The French Voices Awards have been given out since 2006, supporting outstanding works translated from French that have not yet appeared in English translation. This year, for the first time, these $6000 works-in-progress awards presented by the French Cultural Services of the French embassy include two $10,000 Grand Prizes: one each in the categories Fiction and Non-Fiction. Each prize is split between the translator and the English-language publisher (with the translator receiving 1/3 of the purse, while the publisher receives 2/3). Some of these projects already have publishers; for those that don’t, a publisher must be found with one year, otherwise the translator forfeits their share of the award, unfortunately; that seems cruel to me, on top of all the labor the translator has probably already performed on spec.
The two works receiving Grand Prizes this year are:
- Sciences de la vie by Joy Sorman (fiction), translated by Lara Vergnaud – available for publication.
- The Unconstructable Earth: An Ecology of Separation by Frédéric Neyrat (non-fiction), translated by Drew S. Burk (Fordham University Press, 2018)
And here is a complete list of the books selected for French Voices Award support this year:
- L’Economie à l’épreuve d’art. Art et capitalisme dans les années 1960 by Sophie Cras (Les Presses du Réel, 2018) | The Artist as Economist: Art and Capitalism in the 1960s, transl. Malcolm DeBevoise (Yale University Press, 2019)
- Le Garçon by Marcus Malte (Zulma, 2012) | Boy, transl. Emma Ramadan and Tom Roberge (Restless Books, 2019)
- La Part Inconstructible de la terre : Critique du géoconstructivisme by Frédéric Neyrat (Seuil, 2016) | The Unconstructable Earth: An Ecology of Separation, transl. Drew S. Burk (Fordham University Press, 2018)
- Sciences de la vie by Joy Sorman (Seuil, 2017) | transl. Lara Vergnaud (seeking an American publisher)
- Enrichissement by Luc Boltanski and Arnaud Esquerre (Gallimard, 2017) | transl. Catherine Porter (Polity Press, March 2020)
- Médiarchie by Yves Citton (Seuil, 2017) | Mediarchy, transl. Andrew Brown (Polity Press, September 2019)
- Le Don des philosophes : Repenser la reciprocité (Seuil, 2012) by Marcel Hénaff | The Philosophers’ Gift: Reexamining Reciprocity, transl. Jean-Louis Morhange (Fordham University Press, October 2019)
- Toutes les familles heureuses (JC Lattès, 2017) by Hervé Le Tellier | All Happy Families: A Memoir, transl. Adriana Hunter (Other Press, March 2019)
- L’Afrique et ses fantômes : Écrire l’après (2015) by Seloua Luste Boulbina, transl. Lara Hengehold (Indiana University Press, 2019)
- Bakhita (Albin Michel, 2017) by Véronique Olmi | Bakhita: A Novel of the Saint of Sudan, transl. Adriana Hunter (Other Press, April 2019)
- Confessions d’un homosexual à Émile Zola (2017) by Michael Rosenfeld | transl. William A. Peniston and Nancy Erber, (Harrington Park Press, 2019)
- Afrotopia (2016) by Felwine Sarr | Afrotopia, transl. Drew Burk and Sarah Jones-Boardman (University of Minnesota Press, October 2019)
- Où en sommes-nous? by Emmanuel Todd (Seuil, 2017) | trans. Andrew Brown, (Polity Press, June 2019)
Congratulations to all the translators whose work was selected for support! With double congratulations to Drew Burk and Adriana Hunter, who are represented by more than one book on this list. It’s unusual for only a single book on this list to be up for grabs, so take note, U.S. publishers! For more information about the selected projects, see the announcement on the French Cultural Services website.