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Translation prizes awarded LitFestBergen books

Eivind Senneset

At the Society of Authors´annual Translation Prizes for 2020, eight awards were made for translations from Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Spanish and debut translations from any language, into English.

Several were awarded books recently on show at the Bergen International Literary Festival.

"Sharp and unobtrusive"

The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for translation from Arabic was awarded Leri Price for a translation of Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa (Faber & Faber).

The judges said:

"A beautifully written and subtly translated piece of fiction, which feels almost one of dual authorship and in which lyrical prose combines with the forensic nature of reportage.’ (Catherine Taylor)
‘Leri Price's translation is both sharp and unobtrusive while maintaining the vividness and intense style of this compelling novel by Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa.’ (Ghazi Gheblawi)

The £3,000 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize, first awarded in 2006, was established by Banipal, the magazine of modern Arab literature and the Banipal Trust for Arab Literature.

This year’s judges were Ghazi Gheblawi (chair), Dr Jan Fortune, Abla Oudeh Mahmoud, and Catherine Taylor.

"Captures the distinctive sensibility of this work"

The winner of the Schlegel-Tieck Prize for translation from German goes to Iain Galbraith for a translation of River by Esther Kinsky (Fitzcarraldo Editions).

The £3,000 prize is sponsored by the Goethe-Institut, and this years judges were Prof. Emily Jeremiah and Dr Caroline Summers.

"Galbraith’s translation is meticulous but it also allows the text to meander and breathe as it should. He captures the distinctive sensibility of this work, with its movements back and forth in time, and through and between landscapes, with poetry and insight – a marvellous accomplishment", says judge Emily Jeremiah.

"A stellar achievement"

The Scott Moncrieff Prize for translation from French goes to Linda Coverdale for a translation of The Old Slave and the Mastiff by Patrick Chamoiseau (Dialogue Books).

This year’s judges were Prof. Susan Harrow and Dr Sudhir Hazareesingh.

The judges said:

"The challenges of translating such a complex work were numerous, and Linda Coverdale overcomes them all to convey fully the range and emotional depth of this remarkable novel." (Sudhir Hazareesingh)

‘A stellar achievement.’ (Susan Harrow)


The three award-winning translations were on sale at Boksalongen, the Bergen House of Literatures book shop, during the festival, and has now been re-ordered. 

Congratulations to all the translators.









Del Innhald