individual books, and let the writing speak for itself? 

The sentences below demonstrate a true breadth of narrative strategy and aesthetic sensibility. Some are aphoristic and ornate; some are brief and colloquial. Some are harrowing; some are funny, brusque, sarcastic. Some are only a few words long, creating direct portals to their overarching thematic concerns and pivotal plot points; and others are winding,  piling clause upon clause like an intoxicated bricklayer, hinting at an elaborate structure whose dimensions can only be guessed at. Whatever the sentence or its intentions, each grants access to its corresponding text in a unique way. We hope a few pique your interest and persuade you to seek out the books from which they are excerpted. 

Without further ado: 

BTBA BYTES: Sentences from the 2014 Best Translated Book Award Longlist

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EVERY LINE I WRITE FROM NOW ON WILL BE USED AGAINST ME

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