Books from 15 countries and 13 languages have won English PEN’s flagship translation awards. The 18 awards go to titles by 17 different publishers. They include novels, short story collections, reportage, poetry collections and epic verse, children’s literature and political writing, and – for the first time – titles from Djibouti and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and work translated from the Mè’phàà and the Char-Chapori dialect of Assamese and Bengali. Among the awarded titles are the first collection of Miyah poetry in translation and the first children’s book in Hungarian to feature LGBTQ+ protagonists.
PEN Translates has now supported over 350 books translated from over 60 languages, with 12 featuring on International Booker Prize longlists. In 2021, PEN Translates-supported titles have also been shortlisted for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation, the National Book Awards in the US, the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize, the Premio Valle Inclán, the TA First translation Prize, and the International Dublin Literary Award. PEN Translates has now awarded over £1m in funding.
Will Forrester, Translation and International Manager at English PEN, said:
Not only are these eighteen books exceptional works of literature, but they also attest to the current vitality of translated literature publishing. This is the most publishers ever awarded in a single PEN Translates round. Their books, united as works of outstanding writing and translating, span extraordinary differences in form, theme, geography and style: we have protest poetry, the political history of football, gritty short fiction, poetry from an Indigenous language of the Americas, and all-embracing children’s literature, all sitting side by side. This is a thrilling set of books, and English PEN is thrilled to be helping them get to UK readers.
So Mayer, Co-chair of the English PEN Translation Advisory Group, said:
The panel was thrilled to see the range of submissions, and especially to see increasing numbers of independent publishers developing translation lists, enabling us to reward the literary ambition and radical interventions of writers, translators and editors who are strengthening and expanding contemporary literature.
Books are selected for PEN Translates awards on the basis of outstanding literary quality, the strength of the publishing project, and their contribution to UK bibliodiversity.
PEN Translates award winners:
What Have You Left Behind? by Bushra Al-Maqtari, translated from the Arabic by Sawad Hussain (Fitzcarraldo Editions). Country of origin: Yemen.
House Arrest by Hasan Alizadeh, translated from the Farsi by Kayvan Tahmasebian and Rebecca Ruth Gould (Arc Publications). Country of origin: Iran.
Boulder by Eva Baltasar, translated from the Catalan by Julia Sanches (And Other Stories). Country of origin: Spain.
To Love A Woman by Diana Bellessi, translated from the Spanish by Leo Boix (Poetry Translation Centre). Country of origin: Argentina.
The Gospel According to the New World by Maryse Condé, translated from the French by Richard Philcox (World Editions). Country of origin: France.
A People’s History of Football by Mickaël Correia, translated from the French by Fionn Petch (Pluto Press). Country of origin: France.
Discretion by Faïza Guène, translated from the French by Sarah Ardizzone (Saqi Books). Country of origin: France.
The Sacred Clan by Liang Hong, translated from the Chinese by Esther Tyldesley (ACA Publishing). Country of origin: China.
Ma is Scared by Anjali Kajal, translated from the Hindi by Kavita Bhanot (Comma Press). Country of origin: India.
Body Kintsugi by Senka Marić, translated from the Bosnian by Celia Hawkesworth (Peirene Press). Country of origin: Bosnia and Herzegovina.
The Dogs Dreamt by Hubert Matiúwàa, translated from the Mè’phàà and Spanish by Juana Adcock (flipped eye publishing). Country of origin: Mexico.
Fairy Tales Are For Everyone, translated from the Hungarian by Anna Bentley (HarperCollins). Country of origin: Hungary.
The Opposite of Seduction: New Poetry in German, translated from the German (Shearsman). Countries of origin: Germany and Austria.
I am Miyah: Poetry and Song by Bengali-Muslims in Assam, translated from the Char-Chapori dialect of Assamese and Bengali by Shalim Hussain (Tilted Axis Press). Country of origin: India.
Island Mountain Glacier by Anne Vegter, translated from the Dutch by Astrid Alben (Prototype). Country of origin: Netherlands.
A Feminist Theory of Violence by Françoise Vergès, translated from the French by Melissa Thackway (Pluto Press). Country of origin: France.
Why Do You Dance When You Walk? by Abdourahman Waberi, translated from the French by Nicole Ball and David Ball (Cassava Republic Press). Country of origin: Djibouti.
Annette: An Epic Heroine by Anne Weber, translated from the German by Tess Lewis (The Indigo Press). Country of origin: France.