Publishers Arc, Peirene, Haus Publications, And Other Stories, Portobello Books and Harvill Secker were all named today as recipients of English PEN’s latest series of awards for books in translation. Alongside these five award-winners, English PEN announced a further 16 titles that will receive grants to enable publishers to bring into English outstanding writing from languages as diverse as Farsi, Tamil, Portuguese, Occitan, Hebrew, French, German and Spanish. Each year, English PEN highlights worldwide writing of exceptional literary merit and courage. The charity awards grants to support both the promotion of published titles to readers in this country and to help finance the translation of planned titles, to ensure they reach English-speaking readers around the world.
Ros Schwartz, Chair of English PEN’s Writers in Translation committee says: “The list of titles announced today not only emphasises the important role of UK independent publishing houses which invest in literary diversity, but also celebrates an exceptional richness of authorial imagination and creativity.”
Among the five awards announced for outstanding work in translation is Quesadillas by Juan Pablo Villalobos, translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey, published by And Other Stories (September 2013): a madcap Mexican satire of politics, big families and what it means to be middle class.
Among the 16 grants extended to translators to enable new books to be published in English is Hotel Brasil by Frei Beto, to be translated from the Portuguese by Jethro Soutar and published by Bitter Lemon: a classic crime novel on the one hand, and at the same time a dissection of Brazilian society through the fascinating back stories of the hotel residents. And Théorème Vivant by Cedric Villani, translated from the French by Natalie Berkman, published by The Bodley Head. Birth of a Theorem will bring the enthusiasm and popularity of French mathematics to the UK. Villani, a celebrity mathematician – something of a novelty for UK audiences – is a thrilling and unusual voice which deserves to be heard in English as well as French.
For more information or a synopsis of each title, please contact Emma Cleave, Programme Manager, Writers in Translation at English PEN: 020 7324 2535 or email@example.com
The full list of titles is set out below:
Winner of a 2013 English PEN Award for promotion via our PEN Promotes programme
1. In a Time of Burning by Cheran, translated from the Tamil by Lakshmi Hostrom. Published by Arc Publications, July 2013
2. Chasing the King of Hearts, by Hanna Krall, translated from the Polish by Philip Boehm. Published by Peirene, September 2013
3. Quesadillas by Juan Pablo Villalobos, translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey. Published by And Other Stories, September 2013
4. The Sky Wept Fire by Mikail Eldin, translated from the Russian by Anna Gunin. Published by Portobello Books November 2013
5. Back to Back by Julia Franck, translated from the German by Anthea Bell. Published by Harvill Secker, November 2013
Winner of a 2013 English PEN grant for translation via our PEN Translates programme
1. Hotel Brasil by Frei Beto, translated from the Portuguese by Jethro Soutar. Published by Bitter Lemon
2. Tarigh-e-Besmel by Mahmoud Dowlatabadi, translated from the Farsi by Aida Bahrami. Published by Haus Publications
3. La aventura de los bustos de Eva by Carlos Gamerro, translated from the Spanish by Ian Barnett. Published by And Other Stories
4. Dzienniki Kołmskie by Jacek Hugo-Bader, translated from the Polish by Antonia Lloyd-Jones. Published by Portobello Books
5. Grains of Gold, an anthology of Occitan writing, translated from the Occitan by James Thomas. Published by Francis Boutle Publishing
6. Si viveramos en un lugar normal by Juan Pablo Villalobos, translated from the Spanish by Rosalind Harvey. Published by And Other Stories
7. Vango Tome 1: entre ciel et terre by Timothée de Fombelle, translated from the French by Sarah Ardizzone. Published by Walker Books
8. Marcher: Une Philosophe by Frederic Gros, translated from the French by John Howe. Published by Verso Books
9. Théorème Vivant by Cedric Villani, translated from the French by Natalie Berkman. Published by The Bodley Head
10. Chūchù (出处)by Diao Dou, translated from the Chinese by Brendan O’Kane. Published by Comma Press
11. Maofan Shu (冒犯书) by Chen Xiwo, translated from the Chinese by Nicky Harman. Published by Make Do Publishing
12. Rücken an Rücken by Julia Franck, translated from the German by Anthea Bell. Published by Harvill Secker
13. Ludwigs Zimmer by Alois Hotschnig, translated from the German by Tess Lewis. Published by Seagull Books
14. Neuland by Eshkol Nevo, translated from the Hebrew by Sondra Silverston. Published by Chatto & Windus
15. I Do Not Write to be Believed. An anthology of short stories, translated from the French by Edward Gauvin. Published by Tartarus Press.
16. La Carroza de Bolivar by Evelio Rosero, translated from the Spanish by Anna Milsom and Anne McLean. Published by MacLehose Press.
PEN Promotes! (formerly known as Writers in Translation) has been promoting literature in translation since 2005 and is supported by Bloomberg. Each year, a dedicated committee of professionals selects between 8-10 books that are translated into English from a wide variety of foreign languages. English PEN awards grants to UK publishers to help promote, market and champion these titles. PEN Promotes is funded by Bloomberg.
PEN Translates! awards grants to UK publishers for translation costs and is supported by Arts Council England. 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. PEN Translates 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.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Emma Cleave, Programme Manager, Writers in Translation