‘PEN Translates’ Awards Announces 12 Winning Titles; Two from Arabic

English PEN’s flagship grant program, the PEN Translates Awards, has announced their 12 winning titles for the spring of 2021:

The books come from 11 countries and 11 different languages, and include the first time PEN has granted a translation award to books from Yemen, Ecuador, and Ireland. There are two awarded titles translated from the Arabic: Behind the Sun by Bushra Al-Maqtari, translated from the Arabic by Sawad Hussain and Voices of the Nakba: The Making of an Archive by Hoda Adra, translated from the Arabic by Diana Allan.

PEN Translates, which has supported 300+ books from more than 60 languages since it started up in 2012, has now awarded more than £1m in funding.

According to English PEN, most of the awards are between £1,000 and £4,750.

Will Forrester, Translation and International Manager at English PEN, said in a prepared statement that the awarded titles are, “Remarkable in variety of language, voice, form, subject and geography; united in being outstanding pieces of writing and translating.” Ros Schwartz, Co-chair of the English PEN Translation Advisory Group, added that, “It is exciting to see the ever-increasing diversity of languages being translated. Despite the tough economic climate, publishers are boldly seeking out new writing from around the globe, often brought to their attention by translators.”

Books are selected for PEN Translates awards on the basis of “outstanding literary quality, the strength of the publishing project, and their contribution to UK bibliodiversity.”

This season’s PEN Translates award winners:

Behind the Sun by Bushra Al-Maqtari, translated from the Arabic by Sawad Hussain (Tilted Axis Press). Country of origin: Yemen.

Voices of the Nakba: The Making of an Archive by Hoda Adra, translated from the Arabic by Diana Allan (Pluto Press). Country of origin: Canada.

Canzone di Guerra by Daša Drndić, translated from the Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth (Istros Books). Country of origin: UK.

Our Dead Skin by Natalia Garcia Freire, translated from the Spanish by Victor Meadowcroft (Oneworld Publications). Country of origin: Ecuador.

Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm, translated from the Swedish by Saskia Vogel (Lolli Editions). Country of origin: Denmark.

The Bankruptcy by Júlia Lopes de Almeida, translated from the Portugueseby Cintia Kozonoi Vezzani and Jason Rhys Parry (UCL Press). Country of origin: Brazil.

A Soldier’s Song by Dónall Mac Amhlaigh, translated from the Irish by Mícheál Ó hAodha (Parthian Books). Country of origin: Ireland.

End of August by Yu Miri, translated from the Japanese by Morgan Giles(Tilted Axis Press). Country of origin: Japan.

Kolobok, translated from the Russian by Sian Valis (Fontanka). Country of origin: Russia.

Things I Didn’t Throw Out by Marcin Wicha, translated from the Polish by Marta Dziurosz (Daunt Books Publishing). Country of origin: Poland.

Flowers of Lhasa by Tsering Yangkyi, translated from the Tibetan by Christopher Peacock (Balestier Press). Country of origin: China.

Cocoon by Zhang Yueran, translated from the Chinese by Jeremy Tiang (World Editions). Country of origin: China.

More at the English PEN website.

PEN Translates will next be open to submissions October 1, 2021.