Marlene van Niekerk's widely acclaimed novel AGAAT is a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award, supported by Amazon.com in the US. The 10 fiction finalists include books translated from 6 different languages and can be viewed here. The awards ceremony will take place in New York City on 29 April, as part of the PEN World Voices Festival.
Marlene van Niekerk has received wide recognition for AGAAT since it was first published in South Africa by Tafelberg in Afrikaans in 2004, and in English by Tafelberg with Jonathan Ball in 2006. AGAAT was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2008 and won the South African Sunday Times Literary Award in 2005, and Heyns was awarded Outstanding Translation Award in 2009 as well as the Sol Plaatje Award for Translation in 2008. It was listed as a Best Book in 2010 by both Publisher's Weekly, and Booklist. AGAAT was brought out in the UK by Little Brown in 2007 under the title THE WAY OF THE WOMEN and Tin House published AGAAT under its original title in 2010. Rights have been sold to Gallimard in France, Neri Pozza in Italy, Querido in Holland, and Svante Weyler in Sweden. Film rights are sold to Mutz-Media.
Praise for AGAAT:
'I was immediately mesmerized by Ms. van Niekerk's novel. Its beauty matches its depth and her achievement is as brilliant as it is haunting.' -- Toni Morrison
'Van Niekerk follows the widely lauded TRIOMF with a dark, innovative epic that trudges through the depths of a South African farmwife's soul...Clearly an allegory for race relations in South Africa, the novel succeeds on numerous other grounds: a rich evocation of family dynamics; a chilling portrait of bodily and mental decay; and a successful experiment in combining diaries, the second-person, and stream of consciousness. Van Niekerk marshals it all to evoke the resigned mind of a dying woman who realizes, too late, the horrible mistakes that have made her life a waste.' -- Publishers Weekly starred review
'This novel stuns with its powerful sense of the rigors of farm life, desolation of a failing marriage, and comfort of a long and complex relationship.' -- Vanessa Bush, Booklist starred