Ibrahim al-Koni’s ‘New Waw’ Makes National Translation Award Shortlist

The American Literary Translators Association yesterday announced the shortlists for the 2015 National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose, and Ibrahim al-Koni’s New Waw, trans. William Hutchins, made the cut:

nta-shortlistThe National Translation Awards (NTA) are now in their seventeenth year, sponsored and administered by the American Literary Translators Association. This is the first year they award separate prizes in poetry and prose.

Ibrahim al-Koni has certainly seen a surge in interest in English, particularly since he made the Man Booker International finalist’s list this year. Al-Koni’s The Scarecrowalso trans. Hutchins, came out this year, as did Myth and Landscape

Hutchins has previous won the Banipal translation prize for his work on Wajdi al-Ahdal’s A Land Without Jasmine.

According to organizers, the NTA is the “only national award for translated fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction that includes a rigorous examination of the source text and its relation to the finished English work.”

This year’s prose judges are Jason Grunebaum, Anne Magnan-Park, and Pamela Carmell, and sharing the seven-book shortlist with al-Koni are End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky, The Woman Who Borrowed Memories by Tove Jansson, translated from the Swedish by Thomas Teal & Silvester Mazzarella, Why I Killed My Best Friend by Amanda Michalopoulou, translated from the Greek by Karen Emmerich Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy, translated from the Russian by Marian Schwartz, and Running Through Beijing by Xu Zechen, translated from the Chinese by Eric Abrahamsen.

While the judges base their selections on both the quality of the finished English language book and the quality of the translation, the prize goes to the winning translators, who are set to receive a $5,000 each.

The award is scheduled to be announced at ALTA’s annual conference, held this year from Oct. 28-31, 2015. 

More Ibrahim al-Koni

Watch an interview:

On The Louisiana Channel

Read al-Koni:

The Teacher,” trans. Elliott Colla

“Tongue,” trans. Elliott Colla

From The Tumourtrans. Elliott Colla

From The Puppet, trans. William Hutchins

From Gold Dusttrans. Elliott Colla

From Anubistrans. William Hutchins

From The Scarecrow, trans. William Hutchins

On translating Ibrahim al-Koni:

By Elliott Colla


Al-Koni’s Homes,” by Elliott Colla