Neglected literary cultures highlighted in English PEN’s awards for translation


WINNER_PEN_AWARD_20x20mmStories that transport the reader to cultures as disparate as the hinterlands of Russia, a suburb of Luanda, Angola, to Algiers, Bulgaria or Mongolia feature in the latest set of translation awards announced by English PEN this month.

English PEN, the literature and freedom of expression charity, gave Writers in Translation awards to a total of 22 titles in its latest round of grant-giving. The awards are designed to bring more great international writing to more book-buyers and readers in this country.

English PEN’s Writers in Translation grants are awarded twice yearly to publishers or translators of writing that displays outstanding merit and illuminates the culture of the country from which it originates. PEN Promotes, a grants programme supported by Bloomberg LP, supports publishers in bringing authors of translated work on tour to the UK, to meet and reach out to new readers. PEN Translates, a grants programme supported by Arts Council England, funds the translation of books which might not otherwise be published in this country at all.

Small and independent publishers benefit in particular from the English PEN Writers in Translation programme. Successful in this round of awards are And Other Stories, Bloodaxe Books, Bloomsbury, Clerkenwell Press, Comma Press, Dedalus, Europa Editions, Gallic Books, Granta, Istros Books, Kube Publishing, MacLehose Press, Peter Owen, Portobello Books, Saqi & Telegram Books, Seagull Books and Waterloo Books. Over 27 languages from Arabic to Zapotec are represented in the collection, which includes several anthologies.

Samantha Schnee, Vice Chair of English PEN’s Writers in Translation committee comments: ‘The rich and varied cornucopia of titles in this round of PEN’s Writers in Translation Awards includes the work of some of the most exciting authors alive today, translated by the very best professionals. PEN is fortunate to be able to support the presentation of such high-calibre work to English readers, and this diverse group of titles will make a significant contribution to enriching literary diversity.’

The award-winners are:

Winner of a 2013 English PEN Award for promotion via our PEN Promotes programme

  • Kolyma Diaries: A journey into Russia’s Haunted Hinterland by Jacek Hugo-Bader, translated from Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. Published by Granta
  • A Flight over the Black Sea by Ihor Pavlyuk, translated from Ukrainian by Stephen Komarnyckyj. Published by Waterloo Press
  • Sworn Virgin by Elvira Dones, translated from Italian by Clarissa Botsford. Published by And Other Stories
  • Kamal Jann by Dominique Eddé, translated from French by Ros Schwartz. Published by Seagull Books
  • My Voice: A Decade of Poems from the Poetry Translation Centre ed. Sarah Maguire, translated from various languages. Published by Bloodaxe Books
  • Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline eds. Malu Halasa, Zaher Omareen and Nawara Mahfoud, translated from Arabic by Ghias Aljundi, Anne-Marie MacManus and Alice Guthrie. Published by Saqi Books

Winner of a 2013 English PEN grant for translation via our PEN Translates programme

  • Arde El Monte de Noche by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel, translated from Spanish by Jethro Soutar. Published by And Other Stories
  • Korparna by Tomas Bannerhed, translated from Swedish by Sarah Death. Published by  Clerkenwell Press
  • Aller Tage Abend by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from German by Susan Bernofsky. Published by Portobello Books
  • Le Sermon sur la Chute by Jérôme Ferrari, translated from the French by Geoffrey Strachan. Published by MacLehose Press
  • Plegarias Nocturnas by Santiago Gamboa, translated from Spanish by Howard CurtisPublished by Europa Editions
  • Les Caves du Vatican by André Gide, translated from French by Julian Evans. Published by Gallic Books
  • Selected Stories by Sema Kaygusuz, translated from Turkish by Maureen Freely. Published by Comma Press
  • Das Echolot: Abgesang ’45, Ein Kollektives Tagebuch by Walter Kempowski, translated from German by Shaun Whiteside. Published by Granta
  • Hytti Nro. 6 by Rosa Liksom, translated from Finnish by Lola Rogers. Published by Serpent’s Tail
  • Nosso Musseque by José Luandino Vieira, translated from Portuguese by Robin Patterson. Published by Dedalus
  • Missiya London by Alek Popov, translated from Bulgarian by Daniella and Charles Gill de Mayol de Lupe, published by Istros Books
  • Követés: Egy nyomozás krónikája by Iván Sándor, translated from Hungarian by Tim Wilkinson. Published by Peter Owen
  • Harraga by Boualem Sansal, translated from French by Frank Wynne. Published by Bloomsbury
  • Enkelten Verta by Johanna Sinisalo, translated from Finnish by Lola Rogers. Published by Peter Owen
  • Noční práce by Jachym Topol, translated from Czech by Marek Tomin. Published by Portobello
  • Bret Easton Ellis och de andra hundarna by Lina Wolff, translated from Swedish by Frank Perry. Published by Telegram


Emma Cleave
Writers in Translation Programme Manager
020 7324 2542



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