By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson
First Edition of This Award ProgramCatching up now with an award from late last week, Villa Albertine has announced the two winners of its first Albertine Translation Prize.
This is the 2022 award cycle for this program, though awarded in early 2023. The award provides a purse of US$5,000 to each translator, in addition to grants supporting the cost of translation and publication in the United States.
The winners are:
- Isabelle Sorente’s La femme et l’oiseau (The Woman and the Falcon, JC Lattes), translated by Heather Green, a book seeking an American publisher
- Mohamad Amer Meziane’s Des empires sous la terre: Histoire écologique et raciale de la sécularisation (Empires Beneath the Earth, La découverte), translated by Jonathan Adjemian for Verso Books
If you’re not remembering this program, it’s because it was launched in 2022 as an enhanced edition of the French Voices Awards. Albertine, of course, is a program of the Institute français, responsible for France’s international cultural program.
“Recognizing the quality of both the original work and the translation,” the program says in its media messaging, “a committee of independent professional experts (academics, translators, and publishers) selects winners that epitomize the many facets of a vibrant French literary scene.
“In total, the Albertine translation committee selected 22 works for 2022 that reflect the diversity and richness of French publishing, including fiction, essays, poetry, comics, and children’s books. Each will receive grants from the Albertine Translation Fund, providing US$2,000 for publication costs and covering half of the cost of translation, up to US$5,000.”
Among the selected grantees, the committee chooses two titles to name prize winners, one in fiction and one in nonfiction.
Both The Woman and the Falcon and Empires Beneath the Earth “are based on exceptional original texts,” according to the committee’s appraisal.
They “were translated with uncommon mastery, and contain subject matter that would have a particularly strong resonance in the American literary landscape.”
- Isabelle Sorente is the author of nine novels, three essay collections, and two plays. She writes as a columnist for France Inter and Philosophie Magazine. Surprisingly, none of Sorente’s books have yet appeared in English.
- Heather Green is the author of No Other Rome (2021) and the translator of Tristan Tzara’s Noontimes Won (2018). Her poetry and translations have appeared in AGNI, Asymptote, the New Yorker, and Ploughshares.
- Mohamed Amer Meziane was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer at Columbia University for four years and is currently a senior invited researcher at the Freie Universität in Berlin. He will be assistant professor at Brown University starting in 2023.
- Jonathan Adjemian is a translator based in Toronto. He has translated The Scent of the Father: Essays. by V.Y. Mudime (Polity, 2022) and Open to Reason: Muslim Philosophers in Conversation with the West by Souleymane Bachir Diagne (Columbia University Press, 2018).
Villa Albertine is engaged in inventing artists’ residencies “for arts and ideas spanning France and the United States.” Currently, it has hosted 80 residents at 70 residences and 40 institutions, in 15 disciplines.
More is here.
More from Publishing Perspectives on Albertine and its programming is here. More on book and publishing awards is here, more from us on the French market is here, and more from us on translation is here.