We are thrilled to share that David Colmer—translator of Dutch literature across the genres of literary fiction, nonfiction, children’s books, and poetry—has been awarded the James Brockway Prize for 2021! The prize, which is run by the Dutch Foundation for Literature, recognizes a translator’s body of Dutch-language poetry, and honors the pivotal James Brockway, the late poet and translator.
The judges David McKay, Judith Wilkinson, and Claire Lowdon wrote:
“Colmer’s work displays great sensitivity to the specific demands of each poem. He is a very versatile translator, able to work with both free verse and traditional forms. He is particularly at ease with the colloquial, contemporary voice and can even produce slang when the Dutch requires this. (…) He is a bold translator; he never automatically chooses the obvious but tries to tease out the maximum from every line. He instinctively knows when to opt for restraint and simplicity and when to take creative risks. His translations are never prosaic and work as poems in their own right, with their own rhythmic flow.”
Award presentation info is available here.
David Colmer’s poetry translations include books by Hugo Claus, Paul van Ostaijen, Menno Wigman, Annie M.G. Schmidt and Cees Nooteboom. His translations published with Archipelago Books include The Twin, Even Now, An Untouched House, and I Wish.
You can pre-order Colmer’s new translation, Willem Frederik Hermans’s A Guardian Angel Recalls, here. It will be out on October 12, 2021.
We are delighted to announce that José Eduardo Agualusa has been awarded the Angolan National Prize for Culture and Arts in the category of literature!
The jury calls Agualusa’s career “extensive and vital”: according to the jury-members, Agualusa “approaches the fundamental social and political issues of this time in a reflective and controversial way. Hence, his work has contributed both to the emancipation of his readers as well as the strengthening of citizenship and freedom of expression”. More information can be found here.
Angel Gurría-Quintana writes in The Financial Times: [If] a man with a good story is practically a king, then Agualusa can count himself among the continent’s new royals”. Malcolm Forbes calls A General Theory of Oblivion “a powerful examination of personal recollection and public upheaval, and a penetrating study of isolation and the cost of freedom”.
You can pre-order Agualusa’s new book, The Society of Reluctant Dreamers, here. It will be out on March 10th, 2020.
We are so pleased to announce that The Barefoot Woman is a finalist for the National Book Award in Translated Literature! We are so proud of Scholastique Mukasonga and Jordan Stump, who translated the book from the original French.
The National Book Award judges have selected The Barefoot Woman alongside four other beautiful works of translation. You can see the full list of finalists at the National Book Foundation’s website.
Zadie Smith calls The Barefoot Woman “a powerful work of witness and memorial, a loving act of reconstruction, and an unflinching reckoning with the Rwandan Civil War.” Julian Lucas writes in the New York Times, that Mukasonga “turns everything over restlessly: In her prose, poignant reminiscences sharpen into bitter ironies, or laments reveal flashes of comedy, determination, defiance.”
How about a little literary history to start this week off?
On this date in 1890, Louis Couperus, author of Eline Vere, received the prestigious D.A. Thiemeprijs (D.A. Thieme Prize, named after publisher D.A.Thieme), securing Couperus as a major Dutch novelist. Couperus became to the Dutch naturalistic novel what Flaubert was to the French naturalistic novel.
Check out more information on Louis Couperus and Eline Vere here.