It was recently announced that Antonia Lloyd-Jones has received this year’s Found in Translation Award for her translation of Pawel Huelle’s The Last Supper. (Which is available in the UK from Serpent’s Tail, and has a U.S. pub date of December 1, 2009.)
Huelle is a big name in Polish literature, and although a number of his books have been translated into English, it seems that he’s much more popular in the UK than the U.S. Which is unfortunate—this novel sounds pretty interesting:
The story of The Last Supper is set in Gdansk and centres on a single day in the near future, when twelve men have been invited by their mutual friend, an artist, to model at a photographic session for a modern version of The Last Supper. The histories of the twelve men are revealed through their thoughts on the day: their wayward behaviour is a reflection of the role of the Church in Polish society today. The reunion is disturbed as a wave of terrorist bombs paralyses the city, creating upheaval and a sense of unease.
Antonia Lloyd-Jones is one of the best Polish to English translators working today, and has translated other Pawel Huelle titles (including Castorp), along wiht works by Olga Tokarczuk, Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz, Ryszard Kapuscinski, and Wojciech Tochman.
The Found in Translation prize was established last year by the Polish Book Institute, Polish Cultural Institutes in London and New York, and W.A.B. Publishers. Its goal is to honor the best translation from Polish into English published within the past year by giving the translator PLN 10,000 (ca $3,000) and a three-month scholarship.
Just got a message from the Polish Book Institute that Bill Johnston (translator of numerous Polish authors, including Jerzy Pilch’s The Mighty Angel, another Open Letter book about drunks that we’ll be publishing in Spring 2009) has won the first ever Found in Translation award.
He won for his translation of Tadeusz Rozewicz’s New Poems available from Archipelago.
As pointed out in the press release about the award, this isn’t the first honor for Rozewicz’s book—it was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle award for poetry.
Bill is a really incredible translator and perfect example of how someone can help promote a particular country’s literature in translation.
He has translated the classics – J. Słowacki, B. Prus, S. Żeromski and Witold Gombrowicz. His splendid translations of books by authors such as Magdalena Tulli and Andrzej Stasiuk have also allowed American readers to become acquainted with Polish contemporary literature. Bill Johnston is an Assistant Professor of Comparative Literature and Second Language Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington (USA).
The Found in Translation award was established last October by the Book Institute, the Polish Cultural Institute in London, the Polish Cultural Institute in New York, and W.A.B. Publishers. The winner receives 10,000 PLN (almost $5,000) and a three-month Book Institute scholarship.
All funding, all day, it seems . . .
On the heels of the ACE debacle, and the NEA’s increase, here’s an announcement from the Polish Book Institute:
Found in Translation Award
The Polish Book Institute, Polish Cultural Institute in London, Polish Cultural Institute in New York and W.A.B. Publishing House in Warsaw announce the FOUND IN TRANSLATION Award.
The FOUND IN TRANSLATION Award is to be given annually to the translator or translators of the best translation of a work of Polish literature into English that was published as a book in the preceding calendar year.
The Award consists of a three-month residency in Krakow, with lodging, a stipend in the amount of 2,000 PLN monthly, an airline ticket to and from Krakow funded by the Polish Book Institute, and a financial award of 10,000 PLN funded by the W.A.B. Publishing House.
The Award is given by a Selection Committee consisting of representatives of the Polish Book Institute, Polish Cultural Institute in London, and Polish Cultural Institute in New York. The Director of the Polish Book Institute is to be President of the Selection Committee.
The name of the laureate is to be announced during the award ceremony, which will be organized each year in the laureate’s country of origin, preferably during the International Book Fair in that country.
Candidates for the Award can be nominated by private persons as well institutions in Poland and abroad.
Nominations are to be sent to the Polish Book Institute, 31-011 Kraków ul. Szczepańska 1, Poland, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject-heading FOUND IN TRANSLATION.
The nomination is to include the book title, name of the author, name of the translator, publisher, and a statement of the reasons for the nomination. The deadline for sending nominations is January 31 of each year, by midnight.
It’s years off the future, but I’m already planning on recommending Bill Johnston for his translation of Jerzy Pilch’s The Mighty Angel that we’ll be bringing out next year . . .
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