Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More on the NTA for ATBTM

The news that All This Belongs to Me is the winner of this year's National Translation Award was officially announced by ALTA yesterday, with repeats of the news at the Literary Saloon, a three-liner at Words Without Borders, and of course the notice from our steadfast supporter Stephan Delbos at the Prague Post.

(Delbos, who did an interview with me in September, also notes that Petra will be appearing in Prague Nov. 17 at Veletržní palác as part of a discussion on the state of literature in the digital age.)

And the ever-growing, bilingual Portál české literatury/Czech Literature Portal, ably (inside joke) managed by Jaroslav Balvín and Viktor Debnár, has posted the magnificent news in Czech and English alike.

The ALTA press release quotes from the lovely comments in the reader's report that jury member Sidney Wade read out loud to the audience at the award ceremony last Thursday night, describing All This Belong to Me as a:
“beautifully fluent translation that portrays each character in convincingly idiomatic English, and yet still manages to distinguish the five closely related main characters according to their individual temperaments. The story is compelling on personal and broader, political levels, the characters are deeply human, and their difficult choices are portrayed with great dignity. All in all, this is a book to be savored and treasured.”
As Borat would say, very nice!

Monday, October 25, 2010

ATBTM takes home National Translation Award

October 21, at the Downtown Marriott in Philadelphia, the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) presented the 2010 National Translation Award to Alex Zucker for his translation of Petra Hůlová's debut novel, All This Belongs to Me (Northwestern University Press, 2009).

Criteria for granting the award, which this year came with a prize of $5,000, are "(1) the significance of the literary contribution of the original as well as of the translation; and (2) the success of the translation in recreating the artistry of the original."

Sidney Wade, a member of the jury, in her remarks said that 109 books were nominated for the award and 15 of them made it through to the final round—more finalists than in any year before. For information on past NTA winners, click here (and scroll down).

First to report the news was Zdeněk Fučík of the Czech News Agency ČTK, whose dispatch rapidly made its way into the Czech press, first on aktuálně.cz, then on, a service of Hospodářské noviny.

Asked to comment on receiving the award, Zucker told ČTK:
"First and foremost, for me personally it is an enormous honor. Second, it means that ALTA recognizes the importance of small presses (in this case, Northwestern University Press) in keeping literary translation alive. Third, it is a recognition of the forward thinking Northwestern showed in choosing to publish what may be the first Czech novel ever translated that is not about Czechs or the Czech lands. This is a major landmark."