American PEN and Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2017

Award lists time. The PEN America 2017 Translation Prize Longlist was announced over night, ten titles will be whittled down to a shortlist, announced on 18 January 2017 with the winner announced on 22 February 2017, prize of US$3,000. Here are the ten titles (in the order presented on the Pen America website):

  • Confessions by Rabee Jaber (New Directions) translated from the Arabic by Kareem James Abu-Zeid
  • The Fox Was Ever the Hunter by Herta Muller (Metropolitan Books/Henry Holt and Company) translated from the German by Philip Boehm
  • Moonstone: The Boy Who Never Was by Sjón (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux) translated from the Icelandic by Victoria Cribb
  • Between Life and Death by Yoram Kaniuk (Restless Books) translated from the Hebrew by Barbara Harshav
  • One Hundred and Twenty-One Days by Michèle Audin (Deep Vellum Publishing) translated from the French by Christiana Hills
  • Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap (Archipelago Books) translated from the German by Tess Lewis
  • Justine by Iben Mondrup (Open Letter Books) translated from the Danish by Kerri A. Pierce
  • The Explosion Chronicles by Yan Lianke (Grove Press) translated from the Chinese by Carlos Rojas
  • The Vegetarian by Han Kang (Hogarth/Crown Publishing) translated from the Korean by Deborah Smith
  • Limbo Beirut by Hilal Chouman (University of Texas Press) translated from the Arabic by Anna Ziajka Stanton


Earlier in the week the shortlists for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards were announced. Each category winner receives $25,000 and is eligible for the $100,000 Victorian Prize for Literature. The winner of the People’s Choice Award receives $2000. Here are the shortlists:


  • Between a Wolf and a Dog by Georgia Blain (Scribe)
  • The Healing Party by Micheline Lee (Black Inc.)
  • Wood Green by Sean Rabin (Giramondo)
  • Waiting by Philip Salom (Puncher & Wattmann)
  • The Rules of Backyard Cricket by Jock Serong (Text)
  • The Love of a Bad Man by Laura Elizabeth Woollett (Scribe)

Non fiction

  • Songs of a War Boy by Deng Adut & Ben Mckelvey (Hachette)
  • The Hate Race by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette)
  • The Killing Season Uncut by Sarah Ferguson & Patricia Drum (MUP)
  • Offshore: Behind the Wire on Manus and Nauru by Madeline Gleeson (NewSouth)
  • Position Doubtful by Kim Mahood (Scribe)
  • The Fighter by Arnold Zable (Text)


  • Carrying the World by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette)
  • Painting Red Orchids by Eileen Chong (Pitt Street Poetry)
  • Bull Days by Tina Giannoukos (Australian Scholarly Publishing)

Young adult

  • When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah (Pan)
  • The Bone Sparrow by Zana Fraillon (Lothian)
  • The Other Side of Summer by Emily Gale (Random House)


  • Girl Shut Your Mouth by Gita Bezard (Black Swan State Theatre Company)
  • Trigger Warning by Zoë Coombs Marr (Melbourne International Comedy Festival)
  • The Drover’s Wife by Leah Purcell (Currency Press)

The poetry list a very short one and containing three women from migrant backgrounds, means we have an intriguing shortlist which has been presented by judges Samah Sabawi (Palestinian born Australian/Canadian, living in Australia a playwright and author) Emilie Zoey Baker, (Australian, Melbourne based, award winning slam poet) and Alicia Sometimes (convenor, Australian Melbourne based writer poet). I will read and review all three titles and do my best to interview the poets involved, stay tuned for more from this list.


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