English PEN’s flagship grant programme PEN Translates awards a record 21 titles from 19 countries and 18 languages, including:
- The first LGBT Macedonian novel.
- The first time English PEN has awarded titles from Guatemala and North Macedonia.
- The first time English PEN has awarded work translated from the Macedonian, Montenegrin, and Isaan Thai.
Books from 19 countries and 18 languages have won English PEN’s flagship translation awards. The 21 awards go to titles by 19 different publishers. They include novels, short story collections, poetry for children and illustrated memoir, and – for the first time – titles from Guatemala and North Macedonia, and work translated from the Macedonian, Montenegrin and Isaan dialect of Thai. Among the awarded titles is what critics have called ‘the first queer Macedonian novel.’
PEN Translates has now supported over 300 books translated from over 90 languages, awarding over £1m in grants. This year, Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, translated from the Hindi by Daisy Rockwell, a PEN Translates-supported title, won the 2022 International Booker Prize. 15 other PEN Translates books have appeared on International Booker Prize longlists.
11 writers and translators who have received PEN Translates awards – Geetanjali Shree, Daisy Rockwell, Juan Pablo Villalobos, Rosalind Harvey, Anton Hur, Paulo Scott, Daniel Hahn, Maya Abu Al-Hayat, Yasmine Seale, Krisztina Tóth and Peter Sherwood – have contributed to All Walls Collapse: Stories of Separation, a collection of new short fiction in translation from English PEN and Comma Press, marking 10 years of the PEN Translates programme.
Will Forrester, Translation and International Manager at English PEN, said:
It’s not by chance that we are awarding a record number of books in this round of PEN Translates. We received submissions from more publishers than ever, for an outstandingly diverse and ambitious set of titles – testament to the vitality of translated literature publishing. These 21 books are significant works of literature, remarkable in their variety: vernacular magical realism from the border of Thailand and Laos, an illustrated travelogue, Italian gothic autofiction, poetry for children from Guatemala, and Egyptian speculative fiction represent just a quarter of the works supported. This is a thrilling set of books, and English PEN is thrilled to be helping them get to UK readers.
So Mayer and Preti Taneja, Co-chairs of the English PEN Translation Advisory Group, said:
With brilliant books from, among others, Guatemala, Mozambique, Thailand and Albania, this PEN Translates round is a compelling snapshot of global literature. Including three books that pair women writers and translators, as well as bold queer writing from North Macedonia, Russia and Chile. This has been an extremely strong round, and our selections showcase UK publishers committed to taking risks and building communities. We’re particularly delighted to include illustrated books for younger and older readers, and welcome four emerging small presses as first-time awardees. The depth and range represented shows PEN Translates, and literature in translation in the UK, in an expansive mood, one we hope to continue.
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:
- The Summer You Weren’t There by Petar Andonovski, translated from the Macedonian by Christina E Kramer (Parthian Books). Country of origin: North Macedonia.
- The Clock and the Guest by Hassan Blasim, translated from the Arabic by Jonathan Wright (Comma Press). Country of origin: Finland.
- Magnification Forty by Tsvetanka Elenkova, translated from the Bulgarian by Jonathan Dunne (Shearsman Books). Country of origin: Bulgaria.
- Me and the Robbersons: Bandit Karaoke by Siri Kolu, translated from the Finnish by Ruth Urbom (Little Tiger Press). Country of origin: Finland.
- Exile by Phu Kradart, translated from the Isaan dialect of Thai by Ram Prasansak (Tilted Axis Press). Country of origin: Thailand.
- The Memory of Air by Caroline Lamarche, translated from the French by Katherine Gregor (Héloïse Press). Country of origin: Belgium.
- Wild Desire by Pedro Lemebel, translated from the Spanish by Gwendolyn Harper (Pushkin Press). Country of origin: Chile.
- Ravshan’s Real Stories by lya Leutin, translated from the Russian by Anna Aslanyan (Paper + Ink). Country of origin: Russia.
- The Heart Sutra by Yan Lianke, translated from the Chinese by Carlos Rojas (Chatto & Windus). Country of origin: China.
- Like a Prisoner: Stories of Endurance by Fatos Lubonja, translated from the Albanian by John Hodgson (Istros Books). Country of origin: Albania.
- You, Bleeding Childhood by Michele Mari, translated from the Italian by Brian Robert Moore (And Other Stories). Country of origin: Italy.
- Centroeuropa by Vicente Luis Mora, translated from the Spanish by Rahul Bery (Peninsula Press). Country of origin: Spain.
- Tchanaze by Carlos Paradona Rufino Roque, translated from the Portuguese by Sandra Tamale and Jethro Soutar (Dedalus Africa). Country of origin: Mozambique.
- Star 111 by Lutz Seiler, translated from the German by Tess Lewis (And Other Stories). Country of origin: Germany.
- Balam and Lluvia’s House by Julio Serrano Echeverría, translated from the Spanish by Lawrence Schimel (The Emma Press). Country of origin: Guatemala.
- Brothers by Jackie Thomae, translated from the German by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp (DAS Editions). Country of origin: Germany.
- Barcode by Krisztina Tóth, translated from the Hungarian by Peter Sherwood (Jantar Publishing Ltd). Country of origin: Hungary.
- Retrospective by Juan Gabriel Vasquez, translated from the Spanish by Anne McLean (MacLehose Press). Country of origin: Colombia.
- My Very Great Arab Melancholy by Lamia Ziadé, translated from the French by Emma Ramadan (Pluto Press). Country of origin: France.
- Egypt + 100: Stories from a Century After the Revolution, translated from the Arabic (Comma Press). Country of origin: Egypt.
- Take Six: Six Balkan Women Writers, translated from the Macedonian, Slovenian, Bosnian, Croatian and Montenegrin by Will Firth and Olivia Hellewell (Dedalus). Countries of origin: North Macedonia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro.