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October 2019 translation news roundup

Your monthly roundup of all of the news about literature in translation, publishing, and literary goings-on!

cat lying on newspapers

October was chock full of literary awards and we’ve pulled together the latest about those prizes and literary translation happenings for you.


The Swedish Academy awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for both 2018 and 2019 because of internal controversies last year. The 2018 prize went to Polish author Olga Tokarczuk and the 2019 prize was awarded to Austrian writer Peter Handke.

The National Book Awards finalists were announced. The award ceremony takes place on November 20.

The 2019 Warwick Prize for Women in Translation shortlist was released. The winner will be announced November 20.


Although the Nobel Academy expressed a goal to move beyond “eurocentrism” in the Literature Prize, both prizewinners were from Europe.

They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears author Johannes Anyuru writes that the Nobel Prize for author Peter Handke condones violence.

A lost chapter of The Tale of Genji was found in a Japanese storeroom.

Two Lines has issued a call for submissions to Arabic translators!

Educators are fighting to bring arts education back into schools.

A look at Igiaba Scego’s Beyond Babylon at Public Books.

A review of They Will Drown in Their Mothers’ Tears in Foreword Reviews calls it “a rare, powerful multiverse novel that reflects the best and worst of human potential.”

At least 100 California indie booksellers have been evacuated due to the recent and ongoing fires and power outages.

Reading List

The New Yorker profiles Olga Tokarczuk and her writing.

Olga Tokarczuk is the dreadlocked feminist winner the Nobel Prize needed.

How do you translate Swiss author Robert Walser’s life into a dance?

How sports and arts can help prevent youth homelessness.

An artist’s mix of film and sound examines the “global crisis of linguistic disappearance.”

Earlier this month we posted an interview with author and artist Gina Jelinski and co-translators Audrey Harris and Matthew Gleeson about their translation of Mexican author Amparo Dávila’s The Houseguest.

Translator Magdalena Edwards talks about the real Clarice Lispector.

The radical power of Jane Eyre, according to 57 translations from across the world.

Why poetry matters.

Lit Hub featured three Two Lines Press titles: Lord, Mina, and The Tidings of the Trees, on its Bookmarks list.

An interview with translation great Edith Grossman at WWB Daily.

The enduring–and worldwide–popularity of Edgar Allen Poe.