2017 PEN Translates Awards Announced

English PEN just announced its 2017 crop of PEN Translates awards, which help publishers pay the translation costs for the selected books. I’m delighted to have a book on the list this year (i.e. happy for my UK publisher Portobello/Granta). And especially happy that the list this year has more women authors on it than men. That’s got to be some sort of a first. Just in time for Women in Translation Month, coming up in August. With no further ado, behold the list: Read more …

Translator Named a 2017 Chevalier

The French government knights people for making significant contributions to the arts in France and the world, and among this year’s freshly minted crop of Chevaliers is translator (and journalist, author, and literary critic) Liesl Schillinger, who was honored with the insignia of Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by Bénédicte de Montlaur, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy last week in New York. According to the French Consulate, “The Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) was established in 1957 to recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world.” Other translators who have been singled out for this honor include Ros Schwartz, Alyson Waters, Esther Allen, Jeanine Herman, and Paul Auster (maybe not primarily for his work as a translator). Barbara Wright, legendary translator of Raymond Queneau, was honored in 2002 at the rank of Commandeur, and David Bellos and Lydia Davis are Officiers.

Translation on Tap in NYC July 1 – 31, 2017

It’s summer! Maybe you’re at the beach, but when you’re ready for a bit of literary R&R, here’s what’s on tap for you:

Friday, July 14:

Us&Them: A Writer/Translator Reading Series. The Summer 2017 installment of this reading series featuring writers who are also translators reading both their own and translated work will present John Keene translating Hilda Hilst (Brazil); Bonnie Huie translating Qiu Miaojin (Taiwan); Alicia Maria Meier translating Bel Olid (Catalonia); and Liza St. James translating Fanny Ehnvall (Finland). Molasses Books, 770 Hart St. (Dekalb L), Brooklyn, 8:00 p.m.

Anomaly Now Open for Submissions

Anomaly, the journal formerly known as Drunken Boat, is currently reading submissions for the Translation section of the journal edited by the estimable Anna Rosenwong, who always writes up a stellar essay on the works that have been selected for a given issue. Check out their guidelines and submission policies on their Submittable page. This reading period closes on Sept. 1, so don’t wait too long! And while you’re at it, why not give the journal a read?

2017 National Translation Award Longlists Announced

The American Literary Translators Association has given out translation prizes for nineteen years now, and for the past three, there have been separate awards in poetry and prose. Unlike most translation awards, these involve a round in which the translated books are read against the originals by an ALTA member specializing in the language in question, so they’re guaranteed to be fidèles as well as belles. The winners of these $2500 awards are announced each year at the annual conference (please come!) each October, and in the months leading up to the announcement, we get longlists and shortlists to tide us over. And this year’s longlists have just been announced. Behold the lists (in alphabetical order by title) & congratulations to all the translators singled out for recognition!


A Map of Signs and Scents
by Amjad Nasser
translated from the Arabic by Fady Joudah and Khaled Mattawa
(Northwest University Press) Read more …

Translated Book on Shortlist for 2017 Palestine Book Awards

The Palestine Book Awards honor books in English about Palestine (including books translated into English) and are sponsored by the Middle East Monitor (MEMO). The nine-book shortlist chosen by this year’s jury includes one translated book, Code Name Butterfly (Neem Tree Press Ltd) by Ahlam Bharat, translated by Nancy Roberts. For the full shortlist and more information about the prize, see the write-up on Arabic Literature (in English). The winners will be announced on Friday, November 24 at an event in London. Can’t help rooting for the contender in translation, but of course and as always: may the best book win! And please keep the shortlist in line as you pick your summer reading.

2017 International DUBLIN Literary Award Announced

As I’m sure you all know, the International DUBLIN Literary Award is the biggest one out there, with a purse of €100,000 (which is split 75%/25% between author and translator). It’s incredibly competitive, nominations are made by librarians () around the world, and the prize can go to a work written in any language (including English). And this year’s prize (shortlist here) has just been announced: it’s gone to A General Theory of Oblivion, written by Angolan author José Eduardo Agualusa and translated from the Portuguese by Daniel Hahn. I’m so pleased to hear this news, especially as Daniel Hahn, besides being a splendid translator (and author in his own right), is also Mr. Translation in the U.K., tirelessly working as an educator and organizer of pro-translation activities (e.g. he’s recently served as chair of the Translators Association and the Society of Authors as well as working as the national program director of the British Centre for Literary Translation, just for starters). What’s more, he’s donating half his prize money to start a new prize for first-time translators; it’s a characteristically generous act (and part of a new trend?). I’m so delighted to see his artistry honored. Bravo Danny, and well done!