The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize 2015 is Susan Bernofsky for her translation of Jenny Erpenbeck's The End of Days (Portobello Books)
The judges said:
The award-winning German author Jenny Erpenbeck's latest and philosophically most ambitious work presents a number of possible courses of events and chance occurrences governing the life of a Jewish woman born in Galicia at the beginning of the 20th century, bringing her to different European countries and different political and social phases of central and eastern European history. The book is powered by profound depictions of personal and family reactions to death and tragedy, without ever wholly losing some prospect of hope and redemption. Susan Bernofsky’s English translation, ‘The End of Days’, is a beautiful, poetic and persuasive work in its own right, intellectually engaging, and emotionally gripping. The lyrical richness and psychological depth of the original German are matched by a fresh, compelling English style in a publication that promises to bring both author and translator to the forefront of modern European literature known in Britain and America.
The Prize was awarded at an event at St Anne's College, Oxford, at which the shortlisted translators discussed their work and extracts were read by a team of undergraduate students. This was the final event of Oxford Translation Day, a festival of talks, readings and workshops staged in collaboration with Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation, Oxford Student PEN, the Emerging Translators Network, Oxford German Network, and Modern Poetry in Translation.
This year’s judges of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize were the academics and writers Jane Hiddleston, Adriana Jacobs, David Maskell and Jonathan Katz (Chair).
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.