Sunday, August 21, 2016

Read Russia Translation Prize Shortlists & Women in Translation Month

Shortlists for the 2016 Read Russia Translation Prize (the global prize, for all languages) were announced last week for four categories: nineteenth-century classics (three finalists), twentieth-century literature until 1990 (three finalists), contemporary literature (four finalists), and poetry (three finalists). Since Alexandra Guzeva’s article for Russia Beyond the Headlines covers things so well (and since it’s a beautiful beach day!), I’ll send you to her, right here, for all the details.

I do want to add, though, that I’m very excited that Laurus, my translation of Eugene Vodolazkin’s Лавр for Oneworld Publications, is on the very varied contemporary literature list. There are two other English-language translations that are finalists on, respectively, the nineteenth-century and poetry lists: Michael Pursglove’s translation of Ivan Turgenev’s Smoke and Virgin Soil for Alma Classics, and Philip Metres and Dimitri Psurtsev’s translation of I Burned at the Feast: Selected Poems of Arseny Tarkovsky, published by Cleveland State University Poetry Center. It makes me very happy to see this recognition for translations of Tarkovsky’s poetry. It also makes me very happy that this is Laurus’s second shortlist: I was pleasantly surprised to find the translation on the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize shortlist earlier this year, along with seven other books, including Stephen Pearl’s translation of Ivan Goncharov’s The Same Old Story, published by Alma Classics. The award was shared by Philip Roughton, who translated Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s The Heart of Man for MacLehose Press, and Paul Vincent and John Irons, who translated 100 Dutch-Language Poems for Holland Park Press.


Since August is Women in Translation Month, I want to note a few bits of news about English-language translations of Russian fiction written by women:
  • Melanie Moore’s translation of Tatyana Shcherbina’s Multiple Personalities, published by Glagoslav, was on Read Russia’s contemporary literature longlist. (That longlist, though, is so short it’s short!) Melanie also translated Margarita Khemlin’s The Investigator for Glagoslav; here’s my previous post about The Investigator and here’s a review of Melanie’s translation written by Lori Feathers for World Literature Today.
  • The U.S. edition of Catlantis, written by Anna Starobinets, translated by Jane Bugaeva, illustrated by Andrzej Klimowski, and published here by New York Review Books, will be available in mid-September. I loved this fun kids’ book (previous post), which is already out in the U.K. from Pushkin Press. Catlantis is a wonderful gift for cat lovers of all ages; my previous post includes a rare Lizok’s Bookshelf cat photo.
  • Yana Vagner’s To the Lake, published by Skyscraper Publications, will be out this fall, too, by an unnamed translator. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, known in Russian as Вонгозеро.
  • Looking back at the post I wrote for the very first Women in Translation month, in 2014, at the invitation of Meytal Radzinski, who writes Biblibio, I found a few items to update. I mentioned, above, Melanie’s translation of Margarita Khemlin’s The Investigator, which is already available and want to mention that Margarita’s Klotsvog (previous post) will be on the way in a couple years, too: I’m translating it for the Russian Library series published by Columbia University Press. My translation of Marina Stepnova’s The Women of Lazarus came out last fall from World Editions and is on the list for the Edinburgh International Book Festival’s First Book Award, along with the aforementioned Laurus plus my translation of Vadim Levental’s Masha Regina, also for Oneworld. And I’m finishing up Marina’s Italian Lessons (known in Russian as Безбожный переулок) for World Editions now (previous post). Some of the other writers I mentioned are already more available in translation now and/or have more books coming soon: Carol Apollonio’s translation of Alisa Ganieva’s The Mountain and the Wall (Праздничная гора) (mentioned here) is already out from Deep Vellum Publishing and Carol’s translation of Alisa’s Bride and Groom (previous post) is on the way. Also: Ludmila Ulitskaya’s The Kukotsky Enigma is out this month from Northwestern University Press, in Diane Nemec Ignashev's translation.
  • Finally, on (yet) another personal note, I think I’ve already mentioned somewhere along the way that I’m working on Guzel Yakhina’s Zuleikha Opens Her Eyes for Oneworld Publications and loving it—one of my favorite aspects of translation is enjoying a book all over again when I translate. Of course there are many phases of “all over again” with all the editing, revising, proofing, correcting, and checking! Which is why I have to love a book (previous post on Zuleikha) to translate it…
  • And now, truly finally, since I could go on and on and but have already written enough and, yes, the beach beckons: several of you have mentioned other books written by Russian women that you’re working on, that will be published in English translation within the next year or two, so I know there’s more to come. I’ll be watching for details on those so I can add them to future translation lists!

Up Next: Ludmila Ulitskaya’s family saga Jacob’s Ladder, Alexander Snegirev’s Faith/Vera, Anna Matveeva’s Vera Stenina’s Envy (Matveeva and Stenina are headed to the beach with me…), and Read Russia results, which will be announced on September 10 in Moscow.

Disclaimers: The usual.

12 comments:

  1. Do you happen to know the original title of Multiple Personalities? I can't find anything by Shcherbina that sounds like that in Russian.

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    1. It's Размножение личности: there's a sample from the book on its Glagoslav page and the title's listed on the copyright page.

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    2. I went right to the copyright page, Languagehat!

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  2. I hope you win for Laurus. I'm just reading it now and enjoying it a lot. It is very powerful. I love the way archaic spellings creep in every now and then, and sometimes very modern turns of phrase.

    Ivan

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    1. That's very nice of you to say, Ivan, thank you! Most of all, I'm glad you're enjoying the book after Waterstones came through for you. Those shifts in language were a lot of fun to create--I loved how they worked in the Russian and was glad to find ways for them to work in the English translation, too. I hope you enjoy the rest of the book!

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  3. Congrats on Laurus! It was brought to my attention by a very nice review, causing me to add it to my TBR stack.

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    1. Thank you so much, Dwight Green! I hope you enjoy the book.

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  4. I love Russian novels. If it's by a Russian, I read. Except that access is difficult. I just read The Master and Margarita. Lovely.

    Congrats too. Translations are very important.

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    1. Thank you so much, Nana! It's great to hear from you! Master and Margarita is a wonderful book and I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it so much!

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