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May 2019 translation news roundup

The latest news from the world of publishing and literature in translation.

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Lots of exciting goings-on in the translation world in May, here’s what you may have missed!


The 2019 Man Booker International Prize was awarded to Omani author Jokha Alharthi and translator Marilyn Booth for Celestial Bodies. Alharthi is the first Omani woman author to be translated into English.

The 2019 Best Translated Book Awards went to Patrick Chamoiseau’s Slave Old Man, translated by Linda Coverdale; and Of Death. Minimal Odes, written by Hilda Hirst and translated by Laura Cesarco Eglin.

Translator Damion Searls won this year’s Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize for his translation of Uwe Johnson’s Anniversaries.

Kim Sagwa’s Mina (translated by Bruce and Ju-chan Fulton) is a CLMP Firecracker Award finalist! Awards will be announced June 5.


The Guardian noted that 11 of the 13 books longlisted for the Man Booker International Prize were published by independent presses, leading prize judge Maureen Freely to say that “The really good independents have become the cultural talent scouts.”

Open Letter Books publisher asks “will translated fiction ever really break through?”

“Untranslatable” words tell us more about English speakers than other cultures

Las Vegas has emerged as a new literary hub

Translator Daniel Hahn talks about the art of translation

The BBC World Service posted short interviews with all of the Man Booker International Prize finalist authors and translators.

Vulture put together a list of 15 Must-Read Translated Books From the Past 5 Years


Two Lines founder Olivia Sears was interviewed in the Kenyon Review

Beyond Babylon was reviewed in The Times Literary Supplement: “ten years since publication, the message of Igiaba Scego’s novel of intertwined identities is no less urgent in Robertson’s new translation.”

An excerpt from Beyond Babylon appeared on Literary Hub

Words Without Borders reviewed Duanwad Pimwana’s new books Bright and Arid Dreams, both translated by Mui Poopoksakul

TranslatedLit included Bjørn Rasmussen’s The Skin Is the Elastic Covering That Encases the Entire Body on its Most Anticipated Books for June.


June 20 | Translating Natalia Ginzburg: Minna Proctor in Conversation with Ismail Muhammad