Three best translated books of 2023 revealed in Lithuania


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The Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators (LLVS) announced the winners of the competition “Best Translated Book of the Year.”

The winners were selected in three categories: fiction, nonfiction, and young adult and children’s literature.


Fiction: “Life: A User’s Manual” by Georges Perec

The magnum opus novel “Life: A User’s Manual” (“Gyvenimas vartojimo instukcija”) by Georges Perec, translated by Akvilė Melkūnaitė, was named the best fiction translation. It was published by “Lapas” publishing house. The original novel came out in 1978 and is considered a classic of world literature.


Nonfiction: “Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine” by Anne Applebaum

The nonfiction winner was Anne Applebaum’s “Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine” (“Raudonasis badas: Stalino karas prieš Ukrainą”), translated from English by Jolita Parvickienė and published by “Tyto alba” publishing house.


Children’s and young adult literature: “The Murderer’s Ape” by Jakob Wegelius

The best translation in this category was the sequel to Jakob Wegelius’s novel “The Murderer’s Ape” (“Žudiko beždžionė”), translated from Swedish by Raimonda Jonkutė and published by “Aukso žuvys” publishing house.


“2023 impressed us with a special harvest of translated literature for children and young adults and gave us quite a surprise. For the first time, it seems, the translated book of the year is a ‘representative’ of the literary classics – Georges Perec’s novel ‘Life: A User’s Manual.’ It is an incredible pleasure for a connoisseur of the classics, but, admittedly, a nightmarishly difficult job for its translators. In the nonfiction category, readers chose Anne Applebaum’s historical study ‘Red Famine: Stalin’s War on Ukraine,’ which clearly shows what topics are interesting and relevant today,” said Paulius Garbačiauskas, LLVS representative and competition coordinator.


Jury members, fiction and nonfiction:

  • Vytautas Bikulčius
  • Lina Buividavičiūtė
  • Jūratė Čerškutė
  • Dovilė Kuzminskaitė
  • Donatas Puslys


Jury members, children’s and young adult literature: 

  • Eglė Baliutavičiūtė
  • Aiguste Vikantė Bartkūtė
  • Inga Mitunevičiūtė


The “Best Translated Book of the Year” contest and the activities of the Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators are funded by the Lithuanian Council for Culture.


As reported earlier, the publishing award K.A., initiated by the Lithuanian Association of Literary Translators, was granted to the translator Vitas Dekšnis, who translated Serhiy Zhadan’s book “Like a Fish to a Black Shore” and Oleh Lyseha’s book “The Great Bridge.”


The Lithuanian Council for Culture is accepting applications from Ukrainian artists who have found refuge in Lithuania for three-month grants of €1,800.


Translation: Olena Pankevych

Copy editing: Tanya Mykhaylychenko