Twenty books have won English PEN’s flagship translation awards, marking the highest number of awards ever given by the programme.
Books from 18 countries and 11 languages, including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short stories and children’s literature, and—or the first time—a translation from Georgian, have all been recognised. Books are selected for PEN Translates awards on the basis of outstanding literary quality, the strength of the publishing project, and their contribution to UK bibliodiversity.
Will Forrester, translation and international manager at English PEN, said: “The movement of words and ideas across borders has never felt so urgent. These awards go to 20 vital, exceptional works of international literature, and mark extraordinary breadth and quality—with titles from across Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, and from small and large publishers alike.”
Daniel Hahn, chair of the PEN Translates selection panel, added: “English PEN has long argued for the broadest possible internationalism in our publishing world—not as a niche interest or a luxury, but as a cultural necessity. With each round, this our 15th, PEN Translates receives an ever-greater number of more competitive, more promising, more diverse submissions, from terrific publishers of all sizes who, even in a risk-averse business, continue to look out at the world with ambition. These 20 titles add to the bibliodiversity that UK readers can enjoy in 20 quite different ways.”
PEN Translates award winners:
Three Apples Fell from the Sky by Narine Abgaryan, translated from Russian by Lisa Hayden. (Oneworld, May 2020). Country of origin: Armenia.
Why I No Longer Write Poems by Diana Anphimiadi, translated from Georgian by Jean Sprackland and Natalia Bukia-Peters. (Poetry Translation Centre, October 2020). Country of origin: Georgia.
Tazmamart by Aziz BineBine translated from French by Lulu Norman. (Haus Publishing, April 2020). Country of origin: Morocco.
Catalogue of a Private Life by Najwa Binshatwan, translated from Arabic by Sawad Hussein. (Dedalus Africa, October 2020). Country of origin: Libya.
Embrace by Najwan Darwish, translated from Arabic by Paul Batchelor and Atef Alshaer. (Poetry Translation Centre, June 2020). Country of origin: Palestine.
Liminal by Laura Fusco, translated from Italian by Caroline Maldonado. (Smokestack Books, April 2020). Country of origin: Italy.
Ankomst by Gøhril Gabrielsen, translated from Norwegian by Deborah Dawkin. (Peirene, June 2020). Country of origin: Norway.
The Fire in El Bordo Mine by Yuri Herrera, translated from Spanish by Lisa Dillman. (And Other Stories, July 2020). Country of origin: Mexico.
Black Box by Ito Shiori translated from Japanese by Allison Markin Powell. (Tilted Axis, August 2020). Country of origin: Japan.
Notes from Childhood by Norah Lange translated from Spanish by Charlotte Whittle. (And Other Stories, February 2021). Country of origin: Argentina.
War Trilogy by Agustín Fernández Mallo, translated from Spanish by Thomas Bunstead. (Fitzcarraldo, March 2021). Country of origin: Spain.
Portrait of My Double: Four Novellas by Georgi Markov, translated from Bulgarian by Angela Rodel. (Penguin Classics, February 2021). Country of origin: Bulgaria.