Following on yesterday’s announcement of the PEN/Heim Translation Grants the National Endowment for the Arts has announced the recipients of their Translation Grants: 16 translators working on projects from 13 languages and 15 countries.
The full list is below [with some side comments], but I want to specially point out that Angela Rodel’s project—_The Physics of Sorrow_ by Georgi Gospodinov—is coming out from Open Letter late next year.
Mohammed A. Albakry (Murfreesboro, Tennessee) is recommended for a grant of $25,000 to support the translation from Arabic of Tahrir Plays and Performance Texts from the Egyptian Revolution, an anthology of six contemporary Egyptian plays written by established and emerging playwrights. This project is in collaboration with Rebekah Maggor.
Daniel Borzutzky (Chicago, Illinois) is recommended for a grant of $12,500 to support the translation from Spanish of a collection of poetry by Chilean author Raul Zurita.
[Daniel deserves a double congrats for being on both the PEN list AND this list. That’s some serious cash for translating poetry! Some seriously good poetry as well . . .]
Nancy Naomi Carlson (Silver Spring, Maryland) is recommended for a grant of $12,500 to support the translation from French of a poetry collection by African writer Abdourahman Waberi.
[I LOVE Abdourahman Waberi’s work. So much so that I’d even read his poetry. That’s dedication.]
David Dollenmayer (Hopkinton, Massachusetts) is recommended for a grant of $12,500 to support the translation from German of the novel A Garden in the North by Michael Kleeberg.
[I met David when he won the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translation Prize. He’s a great person, and very deserving of this award.]
Erdağ Göknar (Durham, North Carolina) is recommended for a grant of $25,000 to support the translation from Ottoman Turkish of the epic poem Insurgency by Nazim Hikmet.
Jen Hofer (Los Angeles, California) is recommended for a grant of $12,500 to support the translation from Spanish of To Be in Pain: Texts from a Wounded Country by Mexican writer Cristina Rivera Garza.
[Cristina Rivera Garza is vastly underappreciated in America. Same can be said for approximately 10,000 writers from south of our border.]
Christina E. Kramer (Toronto, Ontario) is recommended for a grant of $12,500 to support the translation from Macedonian of the novel The Path of the Eels by Albanian writer Luan Starova.
[The words “Macedonian” and “Albanian” have me intrigued.]
Andrea Lingenfelter (Berkeley, California) is recommended for a grant of $12,500 to support the translation from Chinese of The Kite Family, a collection of fiction by contemporary Hong Kong writer Hon Lai Chu.
Denise Newman (San Francisco, California) is recommended for a grant of $12,500 to support the translation from Danish of a collection of short stories, Baboon, by Danish author Naja Marie Aidt.
[YAY! I really like Naja Marie Aidt—and hope to publish her in the future—and as a result have been cheering on Denmark in the Women’s Euro Cup. Did you see that PK victory over France yesterday? Me neither, since ESPN3 decided to crap out AT THAT VERY MOMENT. But still, it was exciting. And three Nordic teams in the semi-finals—plus Nordic wannabees, Germany—is pretty stellar.]
George O’Connell (Omaha, Nebraska) is recommended for a grant of $12,500 to support the translation from Mandarin of From Here to Here: New and Selected Poems by Chinese writer Hu Lan Lan. This project is in collaboration with Diana Shi.
Mariana F. Past (Toronto, Ontario) is recommended for a grant of $12,500 to support the translation from Haitian Creole of Controversial Issues in Haitian History, a work of creative nonfiction by Michel-Rolph Trouillot. This project is in collaboration with Benjamin Hebblethwaite.
[I suspect J.T. Mahany will be really interested in this . . .]
Amanda Powell (Eugene, Oregon) is recommended for a grant of $12,500 to support the translation from Spanish of the novel El gato de si mismo by Costa Rican writer Uriel Quesada.
[In Gold Cup news, I was pretty heartbroken that Costa Rica fell to Honduras. I really like their team. Hopefully they can hold off Honduras in the World Cup Qualifiers. And seriously, if you think I talk too much soccer on the blog/podcast now, just wait till 2014 . . .]
Daisy Rockwell (North Bennington, Vermont) is recommended for a grant of $25,000 to support the translation from Hindi of the novel Falling Walls by Indian author Upendranath Ashk.
[When this book gets published, it will be the second title translated from Hindi and published in the U.S. in the past few years. Which is crazy considering just how many people in the world speak Hindi, and how many U.S./UK publishers have offices in India.]
Angela Rodel (Sofia, Bulgaria) is recommended for a grant of $25,000 to support the translation from Bulgarian of the novel The Physics of Sorrow by writer Georgi Gospondinov.
[From what I’ve read, this book is going to be one of the best we’ve ever published. And there isn’t a more deserving translator than Angela Rodel. She’s done more for getting Bulgarian literature into English than anyone else in the world. Well, her and Elizabeth Kostova.]
Rimas Uzgiris (Brooklyn, New York) is recommended for a grant of $12,500 to support the translation from Lithuanian of selected poems by Lithuanian writer Judita Vaiciunaite.
[Speaking of Lithuania, did you know that Vilnius Poker is now available as an ebook? That’s right. You should buy it now, especially since the print copies are so hard to come by.]
Hester Velmans (Sheffield, Massachusetts) is recommended for a grant of $12,500 to support the translation from Dutch of the novel Slow Light by Dutch writer Herman Franke.
Prose translators will likely disagree, but I believe translating poetry requires a significant level of talent, a commitment to the text, and near mania, all of which suggests that the undertaking is the greatest possible challenge. The task is to. . .
The biggest issues with books like The Subsidiary often have to do with their underpinnings—when we learn that Georges Perec wrote La Disparition without once using the letter E, we are impressed. Imagine such a task! It takes a high. . .
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .