The Bookseller – News – PEN Translates Awards recognize 21 books in record year

A selection of 21 books from 19 countries in 18 languages ​​have won PEN English’s International Translation Awards in a record-breaking year.

Titles are selected for PEN Translates on the basis of outstanding literary quality, the strength of the publishing project and their contribution to the diversity of books published in the UK.

The 21 awards go to titles from 19 different publishers. These include novels, short story collections, children’s poems and an illustrated memoir. Titles from Guatemala and North Macedonia as well as translations from Macedonian, Montenegrin and the Isaan dialect of Thai were also recognized for the first time this year.

Will Forrester, Translation and International Manager at English PEN, said: “It is no coincidence that we are giving away a record number of books in this round of PEN Translates. We have received submissions from more publishers than ever before for an extraordinarily diverse and ambitious set of titles – a testament to the vitality of translated literature publishing.

“These 21 books are major works of literature, remarkable for their diversity: vernacular magical realism from the Thailand-Laos border, an illustrated travelogue, Italian Gothic auto-fiction, poems for children from Guatemala, and Egyptian speculative fiction make up only a quarter of it Works are supported. This is an exciting series of books and English PEN is excited to help them reach UK readers.”

Mayer and Preti Taneja, co-chairs of the English PEN Translation Advisory Group, said: “With brilliant books from countries including Guatemala, Mozambique, Thailand and Albania, this PEN Translates round is a compelling snapshot of global literature. Including three books that bring women writers and translators together, as well as bold queer writing from North Macedonia, Russia and Chile.

“This was an extremely strong round and our selection showcases UK publishers committed to taking risks and building communities. We’re particularly excited to include illustrated books for younger and older readers, and welcome four up-and-coming small publishers as first-time award winners. The depth and breadth on display puts PEN Translate and translated literature in the UK in an expansive mood which we hope to continue.”

PEN Translates has now supported more than 300 books translated from over 90 languages ​​and awarded more than £1m in grants. This year, Tomb of sand by Geetanjali Shree (Tilted Axis), translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell, a title supported by PEN Translates, won the 2022 International Booker Prize.

The winners are:

The summer you weren’t there by Petar Adonovski, translated from Macedonian by Christina E Kramer (Parthian Books). Country of origin: North Macedonia.
The clock and the guest by Hassan Blasim, translated from Arabic by Jonathan Wright (Comma Press). Country of origin: Finland.
Magnification forty by Tsvetanka Elenkova, translated from Bulgarian by Jonathan Dunne (Shearsman Books). Country of origin: Bulgaria.
Me and the Robbersons: Bandit Karaoke by Siri Kolu, translated from Finnish by Ruth Urbom (Little Tiger Press). Country of origin: Finland.
exile by Phu Kradart, translated from the Thai Isaan dialect by Ram Prasansak (Tilted Axis Press). Country of origin: Thailand.
The memory of the air by Caroline Lamarche, translated from French by Katherine Gregor (Héloïse Press). Country of origin: Belgium.
Wild Desire by Pedro Lemebel, translated from Spanish by Gwendolyn Harper (Pushkin Press). Country of origin: Chile.
Ravshan’s true stories by Lya Leutin, translated from Russian by Anna Aslanyan (Paper + Ink). Country of origin: Russia.
The Heart Sutra by Yan Lianke, translated from Chinese by Carlos Rojas (Chatto & Windus). Country of origin: China.
Like a Prisoner: Tales of Endurance by Fatos Lubonja, translated from Albanian by John Hodgson (Istros Books). Country of origin: Albania.
You, bleeding childhood by Michele Mari, translated from Italian by Brian Robert Moore (And Other Stories). Country of origin: Italy.
Central Europe by Vicente Luis Mora, translated from Spanish by Rahul Bery (Peninsula Press). Country of origin: Spain.
Tschanaze by Carlos Paradona Rufino Roque, translated from Portuguese by Sandra Tamale and Jethro Soutar (Dedalus Africa). Country of origin: Mozambique.
star 111 by Lutz Seiler, translated from German by Tess Lewis (And Other Stories). Country of origin: Germany.
Balam and Lluvia’s house by Julio Serrano Echeverría, translated from Spanish by Lawrence Schimel (The Emma Press). Country of origin: Guatemala.
brothers by Jackie Thomae, translated from German by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp (DAS Editions). Country of origin: Germany.

barcode by Krisztina Tóth, translated from Hungarian by Peter Sherwood (Jantar Publishing). Country of origin: Hungary.
retrospective by Juan Gabriel Vasquez, translated from Spanish by Anne McLean (MacLehose Press). Country of origin: Colombia.
My very great Arabic melancholy by Lamia Ziadé, translated from French by Emma Ramadan (Pluto Press). Country of origin: France.
Egypt + 100: Stories fRome a century after the revolution, translated from Arabic (Comma Press). Country of origin: Egypt.
Take Six: Six female writers from the Balkans, translated from Macedonian, Slovene, Bosnian, Croatian and Montenegrin by Will Firth and Olivia Hellewell (Dedalus). Countries of origin: North Macedonia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro.

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