Oda Myran Winsnes Wins 2016 Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize for Translation of Samar Yazbek’s ‘The Crossing’

Oda Myran Winsnes has been taken the Norwegian Booksellers’ Prize for 2016 for her Norwegian translation of Samar Yazbek’s The Crossing:

yazbekThe prize, according to the European Council of Literary Translators’ Assocations, is awarded each year by the Norwegian Booksellers’ Association and the Norwegian Non-fiction Writers and Translators Association. It goes to a “newly established translator of non-fiction who has produced a high quality translation of a new work of non-fiction literature.”

Yazbek’s The Crossing also won France’s ‘Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger’ in 2016. Yazbek’s Les portes du néant (Bawabat ard al-‘adam) was translated into French by Rania Samara. The English version, The Crossing, was translated by Nashwa Gowanlock and Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp (2015).

According to Winsnes, who is now at work on Yazbek’s 2016 novel The Blue Pen, only a handful of contemporary books are translated each year from Arabic into Norwegian. Winsnes estimated “three to four” in an average year, and totted up “2015: 4 2014: 1 2013: 2 2012: 2 2011: 4 2010: 3 2009: 5 2008: 5 2007: 4.”