Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Warwick Prize for Women in Translation Longlist 2021 announced

  • 17 titles selected from 115 entries eligible for £1000 prize established by the University of Warwick
  • Ten languages represented, including Georgian and Thai for the first time
  • Shortlist due in early November, with winner announced at a ceremony on Wednesday 24 November
  • Full list of titles included at end of press release

The longlisted titles for the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation 2021.17 titles have been longlisted for the fifth annual award of the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation.

The £1000 prize was established by the University of Warwick in 2017 to address the gender imbalance in translated literature and to increase the number of international women’s voices accessible by a British and Irish readership. For the second year running, the prize is generously supported by the British Centre for Literary Translation and the British Comparative Literature Association.

The 2021 prize is judged by Amanda Hopkinson, Boyd Tonkin and Susan Bassnett. Last year the prize was awarded to The Eighth Life (Scribe UK), written by Nino Haratischvili and translated from German by Charlotte Collins and Ruth Martin.

The 2021 competition received a total of 115 eligible entries representing 28 languages. In what has undoubtedly been a difficult period for publishing, the number of submissions to the prize dipped slightly from 2020, but this still represents a substantial increase on the first three years of the competition. The longlist covers ten languages with French, German, Japanese and Russian represented more than once. Translations from Georgian and Thai are represented on the longlist for the first time in 2021.

Maria Stepanova and her translator from Russian Sasha Dugdale feature twice on the longlist with In Memory of Memory (Fitzcarraldo Editions) and War of the Beasts and the Animals (Bloodaxe Books). Also longlisted are previous winners of the prize Annie Ernaux and Alison L. Strayer who won in 2019 with The Years. Writers Jenny Erpenbeck, Hiromi Kawakami, Esther Kinsky and Yan Ge, and translators Elisabeth Jaquette, Frank Wynne, are all on the longlist for the second time.

Eleven publishers are represented on the list, with four featuring for the first time: Les Fugitives, Lolli Editions, Picador and Tilted Axis Press. Fitzcarraldo Editions, which has had a work longlisted every year of the prize, has four titles longlisted in 2021. MacLehose is represented on the longlist for the fourth year running.

Judge Boyd Tonkin said of the 2021 longlist:

“Despite a period of obstacles and uncertainties for international publishing, the 115 submissions for this unique award continue to showcase the vitality and variety of translated work by women writers from around the world now published in the UK.

“These long-listed titles not only span cultures and continents from China to Georgia, and from Thailand to Poland, they also cover a spectrum of literary forms. The list includes poetry, fiction of many kinds – from futuristic fables to family sagas – as well as a range of imaginative non-fiction, from family memoir and biographical essay to social history.

“In every case, the artistry of the translator keeps pace with the invention of the author. Each book created its own world in its own voice. The judges warmly recommend them all.”

Prize coordinators Dr Holly Langstaff and Dr Chantal Wright of the School of Visual Arts, Performance and Visual Cultures at the University of Warwick comment:

“The variety of work submitted to the prize in 2021 demonstrates a continued commitment on the part of the translation community to ensure that a wider range of women’s voices from across the world are heard. The Women in Translation Month initiative, started by the book blogger Meytal Radzinski in 2014 and taking place every August, continues to be embraced by readers, translators and publishers. The work of independent publishers in particular to promote writing by women in translation is evident both from this year’s list of eligible submissions and the longlist. It is wonderful to see a range of source languages and genres on the longlist, which demonstrates the breadth of high-quality writing by women available in translation and published during a year of upheaval.”

The shortlist for the prize will be published in early November. The winner will be announced at a ceremony on Wednesday 24 November. 

The full list of longlisted titles, in alphabetical order, is as follows:

  • Nana Ekvtimishvili, The Pear Field, translated from Georgian by Elizabeth Heighway (Peirene Press, 2020)
  • Annie Ernaux, A Girl's Story, translated from French by Alison L. Strayer (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2020)
  • Jenny Erpenbeck, Not a Novel, translated from German by Kurt Beals (Granta, 2020)
  • Yan Ge, Strange Beasts of China, translated from Chinese by Jeremy Tiang (Tilted Axis Press, 2020)
  • Hiromi Kawakami, People from My Neighbourhood, translated from Japanese by Ted Goossen (Granta, 2020)
  • Mieko Kawakami, Breasts and Eggs, translated from Japanese by Sam Bett and David Boyd (Picador, 2020)
  • Esther Kinsky, Grove, translated from German by Caroline Schmidt (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2020)
  • Camille Laurens, Little Dancer Aged Fourteen, translated from French by Willard Wood (Les Fugitives, 2020)
  • Scholastique Mukasonga, Our Lady of the Nile, translated from French by Melanie Mauthner (Daunt Books Publishing, 2021)
  • Duanwad Pimwana, Arid Dreams, translated from Thai by Mui Poopoksakul (Tilted Axis Press, 2020)
  • Olga Ravn, The Employees, translated from Danish by Martin Aitken (Lolli Editions, 2020)
  • Judith Schalansky, An Inventory of Losses, translated from German by Jackie Smith (MacLehose Press, 2020)
  • Adania Shibli, Minor Detail, translated from Arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2020)
  • Małgorzata Szejnert, Ellis Island: A People's History, translated from Polish by Sean Gasper Bye (Scribe UK, 2020)
  • Maria Stepanova, In Memory of Memory, translated from Russian by Sasha Dugdale (Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2021)
  • Maria Stepanova, War of the Beasts and the Animals, translated from Russian by Sasha Dugdale (Bloodaxe Books, 2021)
  • Alice Zeniter, The Art of Losing, translated from French by Frank Wynne (Picador, 2021)


28 October 2021

University of Warwick press office contact:

Peter Thorley

Media Relations Manager (Warwick Medical School and Department of Physics) | Press & Media Relations | University of Warwick

Mob: +44 (0) 7824 540863