Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2015 shortlist announced

This year’s short list includes eight books from an outstanding entry of nearly 120 titles in translations from 25 different languages. 

Once again we have impressive submissions from both larger and smaller publishing houses: Portobello, Penguin, Atlantic Books, Istros Books, Carcanet Press, MacLehose Press, and two from Pushkin Press. War (but not only the First World War) is a prominent theme, and we also have some fine lyric poetry and highly poetic prose represented. The list contains translations from six languages. 

The winner will be announced at the prizegiving and dinner at St Anne’s College, Oxford on Saturday 13 June. Shortlisted translators will be invited to introduce their work, and extracts will be read by a team of Oxford students. This will be the crowning event of the second Oxford Translation Day, which boasts a varied programme of talks, workshops and readings. Details are available at http://www.occt.ox.ac.uk/oxford-translation-day-2015

This year’s judges of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize are the academics and writers Adriana Jacobs, David Maskell, Jane Hiddleston and Jonathan Katz (Chair). 

Susan Bernofsky for Jenny Erpenbeck’s The End of Days (Portobello Books)

A philosophically ambitious novel powered by profound depictions of personal and family reactions to death and tragedy.

Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia for André Neuman’s Talking to Ourselves (Pushkin Press)

A rich, moving conversation from individual accounts of three distinct but intertwined relations. 

Euan Cameron for Jean-Michel Guenassia’s The Incorrigible Optimists Club (Atlantic Books)

A novel (winner of the Prix Goncourt des Lycéens) of vast historical scope focusing on the post-war period in France. 

Will Firth for Aleksandar Gatalica’s The Great War (Istros Books)

A large-scale novel by a leading Serbian writer, on the First World War as seen from a variety of angles that will inform, and surprise, English readers.  

Anne Stokes for Sarah Kirsch’s Ice Roses (Carcanet Press)

Eloquent and inventive translations from one of Germany’s most important lyric poets of the second half of the twentieth century. 

Geoffrey Strachan for Jérôme Ferrari’s The Sermon on the Fall of Rome (MacLehose Press)

Winner of the 2012 Prix Goncourt, a story of the degradation of the ownership of a village bar in Corsica, with vivid historical background of personal and political memories.

Stefan Tobler for Clarice Lispector’s Água Viva (Penguin Books)

A surreal prose poem offering meditation, confession and conversation, or ‘brain-storming’ (the English word used by this highly original Brazilian author).

Paul Vincent for Erwin Mortier’s While the Gods were Sleeping (Pushkin Press)

A poetic and evocative reflection on the memory of the First World War and its subtle, and at times half-recognised, impact on everyday lives. 

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 is funded by Lord Weidenfeld and by New College, The Queen’s College and St Anne’s College, Oxford. See http://www.st-annes.ox.ac.uk/about/the-oxford-weidenfeld-translation-prize for further details. 

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