Rabee Jaber’s ‘Confessions’ a PEN Center USA Translation Award 2017 Finalist

Rabee Jaber’s Confessions, translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid, was yesterday named a finalist for the 2017 PEN Center USA award for translation:

Four-book lists of finalists were announced in eight categories, including translation.

There was just one title that made the PEN Center USA’s 2017 translation-finalist list and that of PEN America: It is Jaber’s Confessions, which is in sensuous, tactile translation by Abu-Zeid.

PEN Center USA, which bills itself as “the world’s oldest international literary and human rights organization,” is the West Coast center of PEN International. This year’s translation-prize judges are Jennifer Croft, Elisabeth Jaquette, and Idra Novey.

As it’s Women in Translation Month (#WITMonth), we’ll also note that half the PEN Center USA list is made up of titles by women: one by 2009 Nobel winner Herta Müller and the other by celebrated Rwandan author Scholastique Mukasonga.

PEN USA’s 2017 winners will be announced in early September.

Read a review of Confessions that appeared in The Chicago Tribune, written by ArabLit’s chief editor.

A Q&A with Jaber’s English-language translator, Kareem James Abu-Zeid: On Translating Rabee Jaber, Finally

Interviews with Jaber:

A video interview in the spring of 2011

December 2011, with IPAF organizers

With BBC Extra


Of The Birds of Holiday Inn, trans. Ghenwa Hayek