The NTA Countdown to ALTA43: Optic Nerve

The NTA Countdown to ALTA43: Optic Nerve

Join us as we count down to the ALTA43: In Between awards ceremony with the National Translation Award in Poetry and Prose longlisted titles! We will be featuring the titles in alphabetical order alongside blurbs penned by our judges for the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. This year’s judges for prose are Amaia Gabantxo, Emmanuel D. Harris II, and William Maynard Hutchins. This year’s judges for poetry are Ilya Kaminsky, Lisa Katz, and Farid Matuk.

The awards ceremony will air on October 15, 2020 on ALTA’s Crowdcast page: you can register to attend the NTA in Prose announcement here, and the NTA in Poetry announcement here. Find the full list of longlisted titles here.

Today we’re shining the spotlight on NTA in Prose long- and shortlisted title Optic Nerve:

Optic Nerve
by María Gainza
translated from the Spanish by Thomas Bunstead

I never used to resort to quotations very much but in these past months I have read like a convict. . . . I have also realized that being good with quotations means avoiding having to think for oneself.

This engaging work from Argentina provides a self-portrait of the first-person narrator through an analysis of her interactions with quite different works of art. The translator achieves a narrative intensity that does not drag or become pretentious.