Subha Prasad Sanyal's 'confident' prose wins Harvill Secker Young Translator's Prize

Subha Prasad Sanyal's 'confident' prose wins Harvill Secker Young Translator's Prize

Harvill Secker has declared Subha Prasad Sanyal, from Kolkata, India, the winner of its ninth annual translation prize.

Sanyal was awarded the £1,000 prize at the International Translation Day reception at the Free Word Centre on Friday evening (28th September). In addition to his cash winnings, he will be given a selection of Vintage titles and take part in a National Centre for Writing Emerging Translator Mentorship with translator and judge of this year’s prize Arunava Sinha.

The judges – Sinha, Tahmima Anam, Kate Harvey and Mikaela Pedlow – commended Sanyal's translation of "After Half-time" by Shamik Ghosh, from Bengali, particularly for "its confident and immersive prose, displaying both creativity and faithfulness to the spirit of Shamik Ghosh’s original". It is now available to read on the Granta website.

"I was taken by surprise when I first heard that I’d won the Young Translators’ Prize. Translation as an art deserves far more popular recognition and awareness, and I am honoured to be a part of its propagation by Harvill Secker and the National Centre for Writing," said Sanyal. "Translation between Bengali and English, especially, represents a cross-cultural handshake, which looks past colonial history. Today, in a globally pervasive atmosphere of insularity, translation encourages the necessary communication between different cultures and demographics. I look forward to being mentored by Arunava Sinha, and under his guidance, hope to sharpen my understanding of both the languages I love, and all that lies between them."

The judges said jointly: "We were very impressed with the range of entries this year, which came in from all over the world: from Kolkata and California, from Dublin and Montreal! Bengali literature is still largely under-represented in English translation, so this widespread enthusiasm was especially exciting to see. From the many impressive entries, Subha’s translation stood out for its confident and immersive prose, displaying both creativity and faithfulness to the spirit of Shamik Ghosh’s original."