2015 Society of Authors Translation Prizes Announced

CbbqBERW8AE7utXAs many of the readers of this blog no doubt know, the Society of Authors in the U.K. does a lot of excellent things for writers and literary translators (things like setting minimum rates for translation fees that are respected by publishers!), and one of its many functions is giving out awards for translations in a number of categories. This year’s prizes have just  been presented in a ceremony at Europa House in London that I wish I could be in attendance at right now (London being five hours ahead of NYC). Here’s this year’s roster of winning translations, just announced via Twitter:

The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for translation from the Arabic has gone to Paul Starkey for his translation of The Book of the Sultan’s Seal Youssef Rakha (Interlink Publishing). Honorable mention to Jonathan Wright for Land of No Rain by Amjad Nasser (Bloomsbury).

The Scott Moncrieff Prize for translation from the French has gone to Frank Wynne for his translation of Boualem Sansal’s Harraga (Bloomsbury). Honorable mention to David Bellos for Portrait of a Man by Georges Perec (Maclehose Press).

The Bernard Shaw Prize for translation from the Swedish has gone to Thomas Teal for his translation of The Listener by Tove Jansson (Granta). Honorable mention to Sarah Death for A Brief Stop on the Road from Auschwitz by Göran Rosenberg (Granta).

The Premio Valle Inclán for translation from the Spanish has gone to Anne McLean for her translation of Outlaws by Javier Cercas (Bloomsbury). Honorable mention to Margaret Jull Costa for Tristana by Pérez Galdós (New York Review Books).

The Vondel Prize for the best translation from the Dutch is a tie! The two translators sharing the top honor are Donald Gardner for his translation of Remco Camperts’ In Those Days (Shoestring) and Laura Watkinson for her translation of The Letter for the King by Tonke Dragt (Pushkin Press). Honorable mention to Sam Garrett for his translation of Tirza by Arnon Grunberg (Open Letter).

I’m particularly happy about this last one:

The Schlegel-Tieck Prize for translation from the German has gone to Susan Bernofsky a.k.a. Translationista for The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck (New Directions/Portobello). Honorable mention to Shaun Whiteside for The Giraffe’s Neck by Judith Schalansky (Bloomsbury).

I’m so honored to have my work singled out like this, especially for a prize named for great translators I wrote part of a book about once (spoiler alert: with regard to the great German Shakespeare translations, Tieck was carpetbagging, though he put genuine elbow grease into Cervantes and was a great author in his own right); and also chuffed to be in the company of such distinguished colleagues. Congratulations, all!

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