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Hear what our Director Maureen Freely has to say about the Nobel Prize in Literature 2019 in TIME
“They had to clean up their house, and I’m glad they’re able to relaunch this year,” says novelist and chair of English PEN Maureen Freely, who was a translator for Turkish writer Orhan Pamuk when he won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006. “I admire organizations that own up to their mistakes and try to do something about them. I far prefer that than the opposite,” she says. Freely, who was part of the judging panel for the 2019 International Booker Prize, says it’s important that some parts of the decision-making for such prizes are kept under wraps. “I prefer it when the rules of a judging panel are transparent, but I also understand how, at a certain point, you can’t let everybody in on every single decision or every single criteria.”
"Maureen Freely, chair of English PEN and judge of this year’s International Booker, suggested the French author Annie Ernaux – who “writes in a genre all her own, defying the unwritten rules of the novel and the memoir to create new spaces for collective reflection” – and Colombian Juan Gabriel Vásquez, who “defies history itself, showing its official chroniclers to be charlatans and its actors to be lost in a maze of half truths”.
Indie publishers have dominated a record-breaking longlist for the third annual Warwick Prize for Women in Translation.
And Other Stories, Seagull Books and Fitzcarraldo Editions each had two titles longlisted, while Pereine, Europa Editions and poetry publisher Bloodaxe Books have also been recognised. The 2019 prize sees judges Amanda Hopkinson, Boyd Tonkin and Susan Bassnett return to the panel.
The £1,000 prize, which aims to address gender imbalance in translated literature, saw eligible entries almost double this year with 92 entrants in 30 different languages. The 13 longlisted titles contain works translated from Farsi, Catalan and Lithuanian. The University of Warwick credits the rise in entrants in part to author Kamila Shamsie’s call in 2015 for presses to publish only women authors.
Antoine Berman's The Age of Translation. Translated and with an introduction by Chantal Wright. Routledge, 2018.
The Age of Translation is the first English translation of Antoine Berman’s commentary on Walter Benjamin’s seminal essay ‘The Task of the Translator’. Chantal Wright’s translation includes an introduction which positions the text in relation to current developments in translation studies, and provides prefatory explanations before each section as a guide to Walter Benjamin’s ideas. These include influential concepts such as the ‘afterlife’ of literary works, the ‘kinship’ of languages, and the metaphysical notion of ‘pure language’. The Age of Translation is a vital read for students and scholars in the fields of translation studies, literary studies, cultural studies and philosophy.
The Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award launches into 2019 with the University of Warwick as its title partner, and Caroline Michel, CEO of literary agency Peters Fraser + Dunlop, becoming its first patron. The leading university, home to the acclaimed Warwick Writing Programme, has been the associate sponsor of the influential prize for young writers since 2017. The award will now be known as The Sunday Times/University of Warwick Young Writer of the Year Award.