Portobello Books has bagged two spots on the Oxford–Weidenfeld Prize shortlist, which also includes titles from Bloodaxe, Pushkin and Harvill Secker, among others.
The Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize, worth £1,000, is for book-length literary translations into English from any living European language. Funded by Lord Weidenfeld and by Oxford Colleges New College, The Queen’s College and St Anne’s College, the prize aims to honour the craft of translation, and to recognise its cultural importance.
This year’s shortlist includes eight books from an "outstanding" entry of 112 titles in translations from 24 different languages.
Shortlisted from Portobello are Yoko Tawada's Memoirs of a Polar Bear, translated from the German by Susan Bernofsky, which is the story of three generations of polar bears who famous as both circus performers and writers in East Germany; and Andrés Barba's Such Small Hands, a "chilling" novella about a young girl sent to live at an orphanage, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman (Portobello Books).
Also shortlisted are Dorthe Nors's Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, a tale of one woman's journey in search of herself, translated from the Danish by Misha Hoekstra (Pushkin Press); Pablo Neruda's Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda Poems, a collection of Naruda's previously unknown poems, translated from the Spanish by Forrest Gander (Bloodaxe Books); and Émile Zola's A Love Story, an "intense psychological and nuanced" portrayal of love's different guises, translated from the French by Helen Constantine (Oxford University Press).
Rounding out the shortlist are Louis Guilloux's Blood Dark, translated from the French by Laura Marris (New York Review Books), which tells the story of a brilliant philosopher trapped in a provincial town and of his spiraling descent into self-destruction; Édouard Louis' The End of Eddy, an "extraordinary" portrait of escaping from an unbearable childhood, inspired by the author’s own, translated from the French by Michael Lucey (Harvill Secker) and Daša Drndić's Belladonna, a "timely" parable on the perils of growing old and infirm in an unforgiving modern world, translated from the Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth (MacLehose Press).
This year’s judges of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize are the academics Kasia Szymanska, Simon Park, Jessica Stacey, and Adriana X. Jacobs (Chair).
The winner will be announced at a prizegiving and dinner at St Anne’s College, Oxford on Saturday 9th June 2018, on Oxford Translation Day.