The 2017 Best Translated Book Awards were announced at a ceremony at the Folly in New York on May 4. Chronicle of the Murdered House (Open Letter Books) by Lúcio Cardoso and Extracting the Stone of Madness (New Directions) by Alejandra Pizarnik took home the prizes for fiction and poetry, respectively.
Chronicle is translated from the Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa and Robin Patterson, and Madness is translated from the Spanish by Yvette Siegert. This is the first time Costa, Patterson, and Open Letter won the award. This is the third win for New Directions.
Judges called the fiction winner "epic in scope and stunning in its execution," adding that "the late Brazilian author’s 1959 masterpiece is a resounding accomplishment." The poetry winner was acclaimed as "a book screaming and barking with jagged solitude and beautiful pain, each poem's broken melody attempting to fill a void we can all see lurking."
The award comes with a $10,000 purse, funded by the Amazon Literary Partnership, to be split equally between the authors and translators. Over the past six years, the Amazon Literary Partnership has contributed more than $120,000 to international authors and their translators through the BTBA.
“By sharing new voices with English-language readers, the Best Translated Book Awards highlight literary excellence from around the globe while also shrinking the world a bit, fostering empathy through storytelling,” Amazon's director of publishing relations, Neal Thompson, said in a statement.