News Bulletin

The Italian Collection at The London Library

The London Library – a literary oasis in the heart of the capital, founded in 1841 by Thomas Carlyle – houses remarkable Italian Collections representing an extensive resource of research-level interest and a unique collection for Italians resident in London. Covering a variety of subject areas, but with strengths in Fine Arts, Literature and History, the Italian titles sit within the Library’s remarkable and extensive Foreign Language collections – with books in over 50 languages – all available for members to take home.

In the early years, for selection and acquisition purposes and in order to collect the best material relevant to Italian studies and its remit, the Library relied on the expertise of eminent scholars, many of whom were also members of the Library: Italian émigrés and political exiles, like political refugee Giuseppe Mazzini (1805-1872), who was a personal acquaintance of Thomas Carlyle.

Everybody with a passion for the Italian culture will find a treasure in The London Library, like a rich array of material on Italian art and artists, an extensive Literature Collection that includes all the major Italian writers from classics (Dante, Petrarca, Manzoni, Boccaccio, Leopardi) and rare books (such as the novel Clelia written by Giuseppe Garibaldi, not available anywhere else) to contemporary titles by such authors as Camilleri, Eco and Saviano. The History and Biography Collections cover Italian history from pre-history to present, with an emphasis on the Renaissance, the Risorgimento, the First and Second World Wars and Fascist Italy.

Many other subjects are covered, including Topography and Travel, Philosophy, Religion and Science. For academics, writers, researchers or those who simply love to read, the London Library’s Italian Collections are sure to be a source of inspiration.

Membership of the Library is open to all and benefits include extremely generous loan periods, no fines, postal loans for the UK and Europe, late openings two evenings a week, four attractive reading rooms and free Wi-Fi throughout the building. To become a member of the historic London Library and gain access to their unique and extensive Italian collections (and over a million other books and periodicals!) please visit Free tours of The London Library also take place every Monday evening at 6.30pm, with availability and booking information online.

Writers in Translation celebrates the life and work of Ewald Osers

Writers in Translation celebrates the life and work of Czech-born translator and poet Ewald Osers, who died in October this year at the age of 94. In the obituary above, Alan Brownjohn describes Osers translation of poetry as ‘something approaching genius’. Osers himself describes his ability as a natural aptitude he could not define: “Without conscious effort a translated line … would stand ready in my mind.”

Ewald Osers was three times chairman of the Translators Association, a vice-president of the International Federation of Translators and fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Read the full obituary here

The Colonel is long-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize 2011

Twelve novels from Japan, Iran, China, India, Pakistan, South Korea and Bangledesh have been announced as the longlist for the 2011 Man Asian Literary Prize.


2011 Longlist


JAMIL AHMAD (Pakistan) The Wandering Falcon

TAHMIMA ANAM (Bangladesh) – The Good Muslim

JAHNAVI BARUA (India) – Rebirth

RAHUL BHATTACHARYA (India) – The Sly Company of People Who Care


AMITAV GHOSH (India) – River of Smoke


ANURADHA ROY (India) – The Folded Earth

KYUNG-SOOK SHIN (South Korea) – Please Look After Mom

TARUN J TEJPAL (India) – The Valley of Masks

YAN LIANKE (China) – Dream of Ding Village


The shortlist announcement for the 2011 Prize will take place at Asia House, London, on 10 January 2012.

The announcement will be twinned with a similar event in Hong Kong, the home of the Prize, and will allow invited guests to celebrate the shortlist simultaneously in both Asia and the West. Chair Judge Razia Iqbal will announce the shortlist at 10am in London (6pm Hong Kong) which will be broadcast live online at

Bi Feiyu wins this year’s Man Asian Literary Prize

PEN’s Writers in Translation programme supported Three Sisters in 2010 with a grant. Three Sisters is a vivid picture of life in rural and urban Communist China in the 1970s and 1980s under Mao Zedong. It is also a deeply humanist portrayal of three sisters as they fight to take control of their lives and a timely exploration of the themes of human rights and the place of women in a deeply patriarchal culture. This breathtaking story captures the all-consuming desire for power in a society obsessed with saving face. Whether it’s in the Wang family village, where life is attuned to the rhythm of work in the fields and the slogans of the Cultural Revolution, or in the Beijing of the 1980s, the sisters are not prepared to be just another wave in the ‘infinite ocean of people’.

Literary Translation Centre 2011

The London Book Fair launched The Literary Translation Centre as a feature area that would enable publishers and translators to come together, network and attend a variety of seminars on literary translation to further this art throughout the UK and abroad. Following on from the success of 2010, the LBF Literary Translation Centre will have a more visible presence on the show floor with a bigger site in a more accessible location in one of the busiest areas in Earls Court Two. Whether you are a student, translator, writer or publisher, we’re sure you will find something of interest at The Literary Translation Centre and we look forward to seeing you there in April. Register for discounted tickets (£10) here.

Translator residency programme at the Free Word Centre

The Free Word Centre, in association with the Translators Association, is delighted to offer two three-month residencies in 2011. The programme offers practising literary translators a unique opportunity to work with a wealth of organisations across literature, literacy and free expression.

EU Culture programme

The EU Culture programme 2007-2013 offers funding opportunities for the translation of European fiction. The maximum grant available is EUR 60 000, for the translation of up to 10 books. Applicants must be publishing houses or publishing groups willing to translate works of fiction. The deadline for applications is 3rd February.

Best European Fiction 2011, Edited by Aleksandar Hemon

Read Rosie Goldsmith’s take on Dalkey’s forthcoming edition of the annual anthology of stories from across Europe. The Best European Fiction series is a window onto what’s happening right now in literary scenes throughout Europe, where the next Kafka, Flaubert, or Mann is waiting to be discovered.

The London Poetry Game

A new poem has been written in the languages of London. Translators are needed from a range of languages, from Gujarati to Yoruba, to translate different lines from the poem. At 3pm on Sunday July 11th 2010, the poem will be heard for the first time, in the collective translation of London. Visit the London Poetry Game website to play the game!

Making the World Legible

Writers in Translation celebrates its fifth anniversary with the publication of an anthology, Making the World Legible, containing extracts from the 36 books that the programme has supported over the last five years. The anthology is available to download from this website absolutely free – please go to the Writers in Translation homepage for more information. 

New Prize for Young Translators

Harvill Secker and Waterstones have announced an annual prize to recognise the achievements of young translators at the start of their careers. The prize will focus on a different language each year. This year, applicants are asked to submit their translation of Argentinian writer Matias Nespolo’s short story ‘El hachazo’. The deadline for entries is the 31st July 2010.

Literary Translation Centre at the London Book Fair 2010

NEW for 2010, the London Book Fair is introducing a Literary Translation Centre which will bring publishing and translation communities together to raise the profile and increase the quantity of literary translation in the UK and abroad. The Literary Translation Centre will provide a space for translators, publishers, students, authors and agents to network and attend seminars covering all aspects of the field. It will combine a theatre, networking space, meetings area and display space for translation organisations and those interested in the business of literary translation.


Great translation by the way

A pamphlet for preserving a flourishing translation culture and set to giving a central place to literary translation as a profession

2009 Naguib Mahfouz Award for Literature

Cairo – The Union of Egyptian Writers awarded the 2009 Naguib Mahfouz Award for Literature to Moroccan writer Bensalem Himmich for the whole of his work

Article on PEN’s supported title YALO

Susannah Tarbush writes on ‘Two Arab novelists on the frontline in English’, whose novels have been translated in English in the UK this year. She comments on Bahaa Taher’s Sunset Oasis and Elias Khoury’s Yalo

Guardian Top Ten Books about the Berlin Wall

As the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall approaches, here are 10 books that best illustrate the damage it caused

SWR Bestenliste – September 2009

German critics’ list of top ten books of the month has come out. Herta Müller’s Atemschaukel tops the list.

2009 Society of Authors Literary Awards

Winners Announced on Thursday 18th June. Full list of Prize winners

Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2009

Colombian writer Evelio Rosero and his translator Anne McLean were announced as the winners with The Armies. Entries are now being accepted for the 2010 prize

The Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation

Sarah Ardizzone has won the 2009 Award for her translation of Toby Alone

Edinburgh International Book Festival 15th – 31st August

Featuring over 750 author events with writers from over 45 different countries

Frankfurt Book Fair 2009 14th – 18th October

China will be the Guest of Honour

Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2009

Anthea Bell, for Sasa Stanisic’s How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone (Weidenfeld and Nicolson), has been announced as the winner for 2009. The £2,000 Prize was awarded at an event at St Anne’s College, Oxford, on 10th June

Longlist for the German Book Prize 2009 announced

20 novels have been nominated by judges, whittled down from the 154 titles originally looked through. The shortlist will be announced on the 16th September 2009

NEA Translation Project Fellowships

The National Endowment for the Arts has listed its Grant Awards: Literary Fellowships for Translation Projects, for 2010

Dayton Literary Peace Prize 2009

Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn will receive the Prize for Lifetime Achievement. Other finalists included James McBride, Louise Erdrich, Ma Jian, Thomas Friedman

Death of Switzerland’s “most cosmopolitan” writer

Hugo Loetscher has died in Zurich after a major operation on 18th August. Well known for his German-languague translations, former writer-in-residence at USC, and winner of several prizes including the Schiller Prize

Best European Fiction 2010

In January 2010, Dalkey Archive Press will launch the first in an annual series of volumes to promote European literature

Troubadour Storia

Troubadour publishing has launched a new series showcasing Italian fiction in translation. Troubadour Storia will publish up to three original translations a year.

The CWA International Dagger Award 2009

Writer Fred Vargas and translator Sian Reynolds win for the third time in four years, with The Chalk Circle Man, the first in the series of Adamsberg novels.


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