And the NBA in Translated Lit goes to…

What an honor and pleasure it was to be on the jury for this year’s National Book Award for Translated Literature. Our unanimous choice was Stênio Gardel’s The Words That Remain, and this was our citation:

Stênio Gardel’s The Words That Remain is deceptively simple, heartbreakingly honest, and a compelling examination of intimacy in relationships that invites the reader to experience queer desire and survival through new perspectives. Bruna Dantas Lobato’s translation brings the text to life, capturing the yearning for social and personal autonomy through fragmented memories. When love and life fail, Gardel’s novel reminds us how language can be a form of resilience, offering us comfort and a path forward.

A shout-out to the other four members of the jury: Arthur Malcolm Dixon, Cristina Rodriguez, T. Denean Sharpley-Whiting, and our intrepid chair Jeremy Tiang — powerhouses all and yet really fun to talk with about books. I was also delighted to meet the winning author and translator at the reception that followed the glitzy ceremony in New York. Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet special guest Oprah Winfrey, who should run for President, or host LeVar Burton, who should be her Secretary of Education.

You can watch the whole ceremony here.

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