Announcing the Translation Prizes 2022 shortlists – a ‘diverse, impressive list’

Array of book covers from the 2022 Translation Prizes shortlists - showing the shortlisted books for the Schlegel-Tieck Prize, TA First Translation Prize, the Scott Moncrieff Prize, the John Florio Prize, Premio Valle Inclán and the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize
The 2022 shortlists for the Schlegel-Tieck Prize, TA First Translation Prize, the Scott Moncrieff Prize, the John Florio Prize, Premio Valle Inclán and the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize
Teddy McDonald

Teddy McDonald

Teddy works on SoA communications and outreach and alongside the Policy department on the SoA's campaigns work. He is also co-coordinator of the Children’s Writers and Illustrators Group (CWIG).
32 shortlisted works, nine languages, six prizes and a £15,000 prize fund

The Society of Authors has announced six shortlists for its annual Translation Prizes. Sharing a total prize fund worth £15,000, the winners – along with the winner of the TLS-Risa Domb/Porjes Prize for Translation from the Hebrew – will be celebrated at a ceremony at the British library, on Wednesday 8 February 2023. Due to reduced capacity, this year’s event is invitation only.

The 32 shortlisted works, translated from nine languages, each offered ‘unique challenges that the translators have tackled with obvious joy, ingenuity and aplomb’. 

Our Scott Moncrieff Prize this year showcased a range of ‘urgent and energetic novels […] concerned with the changing fortunes of African countries’. Judge Susan Wicks commented ‘it was good to see them so sensitively translated and the eventual winners come through’.


The John Florio Prize

All the translators were able to transfer beautifully and accurately the poetic tones, while retaining the content of the original texts

A biennial award of £2,000 for translations into English of full-length Italian works of literary merit and general interest. This year’s judges are Elena Minelli and Mario Petrucci.

The shortlist:

  • Elena Pala for a translation The Hummingbird by Sandro Veronesi (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Orion)
  • J Ockenden for a translation of Snow, Dog, Foot by Claudio Morandini (Peirene Press)
  • Nicholas Benson and Elena Coda for a translation of My Karst and My City by Scipio Slataper (University of Toronto Press)
  • Stash Luczkwi for a translation of Without Ever Reaching the Summit by Paolo Cognetti (Harvill Secker, Penguin Random House UK)
  • Stephen Twilley for a translation of Diary of a Foreigner in Paris by Curzio Malaparte (New York Review Books)
  • Tim Parks for translations of The House on The Hill and The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese (Penguin Press)

The judges said of this year’s shortlist:

The seven books shortlisted are excellent samples of different literary genres: fiction, classic literature and academic books. They all present significant challenges in terms of grammar, lexis and style. All the translators were able to transfer beautifully and accurately the poetic tones, while retaining the content of the original texts.

Sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute.


Premio Valle Inclán

It was a challenge choosing the frontrunners from this diverse, impressive list.

An annual prize of £2,000 for translations into English of full-length Spanish language works of literary merit and general interest. This year’s judges are Karina Lickorish Quinn and Richard Gwyn.

The shortlist:

  • Annie McDermott for a translation of Brickmakers by Selva Almada (Charco Press)
  • Hannah Kauders for a translation of Las Biuty Queens by Iván Monalisa Ojeda (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, Orion)
  • Julia Sanches for a translation of Slash and Burn by Claudia Hernández (And Other Stories)
  • Megan McDowell for a translation of The Dangers of Smoking in Bed by Mariana Enriquez (Granta)
  • Chris Andrews for a translation of The Divorce by César Aira (And Other Stories)
  • Annie McDermott for a translation of Wars of the Interior by Joseph Zárate (Granta)

The judges said of this year’s shortlist:

It was a challenge choosing the frontrunners from this diverse, impressive list. There was such variety among which to choose, from quirky surrealist stories to bend the mind, to tales of heart-wrenching tragedy, to innovative works that challenged and exploded conventions of genre and form. So much talent was on show in these submissions! Judging this year’s prize asked me to carefully interrogate what I believe is meant by ‘translation’ and what the role of the translator is. Translated literature is so important because it not only finds ways to shift utterances from one language to another, but because it carries from one culture to another stories, histories, perspectives and calls to action. I am grateful to all the authors, translators and publishers represented in this year’s entries for their contributions to that important work.

Sponsored by the Society of Authors.


The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize

At its most powerful literature should act as an imaginative passport into other worlds […] The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation makes this journey possible

An annual award of £3,000, established by Banipal Magazine and the Banipal Trust for translations from Arabic into English, of works of imaginative and creative writing of literary merit and general interest. This year’s judges are Katharine Halls, Becki Maddock, Prof. Susheila Nasta and chair Charis Olszok.

The shortlist:

  • Alexander E. Elinson for a translation of Hot Maroc by Yassin Adnan (Syracuse University Press)
  • Robin Moger for a translation of Slipping by Mohamed Kheir (Two Lines Press)
  • Humphrey Davies for a translation of The Men Who Swallowed the Sun by Hamdi Abu Golayyel (Hoopoe: An Imprint of AUC Press)

Speaking of this year’s shortlist, Prof. Susheila Nasta said:

At its most powerful literature should act as an imaginative passport into other worlds, a conduit to take us inside the lives of others, inviting us for a moment to stay and be part of an unknown world. Words transport as do good translations. At their best translations also take us elsewhere, offering readers stories in cultural landscapes they would not otherwise encounter. The Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation makes this journey possible.

Sponsored by The Banipal Trust for Arab Literature and Omar Ghobash and the Ghobash family.


The Schlegel-Tieck Prize

We found it hard to whittle the list down to these six excellent titles, in which a range of translators have created books that genuinely sparkle in English.

An annual award of £3,000 for translations into English of full-length German works of literary merit and general interest. This year’s judges are Katy Derbyshire and Ayça Türkoğlu.

  • Steph Morris for a translation of It All Tastes of Farewell: Diaries, 1964-1970, by Brigitte Reimann (Seagull Books)
  • Roslyn Theobald for a translation of just sitting around here GRUESOMELY now, by Friederike Mayröcker (Seagull Books)
  • Gitta Honegger for a translation of Rein Gold by Elfriede Jelinek (Fitzcarraldo Editions)
  • Sharmila Cohen for a translation of The High-Rise Diver by Julia von Lucadou (World Editions)
  • Simon Pare for a translation of Troubled Water: A Journey Around the Black Sea,by Jens Mühling (Haus Publishing)
  • Damion Searls for a translation of Where You Come From by Saša Stanišić (Jonathan Cape, Penguin Random House UK)

The judges said of this year’s shortlist:

What a delight it was to submerge ourselves in our fellow translators’ outstanding work. Full of admiration, we found it hard to whittle the list down to these six excellent titles, in which a range of translators have created books that genuinely sparkle in English. From travel writing to contemporary literature to a Nobel laureate and a private diary, each one presents unique challenges that the translators have tackled with obvious joy, ingenuity and aplomb.

Sponsored by the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, London.


The Scott Moncrieff Prize

All five books captured the fluidity, rhythms and poetics of the source text in English.

An annual award of £1,000 for translations into English of full-length French works of literary merit and general interest. This year’s judges are Georgina Collins, Saima Mir, and Susan Wicks.

The shortlist:

  • Chris Andrews for a translation of A Bookshop in Algiers by Kaouther Adimi (Serpent’s Tail)
  • Lara Vergnaud for a translation The Ardent Swarm by Yamen Manai (Amazon Crossing)
  • Frank Wynne for a translation of The Art of Losing by Alice Zeniter (Pan Macmillan and Picador)
  • Sarah Ardizzone for a translation of Men Don’t Cry by Faïza Guène (Cavassa Republic Press)
  • Sheila Fischman for a translation of Em by Kim Thúy (Seven Stories Press)

The judges said of this year’s shortlist:

It was a real pleasure to read for this year’s Scott Moncrieff Prize and discover such a diverse range of texts from across the Francophone world. The shortlist takes us to Algeria, Tunisia and Vietnam, with Algeria and its cultures featuring in three out of five texts. All five books captured the fluidity, rhythms and poetics of the source text in English, as well as subtly rendering tone, register and humour in translation, making for a pleasurable and absorbing reading experience.

Sponsored by the Institut français du Royaume-Uni.


The TA First Translation Prize

The vast palette of emotion, style and story in this year’s shortlist is testament to some fantastically courageous publishing and a rich range of new talent

An annual £2,000 prize for a debut literary translation into English published in the UK. The Prize is shared between the translator and their editor. This year’s judges are Saba Ahmed, Ka Bradley and Daniel Hahn.

The shortlist:

  • Jo Heinrich and editor Gesche Ipsen for a translation of Marzahn, Mon Amour by Katja Oskamp (Peirene Press) Translated from German.
  • Marta Dziurosz and editors Zeljka Marosevic and Sophie Missing for a translation of The Things I Didn’t Throw Out by Marcin Wicha (Daunt Books Publishing) Translated from Polish.
  • Elena Pala and editor Federico Andornino for a translation of The Hummingbird by Sandro Veronesi (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, Orion) Translated from Italian.
  • Bethlehem Attfield and editor David Henningham for a translation of The Lost Spell by Yismake Worku (Henningham Family Press) Translated from Amharic.
  • Abigail Wender and editor Katy Derbyshire for a translation of The Bureau of Past Management by Iris Hanika (V&Q Books) Translated from German.
  • Kat Storace and editor Jen Calleja for a translation of what will it take for me to leave by Loranne Vella (Praspar Press) Translated from Maltese.

The judges said of this year’s shortlist:

The vast palette of emotion, style and story in this year’s shortlist is testament to some fantastically courageous publishing and a rich range of new talent. Spiky, sensual short stories sit alongside a magisterial family saga and a raucous, witty novel; translation styles varied from the forensically clean to the dazzlingly playful. All these books were remarkable for their emotional veracity and committed considerations of community, personal and societal responsibility, and family.

Sponsored by Daniel Hahn and the British Council.

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