2018 Warwick Prize for Women in Translation longlist announced

15 titles have been longlisted for the second 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.

The shortlist is due to be announced in early November 2018.

Among the longlistees are 2018 Man Booker Prize winner Flights by Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, translated by Jennifer Croft; the first female winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature Selma Lagerlöf with The Emperor of Portugalia, translated from Swedish by Peter Graves; and a new title by the author of Man Booker Prize winner The Vegetarian, entitled The White Book, translated by Deborah Smith. Last year’s winning translator Susan Bernofsky is also on the longlist with German writer Jenny Erpenbeck’s Go Went Gone.

The 2018 prize is once again being judged by Amanda Hopkinson, Boyd Tonkin and Susan Bassnett. Last year the inaugural prize was awarded to Memoirs of a Polar Bear (Portobello Books, 2017), written by Japanese-German writer Yoko Tawada and translated from German by Susan Bernofsky.

The competition received a total of 53 eligible entries representing 22 languages. The longlisted titles include 9 novels, 3 collections of short stories, 2 memoirs and one work of literary non-fiction, and cover 9 languages, with German, Polish, Croatian and Swedish being the most represented. 10 publishers have had their titles included on the list, with Maclehose Press, Portobello Books, Fitzcarraldo Editions and Norvik Press submitting multiple nominees.

The judges said of this year’s longlist:

“Ranging from South Korea to Argentina by way of Poland and Croatia, the long-list selections for this year’s prize have a truly global spread. Equally diverse are the forms of literature represented: from short stories to family sagas, interior journeys to topical fables, scorching satire to historical epic, with a welcome showing for creative non-fiction as well.

“It has been fascinating reading some of the really unusual books that cross genre boundaries and resist being pigeon-holed as fiction, history or memoir. The task facing translators has been immense and the success in English of some of these complex novels and collections of short stories testifies to the translators' skill. A cornucopia of shocks and delights to judge, and for many new readers to discover and enjoy.’

Prize coordinator, Dr Chantal Wright of the University of Warwick’s Department of English, comments:

“We are thrilled to be taking the prize forward into a second year, signalling to publishers and the literary marketplace that The Warwick Prize for Women in Translation is here to stay and will continue to push for an improvement in the situation of international female writers in translation. We thank the literary translation community in the UK and Ireland for its ongoing support.”

The shortlist for the prize will be published in early November. The winner will be announced in an evening ceremony at the Warwick Arts Centre on Tuesday 13 November at 6 p.m. For further information about the prize, please contact the coordinator Chantal Wright at womenintranslation@warwick.ac.uk, or Tom Frew in the Warwick press office at A.T.Frew@warwick.ac.uk.


The full list of longlisted titles is as follows:

8 October 2018