Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize – 2014 shortlist announced

This year’s shortlist includes eight books instead of the usual six - in recognition of the high quality of this year’s translations and the large number of entries (151).


It is a bumper year for small publishers: MacLehose Press has two books on the shortlist, and Seagull, Arc and Angel Classics are also represented, along with the small American presses Zephyr and Wakefield. Formal experimentation and reflections on recent European history are prominent in the shortlist this year.

Shortlisted translators will be invited to read from their work, and the winner will be announced, at the prizegiving and dinner at St Anne’s College Oxford on Saturday 14th June. This will be the crowning event of the first ever Oxford Translation Day (13th-14th June) which boasts a varied programme of talks, workshops and readings. Details are available at http://oxfordcomparativeliterature.com/oxford-translation-day/

This year’s judges of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize  are the academics and writers Jonathan Katz, Adriana Jacobs, Patrick McGuinness and Matthew Reynolds (Chair).

The Shortlist

Anthea Bell for Eugen Ruge’s In Times of Fading Light (Faber)
An adept, subtle translation of a novel which explores political history and inter-generational conflict with great seriousness and flashes  of humour.

Isabel Fargo Cole for Franz Fühmann’s The Jew Car (Seagull Books)
A fluent and compelling translation of a powerful account of the forming of political views and prejudices.

Susan Wicks for Valérie Rouzeau’s Talking Vrouz (Arc publications)
These translations of Rouzeau’s idiosyncratic French are exact, inventive and full of life.

David Homel for Dany Laferrière’s The Enigma of the Return (MacLehose Press)
A lyrical, resourceful and tonally perfect rendition of a novel which mixes verse and prose.

Peter Daniels for Vladislav Khodasevich’s Selected Poems (Angel Classics)
Subtle, skilled translations of the haunting verse of an early-C20th Russian poet.

Alastair McEwen for Andrea Bajani’s Every Promise (Maclehose Press)
A deeply convincing rendering of this recent novel of recollection, disjunction and loss.

Edward Gauvin for Jean Ferry’s The Conductor and Other Tales (Wakefield Press)
A poetic, clear and well-pitched translation of this startling surrealist work from 1950.

Mira Rosenthal for Tomasz Ró?ycki, Colonies (Zephyr Press)
Virtuosic translations of a moving Polish sonnet sequence about place and the past.

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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