FY 2008 Grant Awards: Literature Fellowships for Translation Projects
Some details of the projects listed below are subject to change, contingent upon prior
The amount of the awards is pending Congressional approval of the NEA's FY 2008 budget.
To support the translation from Hindavi (medieval Hindi) of the Mirigavati by Qutban. The Indian Sufi romance concerns a prince who must find his true love in a distant land; on his journey, he faces many ordeals including man-eating serpents, seven-headed demons, and a forced marriage. The Mirigavati was written in 1503 by Qutban Suhravardi, a court poet whose patron was Sultan Husain Shah Sharqi, the ruler of the kingdom of Jaunpur in northeastern India and a patron of the arts. Little else is known about Qutban, except that he considered himself a disciple of Shaikh Buddhan Suhravardi, a Sufi master.
Aditya Behl was born in Jabalpur, India. He was educated at Bowdoin College and the University of Chicago, and co-translated the Indian Sufi romance Madhumalati. He is the Chair of the Department of South Asia Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
Washington Depot, CT
To support the translation from Italian of Aldo Palazzeschi's fourth book of poetry, The Arsonist. The Arsonist was originally published by F. T. Marinetti's Futurist press Poesia in 1910; it is considered by some to be Palazzeschi's best volume of verse. Aldo Palazzeschi was the pen-name of Aldo Giurlani, who was born in Florence in 1885. After meeting Marinetti, he became a member of the Futurists before breaking from the group in 1914. During his Futurist years, he produced some of his best poetry and prose. Palazzeschi died in Rome in 1974. His poetry has not been translated into English previously.
The son of an American diplomat, Nicholas Benson was born in western Germany, and grew up in countries as various as Turkey and Yugoslavia. He was educated at New York University and Middlebury College. His translation of Attilio Bertolucci's Winter Journey was published in 2005.
To support the translation from German of one early novel by Robert Walser, The Tanners, a family story. Robert Walser was born in Biel, Switzerland, in 1878 and worked for many years as an office clerk to support himself as a writer. He was prolific in a number of genres including poetry, short fiction, and the novel. Walser's work has been influential for a contemporary generation of German writers and has attracted attention recently in the United States as well, though only five of his works are currently available in English. Robert Walser died in 1956.
Susan Bernofsky was educated at The Johns Hopkins University and Princeton University. In 1991, she received an NEA fellowship to translate Robert Walser's late novel, The Robber. She has won the PEN Translation Fund Award and the 2006 Helen and Kurt Wolff Prize for Outstanding Translation.
To support the translation from Bengali of three novellas by Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay: The Cup of Life, Upstream, and Blood, Red and Blue. The three works represent some of Mukhopadhyay's best writing in the novella form, which remains a popular genre in Bengali literature due to the annual publishing compilations associated with the religious festival of Durga Puja. Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay was born in 1935, in present-day Bangladesh. He is widely considered one of the most original voices in contemporary Bengali literature. He received India's highest literary honor, the Sahitya Akademi Award, in 1989 for his novel The Human Field. Mukhopadhyay has also written children's books, science fiction, and mysteries.
Nilanjan Bhattacharya was educated at Dibrugarh University, India, and the University of Texas at Austin. His translation of Sirshendu Mukhopadhyay's novella Waiting for Rain was short-listed for the Hutch/Crossword Book Award in translation in 2003.
St. Louis, MO
To support the translation from German of Christoph Hein's novel, Gaining Ground. The story is told in the voices of five narrators, all of whom know the main character, Bernhard Haber; they recount his life's story across 50 years and, through him, the fortunes of modern Germany. Gaining Ground has been hailed as one of the most important German novels to be published recently. Christoph Hein was born in Silesia (now Poland) in 1944. After his family fled the Soviet invasion, they settled near Leipzig; Hein remained in East Germany and became an important playwright and author. In 2004, he was awarded the Schiller Prize for Gaining Ground. Hein's works have been translated into 35 languages.
Philip Boehm was educated at Wesleyan University and Washington University in St. Louis. His translation of Wilhelm Genazino's The Shoe Tester of Frankfurt was published in 2006. His translations of Polish and German novels have won various awards, including the Austrian State Prize for Literary Translation and the PEN Translation Fund Award.
To support the translation from Spanish of José Lezama Lima's novel, Oppiano Licario. The work, published posthumously in 1977, revolves around an attractive and privileged Cuban, Fronesis, and his circle of friends as they are guided by the spirit of a dead man, Oppiano Licario. José Lezama Lima was born in Havana, Cuba, in 1910. Widely admired as a major figure in Latin American literature, Lima wrote two novels, along with important essays and poems. He also served as the editor of two influential literary magazines, Verbum and Orígenes, and, more generally, as the patriarch of Cuban letters. Lima died in 1965 in his native country.
Pamela Carmell teaches Spanish in St. Louis. Her translations of Belkis Cuza Malé, Luisa Valenzuela, and many other Latin American and Spanish writers have appeared in a number of journals and anthologies.
To support the translation from Persian of a selection of the poetry of the 14th-century Persian princess Jahan Khatun. The selection will contain a representative sampling of Khatun's ghazals, epigrams, and elegiac poems. Jahan Malek Khatun was the daughter of a 14th-century ruler of the central Iranian province of Fars. She was probably a contemporary of the better-known poet Hafez, and both were natives of Shiraz. She is the only female Persian poet from the medieval era whose poetry has come down to us. Khatun's poetry has not been translated into English previously, and is very little known even in Persian-speaking countries, but the skill and emotional range of her work make her an important voice in Persian literature.
Richard "Dick" Davis was born in Portsmouth, England, and was educated at the universities of Cambridge and Manchester. He is currently Professor of Persian at Ohio State University. He has published translations of prose from Italian, poetry and prose from Persian, and six books of his own poetry.
Santa Fe, NM
To support the translation from Nepali of Ramesh Vikal's novel, The Indravati Flows On. The book explores Nepal's politics and culture through the lives of various characters in a poor fishing village in the 1970s. Ramesh Vikal was born in 1932 in the Kathmandu Valley of Nepal. He is the author of eight volumes of short stories and three novels, as well as travel and children's books. Vikal has received several important awards for his writing, and has served as an Academician at the Royal Nepal Academy. He currently lives with his family in Arubari, on the outskirts of Kathmandu.
Elizabeth Hunkins was educated at Barnard College and the University of California at Davis. Her translations have appeared in a number of scholarly and literary journals. She has taught Nepali at Columbia University for several years, and also lived in Nepal.
To support the translation from Polish of Karol Irzykowski's novel, Pa?uba. The five-part metafiction contains the story of a peasant, Piotr Strumie?ski, who is adopted by a nobleman and who remains obsessed with his dead wife all his life. Karol Irzykowski was born in 1873 near Lwów, in present-day Ukraine. One of Poland's most important authors, he worked for many years as the Chief Stenographer for the Polish parliament. His criticism of cinema, theater, and literature remains influential. None of his books have previously been translated into English.
William Martin was educated at the University of Iowa and the University of Texas at Austin. His translations from Polish and German have appeared in a number of literary and scholarly journals. He has recently taught at the University of Chicago, and served as an editor of the Chicago Review.
San Francisco, CA
To support the translation from Japanese of The Collected Poems of Sagawa Chika. The volume includes all of the poems that Chika published in journals during her lifetime, along with work that was discovered posthumously. Sagawa Chika was born in 1911. She is considered the first female Modernist poet in Japan, who imported Surrealism into her native language and who also translated James Joyce. A member of such avant-garde circles as the Arcueil Club and the VOU Club, Chika was championed by Kitasono Katue and other famous poets. Already having crafted an important body of work by the tender age of 24, Chika died of stomach cancer in 1935.
Sawako Nakayasu was born in Yokohama, Japan, and has lived mostly in the United States since the age of six. Educated at the University of California at San Diego and Brown University, she was awarded the Pen Translation Fund Grant in 2006 for her work on Takashi Hiraide.
To support the translation from Hungarian of Ferenc Barnás's novel, The Parasite. The narrator of this novel is a nameless man who struggles with mental illness and troubled love affairs until he meets a young woman named L. Since its publication in 1997, The Parasite has been hailed as one of the most important Hungarian novels to appear in the last few decades. Ferenc Barnás was born in 1959 in Debrecen, Hungary. He is the author of three novels. In 1998, Hungarian radio broadcast a dramatic adaptation of a chapter of The Parasite. Barnás has been awarded two of Hungary's highest literary honors: the Marai Prize (2001) and the Déri Prize (2006).
Paul Olchvary was educated at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Indiana University. He has translated nine books of fiction and nonfiction from Hungarian. His translation of Károly Pap's novel Azarel was a finalist for the National Translation Award.
To support the translation from Spanish of Horacio Castellanos Moya's novel, Senselessness. The novel is narrated by a young man who becomes increasingly paranoid as he edits a thousand-page report on the massacre of Mayan Indians in Guatemala. Horacio Castellanos Moya was born in Honduras in 1957, and grew up in El Salvador. He has published eight novels, five volumes of short stories, and a collection of essays. Moya studied history and literature at the University of El Salvador and at York University in Toronto, Canada, and worked as a journalist in Mexico, El Salvador, and Guatemala. After the publication of his third novel, Moya received death threats in his native country, and has since lived abroad. He currently lives in Pittsburgh under the auspices of NANCA, which provides refuge for persecuted writers.
Katherine Silver's most recent translations include the works of
Antonio Skármeta, Pedro Lemebel, and Jorge Franco. She received an
NEA translation fellowship in 1990 for her translation of Martín
Adán's The Cardboard House and a PEN translation fund
award this year for Senselessness. Her collection of
modern and contemporary Chilean fiction, Chile, A Traveler's
Literary Companion, was published by Whereabouts Press in
2003. She works as an editor and consultant for academic and trade
Staten Island, NY
To support the translation from German of Kerstin Hensel's novel, Mock Rabbit. The main character of this long fiction, Heini Paffrath, retires from his job as a police constable and is assaulted by memories that ultimately drive him to the brink of madness. Kerstin Hensel was born in 1961 in Karl-Marx-Stadt, Germany. She has written five novels, several collections of short stories, and numerous volumes of poetry, as well as plays, screenplays, and libretti. Hensel has received a number of important literary awards, including the Ida-Dehmel Literature Prize (2004). She currently lives in Berlin.
Elizabeth Stewart was educated at Barnard College and New York University. She is a Professor of English at Yeshiva University. Her translations have appeared in a number of scholarly and literary journals.
To support the translation from Spanish of Oliverio Girondo's last book of poems, In the Moremarrow. The collection, published in 1956, consists of 37 lyrical poems that are generally considered to be Girondo's finest achievements. It has not been translated into English previously. Oliverio Girondo was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1891. He belonged to the Argentine ultraist movement, which included Jorge Luis Borges, and he co-founded the ultraist magazine Martín Fierro. Girondo was one of the most important poets of the Latin American modernist tradition. He died in Buenos Aires in 1967.
Marie Weigel was educated at Swarthmore College and Princeton University. Her translations of contemporary Argentine poets have been published in a number of literary journals and anthologies.
Total Literature Fellowships Awarded: 14
Total Literature Fellowship Dollars Awarded: $200,000
National Endowment for the Arts · an independent federal agency
1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20506