SoA Translation Prizes 2023 Shortlists Announced

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Vanessa Fox O'Loughlin

The Society of Authors has announced eight shortlists for its annual Translation Prizes.

Sharing a total prize fund worth £28,000, the winners – including the winner of the inaugural Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation Translation Prize – will be celebrated at a ceremony on Wednesday 7 February 2024. We are grateful for our continued collaboration with the British Library, who will be hosting the event at their Knowledge Centre.

The shortlist for the Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation Translation Prize – which is awarded for translations into English of full–length Japanese–language works – is praised by judge Maya Jaggi for ‘[showcasing] a variety of ingenious approaches to translation – from the faithfully “foreign” to the more creatively free.’

The new prize will be awarded alongside seven others, including the Bernard Shaw Prize and Goethe–Institut Award, which are both awarded biennially.

Ten languages are represented across the prizes, with English translations from Vietnamese and Danish featured on the TA First Translation Prize shortlist.

Bernard Shaw Prize
Society of Authors

‘From the lyrical to the matter–of–fact, these translators have captured the essence of each of their authors tone, ambition, quirks and strengths with accuracy and verve. This shortlist is a testament not only to the power of great literature, but also the power of great translation.’ – Judge Amanda Svensson

A biennial award for translations into English of full–length Swedish language works of literary merit and general interest. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner–up is awarded £1,000. This year’s judges are Alison Flood, Nichola Smalley and Amanda Svensson.

The shortlist:

Jennifer Hayashida for a translation of Euphoria by Elin Cullhed (Canongate Books)

Kira Josefsson for a translation of The Trio by Johanna Hedman (Hamish Hamilton)

John Litell for a translation of Nordic Fauna by Andrea Lundgren (Peirene Press)

Alice Menzies for a translation of We Know You Remember by Tove Alsterdal (Faber and Faber)

Alice E. Olsson for a translation of The Herd by Johan Anderberg (Scribe UK)

Saskia Vogel for a translation of Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm (Lolli Editions)

Premio Valle Inclán

‘Combining essay, poetry, short story, and novel, these translations both communicate the texture and richness of the originals and open the possibility of interpreting them anew.’ – Judge Dr Valentina Aparicio

An annual prize for translations into English of full–length Spanish language works of literary merit and general interest. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner–up is awarded £1,000. This year’s judges are Juana Adcock, Dr Valentina Aparicio and Gerard Woodward.

The shortlist:

Jennifer Croft for a translation of Two Sherpas by Sebastián Martínez Daniell (Charco Press)

Simon Deefholts and Kathryn Phillips–Miles for a translation of Take Six: Six Spanish Women Writers by various authors (Dedalus Limited)

Forrest Gander for a translation of It Must Be a Misunderstanding by Coral Bracho (Carcanet Press)

Rosalind Harvey for a translation of Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

Victor Meadowcroft for a translation of This World Does Not Belong to Us by Natalia García Freire (Oneworld Publications)

William Rowe and Helen Dimos for a translation of Trilce. Translations and Glosses. by César Vallejo (Veer Books)

Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize

‘Their protagonists struggle against circumstances and systems that are overwhelming. Moments of kindness, joy, and serenity stand out against the grim backdrop. At once poignant, haunting and beautiful, the works reflect the current issues and events that Arab authors are addressing.’ – The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize judges

An annual award, established by Banipal Magazine and the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature, for published translations from Arabic of full–length works of imaginative and creative writing of literary merit and general interest. The winner is awarded £3,000. This year’s judges are Ros Schwartz (chair), Tony Calderbank, Sarah Enany and Barbara Schwepcke.

The shortlist:

Bruce Fudge for a translation of The Turban and the Hat by Sonallah Ibrahim (Seagull Books)

Paula Haydar for a translation of The King of India by Jabbour Douaihy (Interlink Books)

Paula Haydar and Nadine Sinno for a translation of Firefly by Jabbour Douaihy (Seagull Books)

Sawad Hussain for a translation of What Have You Left Behind? by Bushra al–Maqtari (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

Luke Leafgren for a translation of Mister N by Najwa Barakat (And Other Stories)

M. Lynx Qualey for a translation of Thunderbird: Book One and Thunderbird: Book Two by Sonia Nimr (University of Texas Press)

The Great Britain Sasakawa Foundation Translation Prize

‘It’s been a pleasure to read the entries, comprising many of Japan’s finest writers, showcased beautifully by the brilliant skills of their translators. I’m so glad to see that Japanese literature is getting the attention it deserves.’ – Judge Nick Bradley

An annual award for translations into English of full–length Japanese–language works of literary merit and general interest. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner–up is awarded £1,000. This year’s judges are Nozomi Abe, Nick Bradley and Maya Jaggi.

The shortlist:

Sam Bett for a translation of The Flowers of Buffoonery by Osamu Dazai (New Directions)

Sam Bett and David Boyd for a translation of All The Lovers In The Night by Mieko Kawakami (Picador, Pan Macmillan)

David Boyd for a translation of Weasels in the Attic by Hiroko Oyamada (Granta)

Margaret Mitsutani for a translation of Scattered All Over the Earth by Yoko Tawada (Granta)

Alison Watts for a translation of Fish Swimming in Dappled Sunlight by Riku Onda (Bitter Lemon Press)

Alison Watts for a translation of The Boy and the Dog by Seishu Hase (Scribner, Simon and Schuster)

Schlegel–Tieck Prize

‘Bringing artistry to both verse and prose, this year’s collection blends diverse content, captivating register, tone, and style with exquisitely pertinent language. The ingenuity of these exceptional prose disclose personal tales of relationships and sorrow, of justice and equality, of friendship across generations, of war and love, of loneliness, of dramatic escape, while balancing the thin prospect of humour, change, and hope – they already belong to the classics.’ – Judge Anju Okhandiar

An annual award for translations into English of full–length German works of literary merit and general interest. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner–up is awarded £1,000. This year’s judges are Ayisha Malik, Anju Okhandiar and Florian Stadtler.

The shortlist:

Jamie Bulloch for a translation of Hinterland by Arno Geiger (Picador, Pan Macmillan)

Katy Derbyshire for a translation of While We Were Dreaming by Clemens Meyer (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

Katharina Hall for a translation of Punishment by Ferdinand von Schirach (Baskerville, an imprint of John Murray)

Lucy Jones for a translation of Siblings by Brigitte Reimann (Penguin Modern Classics)

Tess Lewis for a translation of Epic Annette: A Heroine’s Tale by Anne Weber (The Indigo Press)

Rachel Ward for a translation of Tasting Sunlight by Ewald Arenz (Orenda Books)

Scott Moncrieff Prize

‘These translations have impressed us with their ability to convey cultural nuances, ambiances, moods, tones, voices – from the lyrical to the comedic and the pathetic. All of them are also important translation propositions, be it in bringing out the modernity of a timeless classic, translating poetic prose, or transporting the readers to largely hidden corners of contemporary France.’ – Judge Constance Bantman

An annual award for translations into English of full–length French works of literary merit and general interest. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner–up is awarded £1,000. This year’s judges are Constance Bantman, Jane MacKenzie and David Mills.

The shortlist:

Adriana Hunter for a translation of The Anomaly by Hervé Le Tellier (Michael Joseph, Penguin Random House)

Teresa Lavender Fagan for a translation of Marina Tsvetaeva: To Die in Yelabuga by Vénus Khoury–Ghata (Seagull Books)

Clíona Ní Ríordáin for a translation of Yell, Sam, If You Still Can by Maylis Besserie (Lilliput Press)

Lucy Raitz for a translation of Swann in Love by Marcel Proust (Pushkin Press)

Shaun Whiteside for a translation of What You Need From The Night by Laurent Petitmangin (Picador, Pan Macmillan)

Frank Wynne for a translation of Standing Heavy by GauZ’ (MacLehose Press)

TA First Translation Prize

‘‘[These books] have all been translated with enormous depth of expertise, confidence and craft, bringing unique and very necessary insights into the English-speaking world. It was hard to believe that these were all debut translations. We were impressed, and also very touched, for this is also illustrative of the degree of risk and ambition that publishers, writers and translators continue to be putting at play. Overall, a triumph.’ – TA First Translation Prize judges

An annual prize for a debut literary translation into English published in the UK and Ireland. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner–up is awarded £1,000. The Prize is shared between the translator and their editor. This year’s judges are Will Forrester, Carolina Orloff and Mui Poopoksakul.

The shortlist:

Tash Aw and editor Ellie Steel for a translation of A Woman’s Battles and Transformations by Édouard Louis (Penguin Random House)

Sophie Collins and editor Marigold Atkey for a translation of The Opposite of a Person by Lieke Marsman (Daunt Books)

Katharina Hall and editor Abigail Scruby for a translation of Punishment by Ferdinand von Schirach (Baskerville, John Murray)

Victor Meadowcroft and editors Juliet Mabey and Polly Hatfield for a translation of This World Does Not Belong to Us by Natalia García Freire (Oneworld Publications)

Nguyễn An Lý and editor Deborah Smith for a translation of Chinatown by Thuận (Tilted Axis Press)

Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen and editor Tom Conaghan for a translation of Awake by Harald Voetmann (Lolli Editions)

Claire Wadie and editor Gesche Ipsen for a translation of Of Saints and Miracles by Manuel Astur (Peirene Press)

Goethe–Institut Award

‘Whenever we thought we had seen every possible way in which a sentence could be rendered, the next file we opened presented another ingenious English version. We kept tabs on what ended up being thirteen words for ‘selig’. We feel like you can learn more about a character not just by flipping through a novel, as a normal reader would, but also by reading the same two pages forty–five times, in different versions.’ – Goethe–Institut Award judges

A biennial award for new and emerging translators based in the UK and Ireland, whose literary translation work has not yet been published in print. The winner is awarded €1,000 and is invited to attend the Leipzig Book Fair, including a place at the International Translators’ meeting organised by the Literary Colloquium Berlin. The prize will be awarded for the best translation of extracts from Hund, Wolf, Schakal by Behzad Karim Khani (Hanser Berlin, 2022). This year’s judges are Rebecca DeWald and Dr Christophe Fricker.

The shortlist:

Nick Browne

Fiona Graham

Rob Myatt

Caroline Summers

Anne Thompson Melo

Stuart Vizard

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