Thursday, 28 May 2015

Tenfold Women's Whammy in Translation Prizes

Having spent the past year complaining that women don't win translation prizes – and I wasn't the only one – I am absolutely thrilled about the latest crop of awards announcements.

Let's start with the US PEN Translation Prizes for fiction and poetry, which went to Denise Newman (for her translation from Danish of Naja Marie Aidt's Babboon) and Eliza Griswold (for I Am the Beggar of the World, translated from Pashto). That makes two women translators and two books by women.

Moving on the America's Best Translated Book Award, we see that the fiction prize last night went to Can Xue's The Last Lover, translated from Chinese by Annelise Finegan Wasmoen, and the poetry prize to Roció Cerón's Diorama, translated from Spanish by Anna Rosenwong. Bringing us up to four books by women, translated by four women.

Most superduperexcitingly, for me, is the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, awarded in my country of origin. And as you may know by now, at yesterday's swanky champagne reception it went to....

Jenny Erpenbeck and Susan Bernofsky for The End of Days. Here's my review from way back when. I'm very pleased indeed for Erpenbeck and Bernofsky and the world at large, because this is an excellent German novel, no doubt in an excellent translation, which deserves recognition and readers.

So we have ten women winning translation prizes. The only book I know of the five is Erpenbeck's, but I'm happy that all our angry foot-stomping has prompted judges on two continents to look a little more closely at fiction and poetry by women in translation. Or it could of course be coincidence that five outstanding books written and translated by women happen to have caught their eyes. I don't really care either way.
I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan, translated from the Pashto - See more at: http://www.pen.org/literature/2015-pen-award-poetry-translation#sthash.NPmz2oC1.dpuf
I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan, translated from the Pashto - See more at: http://www.pen.org/literature/2015-pen-award-poetry-translation#sthash.NPmz2oC1.dpuf
her translation from the Danish of Naja Marie Aidt's Baboon - See more at: http://www.pen.org/literature/2015-pen-translation-prize#sthash.jRIn4L4R.dpufger
her translation from the Danish of Naja Marie Aidt's Baboon - See more at: http://www.pen.org/literature/2015-pen-translation-prize#sthash.jRIn4L4R.dpuf
her translation from the Danish of Naja Marie Aidt's Baboon - See more at: http://www.pen.org/literature/2015-pen-translation-prize#sthash.jRIn4L4R.dpuf
her translation from the Danish of Naja Marie Aidt's Baboon - See more at: http://www.pen.org/literature/2015-pen-translation-prize#sthash.jRIn4L4R.dpuf
her translation from the Danish of Naja Marie Aidt's Baboon - See more at: http://www.pen.org/literature/2015-pen-translation-prize#sthash.jRIn4L4R.dpuf

1 comment:

Ashton Lynn said...

Translation Week at Essayforcollege is about to start! All volunteers are welcome to share their experience and translate books online. As well as write book reviews. Any ancient book will do.