Gringa Reads

Finalists announced for 2014 Prêmio Jabuti

AwardsZoe PerryComment

Yesterday the CBL (Brazilian Book Chamber) announced the list of ten finalists for each of the 27 categories of the Prêmio Jabuti. It's a big deal! Winners will be announced November 18. Not suprisingly, Brazilian publishing heavy hitters Companhia das Letras, Record and Cosac Naify topped out the list for most books shortlisted.

I won't list all the finalists for each category (which you can find here), but I will highlight the novel category below.

Reprodução (Reproduction) by Bernardo Carvalho (Companhia Das Letras). This book was also shortlisted for the Prêmio São Paulo this year. Bernardo won the Jabuti in 2004 for Mongólia and has also won the Portugal Telecom prize. He will be appearing at the Flipside Festival in a couple of weeks, and you can read an extract of Benjamin Moser's translation of his book Nine Nights here.

A maçã envenenada (The Poison Apple) by Michel Laub (Companhia Das Letras) is the second book in a trilogy that started with Diary of the Fall, translated by Margaret Jull Costa. Michel was one of Granta's Best Young Brazilian Novelists, and he will also be at Flipside.

Opisanie Świata (you're not going to make me translate that title, are you?) by Veronica Stigger (Cosac Naify) is currently topping my "please let me translate this book" list that every translator carries around. I am head over heels for this book. Veronica is the author of Os Anões and I'll have a review of this little Brazilian book with a Polish title in another publication shortly (stay tuned). This book has already won the Brazilian National Library's Machado de Assis prize for best novel and was recently also shortlisted for Prêmio São Paulo.

O drible (The Dribble) by Sérgio Rodrigues (Companhia Das Letras) is racking up yet another nomination, having also been shortlisted for the Prêmio São Paulo. It's already been translated to Spanish (by Juan Pablo Villalobos) and French. Sergio is also the author of Elza: The Girl, translated by me and now available from AmazonCrossing.

Fim (The End) by Fernanda Torres (Companhia Das Letras) blew me away when I read it last year and though I thought it would be snapped up quickly for translation into English, that hasn't happened yet. I've heard everything from "it's too Rio" to "it's not Rio enough". Right. Maybe the Jabuti will be the nudge English-language publishers need to give it another look.

Nossos ossos (Our Bones) by Marcelino Freire (Editora Record) just won the Brazilian National Library's Prêmio Machado de Assis for best novel. Marcelino's already won the Jabuti in the short story category, in 2006 for Contos Negreiros.

Esquilos de Pavlov (Pavlov's Squirrels) by Laura Erber (Editora Objetiva) is the author's first novel (she's published several collections of poetry, including one shortlisted for the Jabuti).

O frio aqui fora (The Cold Out Here) by Flavio Cafiero (Cosac Naify) is another first novel, written by a former product manager.

O evangelho segundo Hitler (The Gospel According to Hitler) by Marcos Peres (Editora Record) is by yet another first-time novelist. It was published by Record after winning the Prêmio Sesc de Literatura last year.

And wrapping up the list is one more first novel, Deserto (Desert) by Luis S. Krausz (Editora Saraiva). Last year the author, who also translates from Hebrew and German, won the 2nd Benvira prize, which seeks out undiscovered Brazilian writers.