We're excited to announce that Sleet by Stig Dagerman, translated from the Swedish by Steven Hartman, is on the longlist for the 2014 Best Translated Book Award! We love this book, a collection of short stories, and are happy to see it getting recognition, especially among the translation community.
In honor of this recognition, here's an excerpt from his story, "The Games of Night," which can be found in Sleet:
"Sometimes at night as his mother cries in her room, and only a clattering of unfamiliar footsteps echoes in the stairwell, Håkan plays a little game to keep from crying himself. He pretends he's invisible and that he can wish himself wherever he wants merely by thinking about it. On these nights there's really only one place to wish himself to, and so suddenly he's there. He's not sure how it all happens. He knows only that he's standing in a room. Just what the room looks like, it's hard to say, because he doesn't have eyes for those things. But the air is filled with cigarette and pipe smoke, and men laugh out abruptly, horribly, for no reason at all. Women also sit there at the table, speaking words that make no sense. Sometimes they lean forward and break into fits of laughter which are every bit as terrifying. These things cut through Håkan like knives, but he's glad to be here just the same. All of these people are sitting around a table with too many bottles spread out in front of them, and as soon as a glass is emptied, a hand unscrews the cap of another bottle and fills that glass again."
Congratulations again to Stig Dagerman and Steven Hartman! We're looking forward to seeing how far this great book will go!