The UK’s Society of Authors today announced the seven shortlists of the 2019 Society of Authors’ Translation Prizes, including the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for translations from Arabic to English:
All seven winners will be announced in a ceremony at the British Library on February 12, 2020.
The Arabic prize is being judged this year by Ghazi Gheblawi, Dr Jan Fortune, Abla Oudeh, and Catherine Taylor; the four shortlisted titles were chosen from 17 entries published in the UK in 2018 or early 2019. The £3,000 award is given annually for works “of imaginative and creative writing of literary merit and general interest.”
Three of the books on the shortlist have already received major prize attention. Marilyn Booth’s translation of Jokha Alharthi’s Celestial Bodies won the 2019 Man Booker International, for which Jonathan Wright’s translation of Mazen Maarouf’s Jokes for the Gunmen was also shortlisted. Leri Price’s translation of Death is Hard Work was shortlisted for the US’s National Book Award in the translation category.
The full shortlist of four:
Marilyn Booth for a translation of Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi (Sandstone Press)
Humphrey Davies for a translation of My Name is Adam: Children of the Ghetto Volume 1 by Elias Khoury (MacLehose)
Leri Price for a translation of Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa (Faber & Faber)
Jonathan Wright for a translation of Jokes for the Gunman by Mazen Maarouf (Granta Books)