Created in 2017, the Translators' Association First Translation Prize rewards translators and talented editors who gave them their chance. In 2018, the judges are Rosalind Harvey, Bill Swaison and Daniel Hahn. The winning translator will be revealed on 1 March 2018 at the Society of Authors' Translation Prizes ceremony at the Knowledge Centre at The British Library. The prize will give to the winner £2,000 to be shared equally between the translator and their editor(s).
Daniel Hahn declared that the prize 'was established as a celebration of new talent, of new voices, skill and risk-taking. A celebration of those people who want to expand what readers can read, by looking outwards – at a time when our culture (political and otherwise) seems fixated on doing the opposite' (The Society of Authors). Commenting on the 2018 shortlist, he added: 'many of the writers are themselves making their English debuts with these books, confirming a suspicion that new translators are most often also vehicles for the new writers, and so are truly at the vanguard of literary change' (The Society of Authors).
Two French books translators were selected for the last race to the final award: Francesca Barrie and Jeffrey Zuckerman. Congratulations on their wonderful work on Notes on a Thesis (a graphic novel by Tiphaine Rivière, edited by Clare Bullock, Jonathan Cape) and Eve out of Her Ruins (a fiction by Ananda Devi, edited by Cécile Menon and Angeline Rothermundt, Les Fugitives)!
The French Institute (UK) supports those two books as part of the Burgess programme.
Eve out of Her Ruins
Author: Ananda Devi
Translator: Jeffrey Zuckerman
Editors: Cécile Menon and Angeline Rothermundt (Les Fugitives)
With brutal honesty and poetic urgency, Ananda Devi relates the tale of four young Mauritians trapped in their country's endless cycle of fear and violence: Eve, whose body is her only weapon and source of power; Savita, Eve's best friend, the only one who loves Eve without self-interest, who has plans to leave but will not go alone; Saadiq, gifted would-be poet, inspired by Rimbaud, in love with Eve; Clelio, belligerent rebel, waiting without hope for his brother to send for him from France.
Notes on a Thesis
Author: Tiphaine Rivière
Translator: Francesca Barrie
Editor: Jonathan Cape
Genre: Graphic novel
When Jeanne is accepted on to a PhD course, she is over the moon, brimming with excitement and grand plans – but is the world ready for her masterful analysis of labyrinth motifs in Kafka’s The Trial?
At first Jeanne throws herself into research with great enthusiasm, but as time goes by, it becomes clear that things aren’t quite going according to plan.
Notes on a Thesis is a reminder of the strangeness of academia, of every awful essay, every disastrous exam, and every insanity-inducing dissertation. If you’ve ever stared gloomily at a blank page, battled with office administrators or driven yourself mad by droning on about your work, then Notes on a Thesis will make you laugh (or cry) in recognition.