The shortlist for the 2016 Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize has been announced, celebrating “impressive” submissions, predominantly from independent publishers.
The Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize aims to "honour the craft of translation, and to recognise its cultural importance”, and is open to any book-length literary translations into English from any living European language. It is funded by the late Lord Weidenfeld (pictured), who died aged 96 in January this year, and by New College, The Queen’s College and St Anne’s College, Oxford.
Vying for the £2,000 award are eight translators, responsible between them for producing translations into English from six languages.
Independent publisher Oneworld is represented on the shortlist twice, along with Atlantic Books. John Cullen - also a writer and a freelance scout for foreign books was shortlisted for his work translating Algerian writer Kamel Daoud’s debut The Meursault Investigation, and Russian literary translator and blogger Lisa C. Hayden, shortlisted for Eugene Vodolazkin’s Laurus, a tale about medieval Russia (both Oneworld). Meanwhile Atlantic Books' Northern Irish translator Shaun Whiteside was shortlisted for Charles Lewinsky’s Melnitz, a saga exploring what it means to be Jewish in Switzerland, and by Lola M. Rogers, a Finnish to English literary translator, for Finnish-Estonian writer Sofi Oksanen’s When the Doves Disappeared.
Other indie-published translators on the list included Stephen Pearl for Russian realism novelist Ivan Goncharov’s debut The Same Old Story (Alma Classics) and Paul Vincent and John Irons for 100 Dutch-Language Poems (Holland Park Press).
Set in the "awe-inspiring wilderness of the extreme north”, Philip Roughton was meanwhile shortlisted for his translation of Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s The Heart of Man, published by MacLehose Press, and, finally, Don Bartlett, a freelance translator of Scandinavian literature, made the list for his work on Karl Ove Knausgaard’s memoir Dancing in the Dark: My Struggle (Harvill Secker).
This year’s judges of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize are the academics and writers Valentina Gosetti, Jonathan Katz, Graham Nelson, and Patrick McGuinness in the role of chair.
The prize winner will be announced at a dinner at St Anne’s College, Oxford on Saturday 11th June. This will be the "crowning event" of Oxford Translation Day, which includes a varied programme of talks, workshops and readings taking place throughout the day.