"Bardo or Not Bardo" Wins Inaugural Albertine Prize

We are equally proud and thrilled to share that our Bardo or Not Bardo by Antoine Volodine, trans. from the French by J. T. Mahany, was announced the winner of the inaugural Albertine Prize.

The Albertine Prize recognizes American readers’ favorite work of contemporary Francophone fiction while encouraging the discovery of new literary voices, translated and published in the US in the past year. The selection presents a range of stories from many diverse locations and perspectives, reminding us of the importance of looking beyond one’s own borders.

Round one of the Albertine Prize took place from March 14th to April 14th, 2017. Round two of voting closed April 30th.

From the Albertine Books press release:


"Following two rounds of online voting open to readers across the U.S., Bardo or Not Bardo emerged as the favorite. The author will be awarded at a ceremony by the Albertine Prize co-chairs, Lydia Davis and François Busnel.

One of Volodine’s funniest books, Bardo or Not Bardo takes place in his universe of failed revolutions, radical shamanism, and off-kilter nomenclature. In each of these seven vignettes, someone dies and has to make his way through the Tibetan afterlife, also known as the Bardo, where souls wander for forty-nine days before being reborn with the help of the Book of the Dead.

A $10,000 prize will be split between the author and translator of the winning title at a ceremony hosted by the Albertine Prize Honorary Chairs, acclaimed author and translator Lydia Davis and French literary critic and TV and radio host François Busnel."


J. T. Mahany is a graduate of the University of Rochester's MA in Literary Translation Studies program. Bardo or Not Bardo is the second of Volodine's books he has translated for Open Letter.

May 11, 2017 by Nathan Furl
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