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.
Though far from the most convincing reason to read literature in translation, one common side effect is learning of another culture, of its history. Within that, and a stronger motivation to read, is the discovery of stories not possible within. . .
Despite cries that literature is dead, dying, and self-replicating in the worst way, once in a while a book comes along to remind readers that there’s still a lot of surprise to be found on the printed page. To be. . .
“I was small. And my village was small, I came to know that in time. But when I was small it was big for me, so big that when I had to cross it from one end to the other,. . .
A few weeks after moving into a farm house in the Welsh countryside, Emilie, an expatriate from the Netherlands, starts to think about her uncle. This uncle tried to drown himself in a pond in front of the hotel where. . .
Think back to the last adventure- or action-type book you read. Wasn’t it cool? Didn’t it make you want to do things, like learn to shoot a crossbow, hack complicated information systems, travel to strange worlds, take on knife-wielding thugs,. . .
In Aira’s Shantytown, while we’re inside the characters’ heads for a good portion of the story, the voice we read on the page is really that of Aira himself, as he works out the plot of the book he’s writing.. . .
Noir is not an easy genre to define—or if it once was, that was a long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away; as a quick guess, maybe Silver Lake, Los Angeles, 1935. When two books as different as. . .
Some time ago I read this phrase: “The page is the only place in the universe God left blank for me.”
Pedro Mairal’s short novel The Missing Year of Juan Salvatierra is more about these blank spaces than the usual full. . .
“What if even in the afterlife you have to know foreign languages? Since I have already suffered so much trying to speak Danish, make sure to assign me to the Polish zone . . .”
So reads a typical aphoristic “poem”. . .
If you somehow managed to overlook the 2012 translation of Andrés Neuman’s breathtaking Traveler of the Century (and woe betide all whom continue to do so), you now have two exceptional works of fiction from the young Argentine virtuoso demanding. . .