The shortlist for the first-ever prize to specifically honor literature in translation by female authors has just been announced. The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation shortlist has six books on it (down from 16 on the longlist, out of a total of 58 that were submitted), and I couldn’t be more delighted to see a book of mine on this list, in most excellent company. This is a prize for books published in the U.K. and Ireland; the U.S. still needs a Women in Translation Prize of its own – if you have the means and resources, please establish one!
Here are the finalists:
- Second-hand Time by Svetlana Alexievich, translated from Russian by Bela Sheyavich (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2016)
- Swallow Summer by Larissa Boehning, translated from German by Lyn Marven (Comma Press, 2016)
- Clementine Loves Red by Krystyna Boglar, translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones and Zosia Krasodomska-Jones (Pushkin Children’s Books, 2016)
- The Coast Road by Ailbhe Ní Ghearbhuigh, translated from Irish by Michael Coady, Peter Fallon, Tom French, Alan Gillis, Vona Groarke, John McAuliffe, Medbh McGuckian, Paul Muldoon, Michelle O’Sullivan, Justin Quinn, Billy Ramsell, Peter Sirr and David Wheatley (The Gallery Press, 2016)
- Swallowing Mercury by Wioletta Greg, translated from Polish by Eliza Marciniak (Portobello Books, 2017)
- Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada, translated from German by Susan Bernofsky (Portobello Books, 2016)
The winner of the Warwick Prize will be announced at a ceremony to be held at the University of Warwick in the U.K. on Nov. 15, 2017. May the best book win! For more information, visit the Warwick Prize website.
My name is Miriam Frohriep, and I am an English major at Texas State University. I am taking a Czech Literature class, and we are currently exploring the works of women Czech writers. My class is curious as to why more women authors are not translated into English. We recently examined your translation of “Metamorphosis,” which is absolutely excellent. Do you happen to have any idea as to why the literature of Czech women is not more frequently translated? I would greatly appreciate any input and insight you may have on this subject. Thank you in advance.
Dear Miriam, Thank you for your kind words on my translation. As for the dearth of Czech women in translation, I’ve been posting about related topics for a few years now (search the blog for “women,” and you’ll find a number of posts). This problem isn’t specific to literature from the Czech Republic – it affects virtually every country and language from which literature is translated into English. Here (https://trnsltnsta.wpengine.com/2015/05/talking-translation-at-the-2015-pen-world-voices-festival.html) is a report on a panel at the PEN World Voices Festival from 2015 that you might find interesting. Please also get in touch with the Czech Center (http://new-york.czechcentres.cz – their contact info and social media are listed at the bottom of the page) letting them know that you want to read more literature by Czech women! Readers like you can make a difference. And if you’re interested in learning Czech, you too can start translating Czech literature, making a point of looking for interesting books by women authors to focus on. Thanks so much for your comment. I hope you’ll continue to pursue your interest in books by women writers!
Ms. Susan Bernofsky,
Thank you so much for your great insight and resources! I am excited to further this research and educate my fellow classmates on the importance of women writers who have been “lost in translation.” I wish you the best in your work!
With sincere gratitude,
Miriam Frohriep, and the English students of Texas State University