“The Best Translated Book Award recently announced its longlist, a collection of simply wonderful books from 2012. The website Typographical Era posted short descriptions of the 25 books under consideration.
Most of these books don’t get the review space they deserve. I’m thinking of Dominque Edde’s fine book Kite and Sergio Chejfec’s The Planets and authors like Goncalo Tavares, Norman Manea, and Eric Chevillard. These authors and their books aren’t going to appear on the same sort of lists as Gillian Flynn or Barbara Kingsolver or Jess Walter, but that they appear together on the BTBA longlist is cause for celebration.
This will probably be a two-horse race between Laszlo Krasnahorkai’s novel Satantango and Mikhail Shishkin’s Maidenhair—books that on the surface may appear challenging, but there are few more memorable from 2012. Andres Neuman’s Traveller of the Century might be a well-deserved late run on the outside.
I consider this longlist to be the reading list of the year.” —George Carroll, independent sales rep and author of the NWBL column North-North-West.