5 October 09 | Chad W. Post | Comments

The call for submissions for the 2010 Susan Sontag Prize for Translation was posted last week, and this year the focus is on translations from Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and Icelandic.

This prize was launched two years ago to encourage the development of young literary translators. Applicants must be under the age of 30 on the date the prize is announced (in this case May 14, 2010) and if selected, they are expected to be able to complete their translation by October 2010.

Every year the Foundation chooses a different language/region to highlight: in 2008 it was German, and last year was Spanish. Personally, following my trip to Iceland and the grand success of Jan Kjerstad’s books, I’m very interested to see how this year’s award turns out. (Coincidentally, of the winner and two honorable mentions named in 2009, we’re publishing both Juan Jose Saer and Sergio Chejfec, although we have yet to sign on either Roanna Sharp’s or Emily Toder’s translations.)

Applications are due by February 13th, 2010, which gives interested translators a decent amount of time to get all the necessary materials together . . .

26 May 09 | Chad W. Post | Comments

I don’t think I received a press release about this, but the 2009 Susan Sontag Prize for Translation has been awarded to Roanne Sharp for her proposed translation of La Mayor by Juan Jose Saer. Which is fantastic—we’re actually publishing three Saer books over the next few years, but not this one. . . . At least not yet.

The award is given to a young (under the age of 30) literary translation for a proposed project. Each year the prize focuses on a different language (last year it was German), and following the announcement, the translator is “employed” for a four-month period to complete the project. (This is one I can’t wait to read . . . )

In addition to Roanne Sharp, there were two honorable mentions this year:

  • Rosemary Peele for her proposed translation of Viaje olvidado and Autobiografía de Irene by Silvina Ocampo


  • Emily Toder for her proposed translation of Tres poemas y una merced (o cuatro poemas desplazados) by Sergio Chejfec. (Another author we’re going to be publishing . . .)

Congrats to Roanne Sharp at the runner-ups, and I’ll be sure to make an announcement about submitting work for the 2010 award as soon as the info is available.

24 April 08 | Chad W. Post | Comments [1]

We posted about the Susan Sontag Prize for Translation when the call for submissions went out, and it was just announced that Kristin Dickinson (who did her undergrad work at the University of Rochester), Robin Ellis, and Priscilla Layne won for their collaborative translation of Koppstoff: Kanaka Sprak vom Rande der Gesellschaft by Feridun Zaimoglu.

Feridun Zaimoglu’s Koppstoff: Kanaka Sprak vom Rande der Gesellschaft (1998) presents the fictionalized voices of 26 women of Turkish heritage living in Germany. “Koppstoff,” which when translated literally means “head material,” refers not only to the headscarf worn on the heads of many Muslim women, but also to what is going on in their heads – their thoughts, perspectives and inner lives. Zaimoglu resists any neat categorization of Muslim women by presenting a diverse range of voices: from cleaning women to professionals, from political activists to prostitutes. Koppstoff challenges readers to rethink conventions of religion, nationalism and femininity, and is globally significant for its contribution to debates on immigration, assimilation and discrimination–issues that resonate far beyond Germany’s borders.

Sounds interesting, and hopefully will find a publisher in the very near future . . .

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