European literature in English translation : recent prizewinners

A recent blog post on Brazilian authors at the Paris book fair contrasted the numerous works of contemporary Brazilian literature in French with the far smaller number of titles which have appeared in English. It should be recognised, however, that the Society of Authors, with support from the Arts Council and a number of other funding bodies, administers prizes for published translations into English from Dutch, French, German, Greek, Italian, Spanish and Swedish. Not all prizes are awarded annually, however, which accounts for the different years in the list of awards which follows. It is standard procedure in our catalogue entries to give an access point for all literary translators as well as authors, as well as to provide the title of the original work wherever possible.


Items collected at the UL

Vondel prize for Dutch translation

Winner in 2013: David Colmer for his translation of The misfortunates by Dimitri Verhulst (Portobello). 2012.8.1300

Original: De helaasheid der dingen. [On order]


Scott Moncrieff prize for French translation

Winner in 2014: Beverley Bie Brahic for her translation of The little auto by Guillaume Apollinaire (CB Editions). Bilingual text. 2015.8.4196

Schlegel-Tieck prize for German translation

Winner in 2014: Jamie Bulloch for his translation of The mussel feast by Birgit Vanderbeke (Peirene Press). 2013.8.2377

Original: Das Muschelessen. 9000.d.8621

Hellenic Foundation for Culture translation award

Winner in 2012: Avi Sharon for his translation of Selected poems by C.P. Cavafy (Penguin). 2008.7.685

John Florio prize for Italian translation

Winner in 2014: Patrick Creagh for his translation of Memory of the abyss by Marcello Fois (MacLehose Press). C206.c.6653

Original: Memoria del vuoto. C202.c.7573

Premio Valle-Inclán for Spanish translation

Winner in 2014: Nick Caistor for his translation of An Englishman in Madrid by Eduardo Mendoza (MacLehose Press). C207.c.4224 and 2014.8.2146

Original: Riña de gatos. C205.c.3238

Bernard Shaw prize for Swedish translation

Winner in 2013: Robin Fulton for his translation of Chickweed wintergreen : selected poems by Harry Martinson (Bloodaxe Books). C205.c.2299

The Calouste Gulbenkian prize for Portuguese translation was sadly awarded for the last time in 2012. The winner was Margaret Jull Costa for her translation of The word tree by Teolinda Gersão (Dedalus), 2015.8.4194. (Original: A árvore das palavras. 9003.d.2344) That same year she was also the runner-up for the prize, for her translation of The land at the end of the world by António Lobo Antunes (Norton). C207.c.337 (Original: Os cus de Judas. 745:34.c.95.326). Margaret Jull Costa is an energetic translator of both Portuguese and Spanish texts (she currently has 71 entries in the Newton catalogue author index), who spoke to the Friends of Cambridge University Library in May 2009 on the subject of literary translation, Translation : is being faithful enough?

David Lowe

Leave a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s