Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming, a novel by the Hungarian author László Krasznahorkai, has won this year’s National Book Award for translated literature. The award was presented by the United States’ National Book Foundation at a gala in New York on Wednesday. The novel was translated by Ottilie Mulzet, who has also translated a number of the author’s other novels into English.
From the story of a noble’s return to his provincial Hungarian hometown “László Krasznahorkai forges a fictional universe populated with rogues and visionaries, at once epic and intimate, apocalyptic and deeply comic”, the judges for the award said. “Singular and uncompromising, Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming is a masterpiece by one of the great writers of our time,” they added. “Ottilie Mulzet’s remarkable translation captures the density of [Krasznahorkai’s] extended sentences, their many twists and pivots, and the slow accumulation of their extraordinary intellectual and moral force,” the judges said. Krasznahorkai won the 2015 Man Booker International Prize and has been considered a strong contender for the Nobel Prize in Literature for years.