Announcing: recipient of the 2017 ACFNY Translation Prize

The 2017 Austrian Cultural Forum New York Translation Prize will be awarded to translator, editor and writer Adrian Nathan West.

An independent jury of U.S. and Austrian literary experts, publishers, and critics selected West’s translation of The Abduction [Die Verschleppung] by Austrian writer Josef Winkler as the winner from among the submissions received.

“We are excited about the continued high interested amongst translators in making contemporary Austrian literature available to US readers, and that the submissions we received featured a wide range of Austrian writers including Sabine Gruber, Walter Kappacher, Julya Rabinowich, Clemens Setz, Anna Weidenholzer, and many others,” underlined ACFNY Director Christine Moser. “I am particularly pleased that the jury awarded this year’s prize to Nate West, Josef Winkler’s US translator, who has the rare talent of not only transferring complex texts from one language to another, but also of inviting readers to immerse themselves in Josef Winkler’s writing and thinking as well as the culture and history that surrounds them,” Moser stated.

The award, which includes a $5,000 stipend, will be presented to Mr. West in the presence of award-winning author Josef Winkler on October 12, 2017 in a special literary event at the ACFNY’s Manhattan theater. Jeremy Davies, editor at Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, will deliver the laudation.

Adrian Nathan West’s translations from German, Spanish, Italian, Catalan and Portuguese include novels and short pieces by acclaimed writers such as Josef Winkler, Pere Gimferrer, and Marianne Fritz. In 2016, West, who resides in Pamplona, Spain, published his first book, “The Aesthetics of Degradation.”

In Die Verschleppung Winkler depicts the true story of a woman who survived the Holodomor, the terror famine under the Stalinist Government that killed millions, only to be kidnapped by the invading Nazis and abducted to Carinthia, Austria, as a forced laborer where she ended up marrying the son of the family that had enslaved her. For Die Verschleppung, Winkler, who grew up as a farmer’s son and has been awarded with the highest literary awards of the German language including the Ingeborg Bachmann and Georg Büchner Prizes for his revealing writings about rural Austria’s tense relationship with its Nazi past, homosexuality, and death, spent a year living with Valentinya Ilyashenko, the model for the book’s protagonist, and based his novel on her testimony.

After When The Time Comes (2013), Natura Morta (2014), and Graveyard of Bitter Oranges (2015), all of which have been published by Contra Mundum Press, The Abduction is Adrian Nathan West’s fourth translation of a novel by Josef Winkler.

THE ACF TRANSLATION PRIZE 2015

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

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.

 

AWARD CEREMONY

In a unique program which includes a reading by the acclaimed Austrian –Slovenian writer Maja Haderlap, translator, editor, and literary critic Tess Lewis will be presented our 2015 Translation Award.

An independent jury chose Lewis’s translation of Angel of Oblivion [Engel des Vergessens/Angel Posabe] as the clear winner from among the submissions received in 2014. Click here for a sample of the translation.

The laudatio will be held by Paula Deitz, editor of The Hudson Review.

Read jury member Rüdiger Wischenbart's notes on Tess Lewis here.

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. 
Seats for this event are limited. The ceremony will be streamed online.

With special thanks to the Wallstein-Verlag, Göttingen, and the ensemble Pristup.

acf translation prize winner 2011

The winner of the prestigious 2011 Austrian Cultural Forum Translation Prize was renowned American translator Damion Searls. Searls received the award for his translation of Austrian playwright and novelist Elfriede Jelinek’s essay her not all her (on/with Robert Walser) [er nicht als er (zu, mit Robert Walser)], first published in 1998. Jelinek was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2004.

ACF Translation Prize Winner 2010

The winner of the 2010 ACF Translation Prize was David Dollenmayer, who was honored for his translation of Michael Köhlmeier’s Idyll With Drowning Dog (Idylle mit ertrinkendem Hund), first published in German in 2008.

ACF Translation Prize Winners 2009

The inaugural Translation Prize was awarded to three translators: Jean M. Snook, Uljana Wolf, and Christian Hawkey. Wolf and Hawkey collected and translated the works of distinguished author Ilse Aichinger in an anthology of short prose pieces titled Bad Words published by Fischer Verlag. Bad Words includes a large selection of Aichinger’s texts from the sixties onwards that had not been previously published in English. Jean M. Snook’s outstanding translation of Gert Jonke's novel The Distant Sound conveyed the literary and linguistic intricacy of his work in English.