Becoming a literary translator is a notoriously difficult thing to do, but that hasn’t discouraged Daniel Hahn, Guest Speaker for the Portuguese Language Division in 2016, to do something about it. After winning the International Dublin Literary Award for his translation of José Eduardo Agualusa’s A General Theory of Oblivion, Hahn used half of his winnings to set up a new prize for first-time literary translators.
The TA First Translation Prize was established by Hahn, together with the Society of Authors and support from The British Council. Shortlisted translations were announced back in January, and the list included five women among its six nominees. With more than twenty books submitted for the judges’ consideration, Jeffrey Zuckerman, Francesca Barrie, Bela Shayevich, Eliza Marciniak, Elizabeth Jaquette, and Mui Poopoksakul made this year’s cut, with a diverse collection including novels, an anthology of short-stories, a graphic novel, and a non-fiction book.
The winner was announced on March 1st, with the £2,000 prize going to Bela Shayevich and editor Jacques Testard for Seconhand Time: The Last of the Soviets, a translation of Nobel-winning author Svetlana Alexievich.
To find out more about the other shortlisted books, click here.
Daniel Hahn has published an amazing piece in The Guardian about the prize and its winner. You can read it here.