Bushra Al-Maqtari & Sawad Hussain, Faïza Guène & Sarah Ardizzone Win ‘PEN Translates’ Awards

What Have You Left Behind?, by the author-translator duo Bushra Al-Maqtari and Sawad Hussain, is among eighteen projects in thirteen languages to have won a Fall 2021 PEN Translates Award.

It is the only book to be translated from Arabic to make this latest PEN Translates list.

The book, which the publisher calls a “powerful and devastating exposition” of the Yemeni civil war, has been signed by Fitzcarraldo and is scheduled for publication in September 2022.

Fitzcarraldo associate publisher Tamara Sampey-Jawad told The Bookseller: “As difficult to read as it is to put down, Bushra al-Maqtari’s unvarnished chronicle of the conflict in Yemen serves as a vital reminder of the scale of the human tragedy behind the headlines, and offers a searing condemnation of the international community’s complicity in the war’s continuation, and I am delighted to be welcoming her to Fitzcarraldo Editions.”

Discretion by Algerian author Faïza Guène, to be translated from the French by Sarah Ardizzone, was another of the 18 winning titles. In a review of the novel, Melissa Chemam writes that Guène’s new novel La Discrétion “tells us about French Algerians and their perception in the French literary world.”

Discretion is set to be published by Westbourne Publishers.

Other PEN Translates-winning titles include work translated from the Mè’phàà and the Char-Chapori dialect of Assamese and Bengali.

In a prepared statement, Will Forrester, Translation and International Manager at English PEN, said:

Not only are these eighteen books exceptional works of literature, but they also attest to the current vitality of translated literature publishing. This is the most publishers ever awarded in a single PEN Translates round. Their books, united as works of outstanding writing and translating, span extraordinary differences in form, theme, geography and style: we have protest poetry, the political history of football, gritty short fiction, poetry from an Indigenous language of the Americas, and all-embracing children’s literature, all sitting side by side. This is a thrilling set of books, and English PEN is thrilled to be helping them get to UK readers.

Titles 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.”

The other 16 awardees:

House Arrest by Hasan Alizadeh, translated from the Farsi by Kayvan Tahmasebian and Rebecca Ruth Gould (Arc Publications). Country of origin: Iran.

Boulder by Eva Baltasar, translated from the Catalan by Julia Sanches (And Other Stories). Country of origin: Spain.

To Love A Woman by Diana Bellessi, translated from the Spanish by Leo Boix(Poetry Translation Centre). Country of origin: Argentina.

The Gospel According to the New World by Maryse Condé, translated from the French by Richard Philcox (World Editions). Country of origin: France.

A People’s History of Football by Mickaël Correia, translated from the French by Fionn Petch (Pluto Press). Country of origin: France.

The Sacred Clan by Liang Hong, translated from the Chinese by Esther Tyldesley (ACA Publishing). Country of origin: China.

Ma is Scared by Anjali Kajal, translated from the Hindi by Kavita Bhanot(Comma Press). Country of origin: India.

Body Kintsugi by Senka Marić, translated from the Bosnian by Celia Hawkesworth (Peirene Press). Country of origin: Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The Dogs Dreamt by Hubert Matiúwàa, translated from the Mè’phàà and Spanish by Juana Adcock (flipped eye publishing). Country of origin: Mexico.

Fairy Tales Are For Everyone, translated from the Hungarian by Anna Bentley(HarperCollins). Country of origin: Hungary.

The Opposite of Seduction: New Poetry in German, translated from the German (Shearsman). Countries of origin: Germany and Austria.

I am Miyah: Poetry and Song by Bengali-Muslims in Assam, translated from the Char-Chapori dialect of Assamese and Bengali by Shalim Hussain (Tilted Axis Press). Country of origin: India.

Island Mountain Glacier by Anne Vegter, translated from the Dutch by Astrid Alben (Prototype). Country of origin: Netherlands.

A Feminist Theory of Violence by Françoise Vergès, translated from the French by Melissa Thackway (Pluto Press). Country of origin: France.

Why Do You Dance When You Walk? by Abdourahman Waberi, translated from the French by Nicola Bell and David Bell (Cassava Republic Press). Country of origin: Djibouti.

Annette: An Epic Heroine by Anne Weber, translated from the German by Tess Lewis (The Indigo Press). Country of origin: France.

PEN Translates will reopen for submissions to the next round in April 2022.

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