image credit: Tess Lewis

“The jury found Tess Lewis’s text even more outstanding than a great number of excellent submissions by brilliant translators recasting a wide range of superb contemporary Austrian writers, including Josef Winkler, Clemens Setz, Friederike Mayröcker, Christoph Ransmayr, Walter Kappacher, Raoul Schrott and others,” underlined Christine Moser, the ACFNY’s Director.

The Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY) 2015 Translation Prize has been awarded to translator, editor, and literary critic Tess Lewis.

An independent jury of U.S. and Austrian literary experts, publishers, and critics chose Lewis’s translation of Angel of Oblivion [Engel des Vergessens/Angel Posabe] by Slovenian-Austrian writer Maja Haderlap as the clear winner from among the submissions received.

Tess Lewis’s translations from French and German include works by Peter Handke, Alois Hotschnig, Julya Rabinowich, Melinda Nadj Abonji, Pascal Bruckner, and Jean-Luc Benoziglio. She has been awarded translation grants from PEN USA and PEN UK, a NEA Translation Fellowship, and a Max Geilinger Translation Grant for her translation of Philippe Jaccottet. She also serves as an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review and writes essays on European Literature for numerous journals and newspapers including The New Criterion, World Literature Today, The American Scholar, and Bookforum. Since 2014, Ms. Lewis has curated Festival Neue Literatur, New York City’s premiere yearly festival for German language literature in English.

Maja Haderlap’s Angel of Oblivion is a groundbreaking novel based on the author’s own family story as part of the Slovenian-speaking minority in southern Austria and that community’s struggle against the Nazis during World War II. The novel was awarded several prestigious awards including the Ingeborg Bachmann Prize, the Buchpreis der Stiftung Ravensburger Verlag, the Bruno-Kreisky-Preis für das Politische Buch, and the Rauris Literature Prize. A Slovenian language theatrical adaptation of the novel, "Angel Posabe", was staged by the Slovenian National Theater in 2014.


The $5,000 Award will be presented to Ms. Lewis in the presence of Ms. Maja Haderlap on March 24, 2015 in a special literary event at the ACFNY’s Manhattan theater. Further details to be announced.


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