English PEN today announced that it is awarding grants for the translation of ten books into English, from languages ranging from Galician to Belarusian, selected from a long list of submissions from UK publishers.
These grants inaugurate PEN Translates! – funded by Arts Council England, launched in April 2012. The programme is designed to encourage outstanding literature from a wide range of languages to be published in translation. Biannually, UK publishers are invited to submit applications for works which can be fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose or drama. Each grant funds the cost of translation.
The first set of titles includes books from major publishing houses Penguin and Random House as well as from smaller independents such as Gallic Books and Stork Press.
Ros Schwartz, chair of the Writers in Translation Committee, which meets to decide the award-winning publications, said, ‘The panel was impressed with the high quality of the submissions and we’re delighted with the wide range of languages and cultures represented. We intend this programme to introduce new international writers to UK readers, and the books selected in this first round certainly fulfil that aim.’
Nick McDowell, London Director of Literature, Arts Council England, said, ‘The Arts Council believes that literature in translation enhances the richness and diversity of English as a language and England as a culture. Breaking down the language barrier allows us to hear new voices and consider fresh ideas. In the PEN Translates! Programme, an expert panel makes awards which recognise outstanding new writing and champion the under-acclaimed art of translation itself. We are committed to PEN Translates and delighted to support this important new initiative.’
The successful titles are:
- The Town of Fish by Natalia Babina, translated from the Belarusian by James Dingley, published by Glagoslav Publications (August 2013)
- The Foundling by Michel Déon, translated from the French by Julian Evans, published by Gallic Books (October 2013)
- The Mussolini Canal by Antonio Pennacchi, translated from the Italian by Judith Landry, published by Dedalus (April 2013)
- A Curse on Dostoevsky by Atiq Rahimi, translated from the French by Polly McLean, published by Chatto & Windus, Random House (August 2013)
- All is Silence by Manuel Rivas, translated from the Galician by Jonathan Dunne, published by Vintage, Random House (May 2013)
- The Victoria System by Eric Reinhardt, translated from the French by Sam Taylor, published by Hamish Hamilton, Penguin (July 2013)
- Time on my Hands by Giorgio Vasta, translated from the Italian by Jonathan Hunt, published by Faber (April 2013)
- The Assassin from Apricot City by Witold Szablowski, translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones, published by Stork Press (November 2013)
- The Goddess Chronicle by Natsuo Kirino, translated from the Japanese by Rebecca Copeland, published by Canongate (January 2013)
- The First True Lie by Marina Mander, translated from the Italian by Stephen Twilley, published by Canongate (February 2014)
Notes to Editors
For synopses of each of the translated titles or review copies when available, please contact Emma Cleave, Programme Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
PEN Translates! awards grants to UK publishers for translation costs. English PEN accepts submissions of fiction (including children’s literature), non-fiction, poetry, prose or plays (for print edition), but not magazines, in all languages. The main criteria for assessment are literary quality, strength of the publishing project and making a contribution to literary diversity. Titles are selected from a long list assessed and reviewed by an expert panel chaired by English PEN trustee and professional translator, Ros Schwartz. The PEN Translates! programme is funded by Arts Council England.
English PEN , a registered charity, promotes the freedom to write and the freedom to read in the UK and around the world. The founding centre of a worldwide writers’ association, established in 1921, we work to identify and dismantle barriers between writers and readers, whether these are cultural, political, linguistic or economic. In 2011 English PEN was awarded the highest funding increase in the literature sector by Arts Council England to develop literature in translation.
Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. It supports a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2011 and 2015, we will invest £1.4 billion of public money from government and an estimated £1 billion from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.www.artscouncil.org.uk
For more information please contact Emma Cleave, Programme Manager, Writers in Translation, email@example.com Telephone 020 7324 2535