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Shortlisted Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize Translators Reading and Discussing Their Translations
The Oxford–Weidenfeld Prize is for book-length literary translations into English from any living European language. It aims to honour the craft of translation, and to recognise its cultural importance. It was founded by Lord Weidenfeld and is supported by New College, The Queen's College and St Anne's College, Oxford.
This year’s judges were Patrick McGuinness, Marta Arnaldi, Karolina Watroba, and Simon Park (Chair).
The 2020 shortlist is:
Michális Ganás, A Greek Ballad (Yale UP), translated from the Greek by David Connolly and Joshua Barley
Pajtim Statovci, Crossing (Pushkin Press), translated from the Finnish by David Hackston
Mahir Guven, Older Brother (Europa), translated from the French by Tina Kover
Tatyana Tolstaya, Aetherial Worlds (Daunt Books), translated from the Russian by Anya Migdal
Multatuli, Max Havelaar (New York Review Books), translated from the Dutch by Ina Rilke and David McKay
Dušan Šarotar, Billiards at the Hotel Dobray (Istros Books), translated from the Slovene by Rawley Grau
Dina Salústio, The Madwoman of Serrano (Dedalus), translated from the Portuguese by Jethro Soutar
Birgit Vanderbeke, You Would Have Missed Me (Peirene Press), translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch
The winner of this year’s Prize was David Hackston for his translation of Pajtim Statovci’s Crossing (Pushkin Press).
To accompany the award of the Prize, St Anne’s and Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (OCCT) uploaded a number of videos in which the shortlisted translators discuss or read from their respective translations.
David Hackston is a British translator of Finnish and Swedish literature and drama. Notable recent translations include Kati Hiekkapelto's Anna Fekete series, Katja Kettu's wartime epic The Midwife, Pajtim Statovci's enigmatic debut My Cat Yugoslavia and its follow-up, Crossing, The Dedalus Book of Finnish Fantasy, and, to date, five novels by Antti Tuomainen. 2021 will see the publication of Statovci's third novel and Laura Lindstedt's My Friend Natalia. In 2007 David was awarded the Finnish State Prize for Translation. David is also a professional countertenor and a founding member of the English Vocal Consort of Helsinki. Follow David on Twitter @Countertenorist.
Tina Kover is an American-born literary translator specializing in both classic and modern literature including Alexandre Dumas’s Georges, the Goncourt brothers’ Manette Salomon, and Mahir Guven’s Goncourt Prize-winning Older Brother. Her translation of Négar Djavadi’s Disoriental won the 2019 Albertine Prize and the Lambda Literary Award in Bisexual Fiction. It is currently shortlisted for the 2020 International Dublin Literary Award and was a finalist for the 2018 National Book Award for Translated Literature, the PEN Translation Prize, the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation, and the Scott Moncrieff Prize.
Anya Migdal is a writer, translator, and actor. Her translations have appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, Tin House, Plough Quarterly, Zoetrope: All Story, and the Iowa Review, among others. Tatyana Tolstaya’s "Aetherial Worlds", which Anya translated, was published by Knopf in 2018 and Daunt Books in 2019, and longlisted for the National Book Award in Translated Literature as well as for the PEN Translation Prize. In addition to working on a collection of her own short stories, Anya is also working on a middle-grade children's novel based on Russian folklore. She resides in Brooklyn with her two children, Alice and Anton, and their pet cockatiel, Cheeks.
Rawley Grau, originally from Baltimore, has lived in Slovenia since 2001. In addition to Billiards at the Hotel Dobray, by Dušan Šarotar, he translated the same author’s novel Panorama, which was shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize in 2017. Other translations from Slovene include works by Mojca Kumerdej, Vlado Žabot, Gabriela Babnik, Aleš Debeljak, and others. His translation, from Russian, of poems and letters by Yevgeny Baratynsky was awarded the 2016 prize for Best Scholarly Translation from the American Association of Teachers of Slavic and Eastern European Languages.
Joshua Barley is a translator of modern Greek literature and writer. He read Classics at Oxford and modern Greek at King's College, London. His translation of Ilias Venezis' Serenity is published by Aiora Press, for whom he is also preparing a volume of Greek folk songs in English translation for publication in 2021. A Greek Ballad, selected poems of Michalis Ganas (translated with David Connolly) was published by Yale University Press in 2019. It was shortlisted for the London Hellenic Prize and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize.
Jethro Soutar is a translator of Portuguese and Spanish. He has a particular focus on African literature and has translated novels from Cape Verde, Guinea Bissau and Equatorial Guinea - including By Night the Mountain Burns by Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel, shortlisted for the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize - and short stories from Angola and Mozambique. He is also a founder of Ragpicker Press and an editor at Dedalus Africa. Originally from Sheffield, he now lives in Lisbon.
Jamie Bulloch studied Modern Languages then History, and has been a literary translator from German since 2007. He has translated over 40 books, including Birgit Vanderbeke’s The Mussel Feast, for which he won the 2014 Schlegel Tieck Prize, Timur Vermes’s Look Who’s Back, and Robert Menasse’s The Capital. He is also the author of Karl Renner: Austria. Jamie lives in London with his wife and three daughters.
David McKay is a literary translator who lives in The Hague and co-edits www.newdutchbooksinenglish.com. His translation of War and Turpentine by Stefan Hertmans was awarded the Vondel Prize and nominated for the Booker International and the Best Translated Book Award. His recent translations include Adrift in the Middle Kingdom by J. Slauerhoff and the The Wetsuitman by Freek Mariën, a play that starts out as a tongue-in-cheek Nordic murder mystery and transforms into something completely different. His translation of Cyriel Buysse's classic Flemish novella The Aunts will be published by Snuggly Books in November 2020. www.openbooktranslation.com.