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National Book Critics Circle award prestigious translation prize to the University of Warwick’s Professor Maureen Freely

Author and academic, Professor Maureen Freely from the School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures at the University of Warwick, achieved a resounding victory last night at the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) Awards in New York. Professor Freely was awarded the Gregg Barrios Book in Translation Prize for her translation of Cold Nights of Childhood by Tezer Özlü.

Maureen by Karen Robinson/the Observer
Image by Karen Robinson/The Observer

Professor Stuart Hampton-Reeves is Head of the School of Creative Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures at the University of Warwick, he said : “'This is an amazing achievement. Maureen is one of the founders of the Warwick Writing Programme, whose students and staff are all celebrating her success today. We are all very proud of her.”

The NBCC Awards, renowned for honouring excellence in literature across various genres including fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and translation, serves as a beacon of recognition within the literary community.

The Translation Prize was introduced to the NBCC in 2022 and seeks to highlight the artistic merit of literature in translation. The prize recognises translators' work, which expands American literary culture by bringing world literature to English-language readers.

Following the award ceremony in New York, Professor Freely will appear at the Oxford Literary Festival tomorrow (23rd March), to discuss her latest novel ‘My Blue Peninsula’.

My Blue Peninsula, cover

About Maureen Freely

Professor Freely is an academic, an author and a translator. Last year she released ‘My Blue Peninsula’, her eighth book and the fourth in a loose series of novels set in Istanbul, Turkey; The Life of the Party, Enlightenment, Sailing Through Byzantium and her latest – My Blue Peninsula. The latest book explores the truth about the Greek, Armenian and Assyrian genocides and is narrated by a woman trying to understand her family’s role in the Armenian genocide.

Maureen is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and served as Chair and President of English PEN from 2014-2021, one of the world’s oldest human rights organisations, renowned for protecting freedom of expression in writing.

In 2017, Maureen supported the launch of the Women in Translation prize at the University of Warwick, addressing the gender imbalance in translated literature. The prize has been supported since 2020 by the British Centre for Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia, and in 2020, 2021 and 2023 by the British Comparative Literature Association.

The translator of five books by the Turkish Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk, Maureen is active in various campaigns to champion free expression. She also works with campaigns aiming to promote world literature in English translation. She has been a regular contributor to the Guardian, the Observer, the Independent and the Sunday Times for two decades, writing on feminism, family and social policy, Turkish culture and politics, and contemporary writing.


Fri 22 Mar 2024, 14:29 | Tags: Award, Creative Writing, Author, SCAPVC