Morgan Giles has triumphed to win the TA First Translation Prize for her début translation of Yu Miri’s Tokyo Ueno Station.
Literary translators shared £20,000 in prizes at the Society of Authors’ annual Translation Prizes on 12th February, with Giles’ début translation from the Japanese of Yu Miri’s Tokyo Ueno Station scooping the £2,000 TA First Translation Prize, shared jointly with Tilted Press editor Saba Ahmed.
In a ceremony sponsored by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) at the British Library’s Knowledge Centre, eight awards were made for translations from the Arabic, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Spanish and debut translations from any language.
The TA First Translation Prize, founded by translator Daniel Hahn, who donated half his winnings from the International Dublin Literary Award in 2017 to establish it, and supported by The British Council, is awarded for a début literary translation into English published in the UK. The prize is shared between the translator and editor.
Speaking on behalf of fellow judges Daniel Hahn and Ellie Steel, Shaun Whiteside said: "This novel is devastating, both complex and simple, a study of forgotten lives and a portrait of a city, building to a wrenching and unforgettable conclusion. A marvellous book, beautifully written and beautifully translated."
In her speech introducing the evening Society of Authors’ Head of Prizes and Awards Paula Johnson described the prizes as a "special celebration and a vivid display, undiminished, of the soft power of diverse cultures, amid the particular miracles that translation can deliver... evidence of the latest and best translations into English from around the world". She thanked "all translators for continuing to sweep away barriers and expand our cultural connections".
Other prize winners included Leri Price for a translation of Death is Hard Work by Khaled Khalifa (Faber & Faber) who took home the £3,000 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize and Kay McBurney for a translation of an extract from Die Fahrt by Sibylle Berg who won the €1,000 Goethe-Institut Award.
The £3,000 Schlegel-Tieck Prize for translation from German went to Iain Galbraith for a translation of River by Esther Kinsky (Fitzcarraldo Editions) while the £1,000 Scott Moncrieff Prize for translation from French was awarded to Linda Coverdale for a translation of The Old Slave and the Mastiff by Patrick Chamoiseau (Dialogue Books).
Peter C Appelbaum won the £2,000 TLS-Risa Domb/Porjes Prize for translation from Hebrew for his translation of Hell on Earth by Avigdor Hameiri (Wayne State University Press) while Jessica Sequeira's translation of Land of Smoke by Sara Gallardo (Pushkin Press) was awarded the £2,000 Premio Valle Inclán for translation from Spanish and the €5,000 Vondel Prize for translation from Dutch went to Michele Hutchison for a translation of Stage Four by Sander Kollaard (Amazon Crossing).