PEN Translates Awards Go to Books from 15 Countries
The Bookseller (United Kingdom) (11/09/17) Cowdrey, Katherine
Books from 15 countries have received PEN Translates awards in the latest round of translation grants. Ros Schwartz, a notable literary translator and co-chair of the award panel, says that publishers are becoming “increasingly adventurous” in their choices.
The books receiving translation grants were selected on the basis of “outstanding literary quality, strength of the publishing project, and contribution to literary diversity in the United Kingdom.” They include the first novel from Mauritania to be translated into English (The Desert and the Drum, by Mbarek Ould Beyrouk), and novels translated from minority and lesser-translated European languages, such as Occitan, Galician, and Albanian, with an equal number of male and female authors selected.
Grants will be allocated to their respective publishers to cover the translation costs. Individual awards vary depending on the length of the book, with the standard agreement that PEN funds 75% of translation costs.
“We’re delighted to see that publishers are becoming increasingly adventurous in their choices, and that, interestingly, a number of projects are translator-led, underscoring the pro-active role translators can play in bringing books to publishers’ attention,” Schwartz says.
“It’s really encouraging to see such a wide range of countries and languages represented in this round of PEN Translates,” says Theodora Danek, manager of English PEN’s Writers in Translation program. “We think that writers from across the globe deserve to be read by a U.K. audience, and seeing publishers seek out new voices is fantastic.”