PEN Translates Awards celebrate global literary diversity with inclusion of titles from Rwanda and Kazakhstan

In a celebration of literary diversity and cross-cultural exchange, the prestigious PEN Translates awards have once again recognised outstanding works from around the world. This year’s event marked a historic moment as books from Rwanda and Kazakhstan received the coveted award for the very first time. The awards, organised by English PEN, are an annual recognition of outstanding translated works that contribute to enriching the English-speaking literary landscape.

The PEN Translates awards honor books that have been masterfully translated into English, fostering an atmosphere of mutual understanding and appreciation among readers from different linguistic backgrounds. These awards are a flagship program of English PEN, an organisation dedicated to advancing literature and the vital principles of freedom of expression.

The announcement of the winners on August 22, 2023, highlighted the global impact of the awards. Twelve countries and nine languages were represented among the honorees, demonstrating the power of literature to transcend borders and bridge cultural gaps. The inclusion of titles from Rwanda and Kazakhstan serves as a testament to the growing recognition of literary talent from lesser-known regions.

English PEN’s commitment to supporting writers and artists extends beyond these awards. The organisation also maintains a Writers at Risk Database, providing a comprehensive resource for writers, journalists, artists, academics, and public intellectuals who face threats to their creative expression. This initiative underscores the organization’s dedication to protecting the fundamental human right to freedom of speech.

PEN America, a sister organisation of English PEN, complements these efforts by keeping the global community informed about events, literary accolades, issues concerning free expression, and international news. Together, English PEN and PEN America play an instrumental role in nurturing a vibrant literary ecosystem that values inclusivity and the exchange of diverse voices.

As the literary world continues to evolve, the PEN Translates awards stand as a beacon of hope, promoting cultural dialogue, understanding, and the universal power of storytelling. By recognizing outstanding works from around the world, these awards inspire readers and writers alike to explore new horizons, fostering a world where literature knows no bounds.


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