Winners Named in German Humanities Translation Prize

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The biennial program in the humanities from Geisteswissenschaften International names translators Brian Hanrahan and Alan Robinson winners of the 2019 competition cycle in work of Gerhard Sälter.

Image – iStockphoto: ElenasFotos

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
Jurors Praise ‘Consistent and Elegant Style’
Winners in this year’s Geisteswissenschaften International Nonfiction Translation (GINT) competition have been announced, and are receiving a total US$3,000 in prize money.

Brían Hanrahan and Alan Robinson each are receiving $1,500 as the 2019 prize winners from a field of more than 70 submissions.

Every other year, the Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels—the German Publishers and Booksellers Association—and Frankfurt Book Fair New York work together to award the prize.

This year’s winning translators worked on an excerpt from Gerhard Sälter’s Phantome des Kalten Krieges (Phantoms of the Cold War: The Gehlen Organization and the Revival of the Gestapo [and] ‘Red Chapel’), a study published in 2016 by Ch. Links Verlag of the emergence of the West German intelligence services and their initial connection to former members of the National Socialist regime.

Geisteswissenschaften (Humanities) International, which promotes translation, is making subsidies available to translate this work into English.

In a prepared statement, the jury members how have chosen Hanrahan and Robinson for the award write, “Both translators have created texts that draw readers into a fascinating story about the emergence of the West German intelligence services and the key role of Reinhard Gehlen.

“Hanrahan and Robinson demonstrate an ability to pursue research in pinning down lexical choices as well as deftness in handling academic vocabulary and scholarly apparatus.

“Their translations are not just accessible to English-language readers, but also inviting and informative. These two translations are distinguished by their consistent and elegant style.”

Brian Hanrahan

The jurors behind that high praise are:

  • Shelley Frisch, who chaired the panel
  • Sarah Pybus, translator and winner of the first GINT Prize in 2015
  • Translator Paula Bradish of Hamburger Edition Publishers
  • Emma Rault, translator and winner of the GINT Prize in 2017

This prize is designed not only to recognize and encourage good translators but also to steer the attention of English-language scholars and publishers toward outstanding German monographs in the humanities.

Alan Robinson

In this regard, the prize complements the work in promoting translations undertaken by the Börsenverein in cooperation with the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, the Federal Foreign Office, and VG WORT.

That program of promotion has been ongoing since 2008 with the program of Geisteswissenschaften International.

Translators interested in applying may make submissions through January 31. Information is here.


More from Publishing Perspectives on the Geisteswissenschaften International Nonfiction Translators Competition is here. And more from us on translation is here.

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's 2019 International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He is also co-owner and editor with Jane Friedman of The Hot Sheet, the newsletter for trade and indie authors. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson also has worked as a senior producer, editor, and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA, and as an arts critic (National Critics Institute) with The Village Voice and Dallas Times Herald.

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