And While We're Talking about England . . . [New Translation Prize]

As seems to be the case always and everywhere these days, I’m way behind with e-mails, announcements, blog posts, etc. So you may already have heard about this, but a couple Fridays ago English PEN announced that Putin’s Russia by Anna Politkovskaya, translated from the Russian by Arch Tait, is the winning title of its inaugural Translation Award.

From the press release:

English PEN today announced a new prize for translated literature, to celebrate the 5th anniversary of its Writers in Translation programme. The English PEN Literature in Translation Award will be presented on Monday 8th November at a reception to be held at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon, London.

The winner of the inaugural English PEN Literature in Translation Award is Putin’s Russia by Anna Politkovskaya, an unsparing dissection of the corruption, cronyism, violence and fraud perpetrated under Putin’s presidency. The book was banned in Russia; two years after its UK publication, in October 2006, Politkovskaya was shot dead in the stairwell of her Moscow apartment block.

The Writers in Translation Committee has chosen Putin’s Russia for its intelligence, lucidity, fearless commitment to the higher ideals of freedom of speech, and the quality of its translation. The prize fund will be divided between the estate of Anna Politkovskaya and the book’s translator, Arch Tait. The Committee also commends The Harvill Press (now Harvill Secker) for its strong publicity and marketing campaigns in support of the book.

All great news—for the book, for the existence of the away, for the translator.

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