November 27, 2018

Translated literature gets its due at the National Book Awards


In case you weren’t following along for the National Book Awards, here’s the skinny on the winners: 

2018 Winner of Fiction: The Friend by Sigrid Nunez

2018 Winner of Nonfiction: The New Negro: The Life of Alain Locke by Jeffrey C. Stewart

2018 Winner of Poetry: Indecency by Justin Phillip Reed

2018 Winner of Translated Literature: The Emissary by Yoko Tawada, translated by Margaret Mitsutani

2018 Winner of Young People’s Literature: The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

Lifetime Achievement Award: Isabel Allende

NPR released a round-up of the winners, which included the category for translated literature, something that hasn’t happened since 1983. It’s about time fair attention is paid to the unsung heroes of translated works. (Although, there is something to note…)

Equally as noteworthy is the fact that all five of our winners are by people of color, which is a big deal. Am I getting emotional? Dare I say that it may be looking up for us? Regardless, a big congratulations to all the winners of the awards; you’re making me us proud.

Listen below for the full report from NPR.




Erica Huang is former Melville House intern.