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.
Karel Schoeman’s Afrikaans novel, This Life, translated by Else Silke, falls into a genre maybe only noticed by the type of reader who tends toward Wittgenstein-type family resemblances. The essential resemblance is an elderly narrator, usually alone—or with one other. . .
In Joris-Karl Hyusmans’s most popular novel, À rebours (Against Nature or Against the Grain, depending on the which translated edition you’re reading), there is a famous scene where the protagonist, the decadent Jean des Esseintes, starts setting gemstones on the. . .
There are books that can only wisely be recommended to specific types of readers, where it is easy to know who the respective book won’t appeal to, and Kristiina Ehin’s Walker on Water is one these. What makes this neither. . .
Imagine the most baroque excesses of Goethe, Shakespeare, and Poe, blended together and poured into a single book: That is The Nightwatches of Bonaventura. Ophelia and Hamlet fall in love in a madhouse, suicidal young men deliver mournful and heartfelt. . .
In 1899, Maurice Ravel wrote “Pavane pour une infante défunte” (“Pavane for a Dead Princess”) for solo piano (a decade later, he published an orchestral version). The piece wasn’t written for a particular person; Ravel simply wanted to compose a. . .
Fiston Mwanza Mujila is an award-winning author, born in the Democratic Republic of Congo, who now, at 33, lives in Austria. From what I could find, much of his work is influenced by the Congo’s battle for independence and its. . .
Twenty-One Days of a Neurasthenic is not a novel in the traditional sense. Rather, it is a collection of vignettes recorded by journalist Georges Vasseur in his diary during a month spent in the Pyrenées Mountains to treat his nervous. . .
Founded in 1960 by such creative pioneers as George Perec, Raymond Queneau and Italo Calvino, the Oulipo, shorthand for Ouvroir de littérature potentielle, came about in when a group of writers and mathematicians sought constraints to find new structures and. . .
There’s little to say about a series of prose poems that willfully refuse to identify pronoun antecedents. Or perhaps there are a million things. The poems in Morse, My Deaf Friend— the chapbook by Miloš Djurdjević published by Ugly Duckling. . .
The Crimson Thread of Abandon is the first collection of short fiction available in English by the prolific Japanese writer and all-around avant-garde trickster Terayama Shūji, who died in 1983 at the age of 47. This collection would be important. . .