Archive for December 2017

Translation on Tap in NYC, Jan. 1 – 31, 2018

Happy new year, everyone! Here’s what’s going on in translation events news:

Wednesday, Jan. 3:

Old Demons, New Deities: Himalayan Heritage Meetup, featuring Tenzin Dickie, translator (and editor and author) of the first-ever English-language collection of Tibetan short fiction, in conversation with author Tsering Yangzom Lama about Tibetan writing by women and more. Ticketed event, more information here. The Rubin, 150 West 17th St., 7:00 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 24:

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2018 PEN Translation Prize Longlist Announced

Just in time for your last-minute holiday shopping needs (what better gift than a great book? purchase links provided for your convenience), PEN America has announced the longlist for the 2018 PEN Translation Prize for a book-length translation of prose, judged this year by Eric M. B. Becker, Lisa Hayden, Jenny Wang Medina, Denise Newman, and Lara Vergnaud. Since I like to count things these days, let me point out that the PEN Translation Prize longlist is 40% women (not enough, but could be worse, I guess). I wish I could also report on the longlist for the PEN Poetry in Translation Award, but that one, I hear, is on hiatus right now for lack of funds 🙁. (If you’d like to endow the award, please send me a message and I’ll introduce you to the appropriate party at PEN.) The shortlists for this and all the other 2018 PEN Awards will be published in January, and the winners will be announced at a prize ceremony on Feb. 20, 2018.

PEN Translation Prize: 

The Book of Emma Reyes, Emma Reyes (Penguin)
translated from the Spanish by Daniel Alarcon
IndieBound Read More →

Princeton Names Its First Translator-in-Residence

Michael Moore ©Lilia Pino-Blouin

Princeton University’s Program in Translation and Intercultural Communication has named its first translator-in-residence: Michael Moore, former Chair of the PEN Translation Committee and the PEN/Heim Translation Fund Advisory Board. Moore’s previous translations include novels by Alberto Moravia, Primo Levi, Nicola Gardini, Erri de Luca, and others; he’s currently at work on a retranslation of Alessandro Manzoni’s big fat classic novel, I promessi sposi (The Betrothed). Princeton had announced the opening for a translator-in-residence back in October; I understand that they were fairly flooded with excellent applications, so huge congratulations to Michael Moore on being selected. If the rumors I’ve heard are correct, there may a similar position next year, and if that’s the case, I’ll post a call for applications here.

I hope other institutions of higher learning will be inspired to appoint translators in residence to work with their students, especially in programs that don’t already have literary translators on their faculties!

2017 Authors Guild Survey of Literary Translators’ Working Conditions

Earlier this year, a team from the NYC-based Authors Guild conducted the first ever comprehensive survey of literary translators across the country to learn more about their working conditions, in particular the terms of their contracts and whether they are able to make a living as translators. The survey was spearheaded by former PEN Translation Committee Co-Chair Alex Zucker and 2018 Man Booker International Prize laureate Jessica Cohen working with Authors Guild staff in collaboration with the American Literary Translators Association, the American Translators Association’s Literary Division, and the PEN America Translation Committee. The results are in part quite surprising. For one thing, far more translators receive royalties for their work than word-of-mouth might lead one to believe – a discovery that will no doubt be helpful to translators who’ve been refused royalties or even copyright in their work on the grounds that it (supposedly) isn’t usual for publishers to grant these things in translation contracts. Lo, but it is. Another welcome surprise: there seems to be very little differential in translator pay based on gender. Read More →

Apply Now for the 2018 Straelener Übersetzerpreis der Kunststiftung NRW

The Straeler Übersetzerpreis der Kunststiftung NRW (Straelen Translation Prize of the North Rhine-Westphalia Arts Foundation) is actually a pair of prizes for translators from German into a different specific language each year. This year’s language is English, so German-English literary translators (from any country) are invited to submit applications for the 2018 competitions. The Hauptpreis (main prize) goes to a translator with a substantial body of work (it’s a lifetime achievement award as well as a prize for a particular book), while the Förderpreis (advancement prize) is awarded to a translator still in the earlier phases of their career. In either case, the application is to contain, in German, a statement describing the challenges of translating the work in question (“kurze Begründung der Preiswürdigkeit der eingereichten Übersetzung”) along with other materials, including four copies of the book. The deadline for the receipt of all materials is January 10, 2018. You’ll find full details and application instructions on the website of the Europäisches Übersetzer-Kollegium in Straelen, a fantastic translators’ colony on the Dutch border in Germany that you all should know about anyhow. It’s a great place to apply for a residency!

Shortlist Announced / Voting Open for 2018 Albertine Prize

The Albertine Prize is unique in that the winner is chosen by you! This prize for a work of contemporary Francophone fiction in English translation honors a book that has found favor with an American readership – hence the public voting. This year’s shortlist was selected by Lydia Davis and French literary critic François Busnel, working together with the Albertine staff and the Book Department at the Cultural Services of the French embassy. Readers are encouraged to check out the shortlist and then vote for their favorites before May 1, 2018. The winner of the Albertine Prize will be announced at an award ceremony on June 6. The Prize comes with a $10,000 purse that according to the website “will be split between the author and translator of the winning title”; I hope that means a 50/50 split this year, since the prize is going to a translated book. (The split last year was 80/20.) To vote, visit the Albertine website. But first, check out this lovely list of finalists! Read More →

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