NEA Translation Fellowships (Follow-Up)

I know E.J. posted about this last week, but I wanted to give my own personal shout-out to a few of the recipients of this year’s NEA Translation Fellowships.

Complete descriptions of all sixteen funded projects can be found here, but in addition to the projects E.J. mentioned—Charlotte Mandell’s translation of Mathias Enard’s Zone and Martha Tennent’s translation of Merce Rodoreda’s stories—below are a few of the others that caught my eye (with all descriptions from the NEA website unless noted):

  • Chantal Bilodeau to support the translation from French of plays by French-African playwright Koffi Kwahulé. His work explores the dynamics of power and oppression of disenfranchised individuals, the search for identity, and the isolation of contemporary life in urban settings. This fellowship will support the translation of three plays — That Old Black Magic, Blue-S-cat, and The Melancholy of Barbarians — completing Bilodeau’s seven-play anthology of Kwahulé‘s work. The anthology will trace the evolution of his aesthetic, reflecting the influence of Hollywood films, rhythm and blues, and jazz.
  • Ellen Elias-Bursac To support the translation from Croatian of the novel The Goldsmith’s Gold by August Šenoa. Originally published in 1871, The Goldsmith’s Gold was the first Croatian novel following a 300-year hiatus in written literature. It paints a portrait of political and clerical intrigue, and explores themes including secularity, modernity, the rise of the middle class, and the role of women in society.
  • Sandra Kingery To support the translation from Spanish of Esther Tusquets’s memoir We Won the War. Published to great acclaim in Spain in 2007, We Won the War covers nearly two decades (1939-56) beginning with the post-Civil War years in Spain. It offers insight into Tusquets’s personal history and tracks the evolution of her social and policial views as she turns away from her family’s pro-Franco stance to join the fight for individual freedom and democracy.
  • Tess Lewis To support the translation from German of Die Kinder Beruhigte das Nicht (That Didn’t Reassure the Children), a collection of short stories by Austrian writer Alois Hotschnig. His haunting stories maintain a delicate balance between intimacy and isolation. [Three stories from this collection appeared in a recent issue of The Hudson Review ]
  • Eugene Ostashevsky To support the translation from Russian of a prose dialogue, Conversations, by philosopher Leonid Lipavsky. It is a creative text that portrays conversations between Lipavsky and poets in the OBERIU group — considered the last faction of the Russian avant-garde. Its members included Daniil Kharms and Alexander Vvedensky, and this work serves as a historical record as well as a creative work, since most of those portrayed were arrested or died in the late 1930s and early 1940s.
  • Daniel Shapiro To support the translation from Spanish of the short story collection Missing Persons, Animals and Artists by Mexican writer Roberto Ransom. It includes nine short stories, which range in place — from Mexico to Europe — and time, from the contemporary era to the Renaissance. The stories explore such subjects as the loneliness of childhood and the intersection between art and politics. [Daniel also runs Review magazine at the Americas Society, which focuses on the literature and art of North America. Lot of great articles, reviews, fiction, and poetry.]
  • Russell Valentino To support the translation from Rovignese of a collection of poetry, Conversations with Filip the Seagull in this Corner of Paradise, by Ligio Zanini. Zanini is considered the principle poetic voice of Istria, and has published seven acclaimed collections of poetry. Only one, Conversations with Filip the Seagull in this Corner of Paradise, was ever translated from Rovignese (a rare Istro-Venetian dialect spoken only by some 600 people) to Croatian. [Be sure and check out Russell’s publishing house, Autumn Hill, as well. They do some excellent books.]

And here’s the list of all the other recipients:

Diane Arnson Svarlien
Olga Broumas
Brian Henry
Tina A. Kover
Eléna Rivera
Nahma Sandrow
Richard Tillinghast

Congratulations to everyone—this is a great group of translators and a great group of projects.

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