FY 2011 Grant Awards: Literature Fellowships for Translation Projects
Some details of the projects listed below are subject to change, contingent upon prior Endowment approval.
The amount of the awards is pending Congressional approval of the NEA's FY 2011 budget.
To support the translation from the Spanish of Zama, a novel published in 1956 by Argentine writer Antonio Di Benedetto. Zama is the second of Di Benedetto's 10 novels, none of which have been translated into English. Part historical, part allegory, the novel is written in a precise, jarring style that contrasts with the prevalent flowing prose of magical realism associated with works from Latin America. A quarter of a century after it was published, it won the prestigious Italia América Latina prize.
Esther Allen teaches in the Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature at Baruch College, CUNY. She holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from New York University. Her translation of Rosario Castellanos's Oficio de tinieblas, for which she received a 1995 NEA Literary Translation Fellowship, is now part of Penguin's Modern Classics collection. She has guided the work of the PEN Translation Fund since its inception in 2003.
To support the retranslation of The Mysteries of Paris by French novelist Eugène Sue. This novel, about the Parisian criminal and working class, caused a sensation when it was published serially in 1842 and 1843. Sue's work was groundbreaking for its unmannered and realistic depiction of the echelons beneath the aristocracy. This is the first English retranslation of this classic in more than 100 years.
Robert Bononno was a finalist for the French-American Foundation Translation Prize for My Body and I by René Crevel (Archipelago Books, 2005). In 2002, he received an NEA Literary Translation Fellowship for Isabelle Eberhardt: sept années dans la vie d'une femme. His most recent book-length translation is Rumi: The Fire of Love by Nahal Tajadod (Overlook Press, 2008).
To support the translation from the Romanian of Belgrade in Five Friends and Other Poems by Nichita Stanescu. Stanescu is a major figure in Romanian postwar poetry but remains largely untranslated into English. He is credited with bringing modernism into the Communist era. In the translator's words, the poet's stark language has a de-familiarizing perspective as it "seduces the reader away from the human, enabling us to reconsider ourselves from the objects' points of view."
Sean Cotter received his Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Michigan. In 2009, he was honored with the PEN Southwest Book Award for Translation and the Institute of Romanian Culture award for Extraordinary Contributions to the Promotion of Romanian Literature through Translation. Among other posts in Romania, Cotter served in the Peace Corps and was a Fulbright fellow.
Bill Coyle is a poet and translator whose work has appeared in several publications, including The Swallow Anthology of New American Poets (Ohio University Press/Swallow Press, 2009), New European Poets (Graywolf Press, 2008), Poetry, The New Criterion, The Hudson Review, and The Formalist.
Fisher, Anne O.
Anne O. Fisher holds a doctorate in Russian literature from the University of Michigan. In 2009, she traveled to Moscow, Russia, and Odessa, Ukraine, on an NEH Collaborative Research Fellowship. Her most recent book-length translation is The Twelve Chairs by Ilya Ilf and Evgeny Petrov(Northwestern University Press, 2010). She will collaborate on this project with her husband, the poet Derek Mong.
To support the translation from the French of Fear of the First Line, selected stories from Belgian writer Bernard Quiriny. Quiriny won Belgium's top literary prize in 2008, taking him from a cult favorite to heir to the Belgian School of the Bizarre. Published in 2005, Fear of the First Line features stories in the fabulist tradition, incorporating the literary styles of absurdism, surrealism, existentialism, and magic realism. Quiriny writes with cleverness and ease, often paying homage to past masters via riffs and inversions.
Edward Gauvin is a student of the French fabulist movement and has introduced American readers to several of its writers, including a story collection from Georges-Olivier Châteaureynaud, forthcoming from Small Beer Press in 2010. Hsiung received an M.F.A. in fiction at the University of Iowa Writers Workshop in 2001.
To support the translation from the Spanish of the novel Península, Península by Mexican writer Hernán Lara Zavala. Written in 2008, this historical novel is Lara Zavala's second, and focuses on the Caste War of Yucatán (1847-1901), a dramatic event in Mexican history which began with the revolt of native Mayans against European descendants. This epic novel explores the tensions between the old and new world Mexico. Lara Zavala was awarded Mexico City's prestigious 2009 Elena Poniatowska Ibero-American Prize for this work and has garnered praise for his treatment of a taboo topic.
Dick Gerdes has received awards from the US-Mexico Fund for Culture, the American Literary Translators Association, and the Translation Center at Columbia University. Gerdes taught Latin American literature from 1975-2003 at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on a Peruvian writer and spent his service in the Peace Corps in Peru.
To support a translation of Manzoor Ahtesham's Hindi novel The Tale of the Missing Man. Ahtesham has been publishing fiction for more than three decades and has won many of the top literary prizes in his native India. This is his third novel, published in 1995, which playfully explores what it means to be Muslim in post-colonial India.
Jason Grunebaum was granted a Fulbright fellowship to study in India in 1995. He worked as an interpreter and delegate with the International Committee of the Red Cross in Kashmir, Kosovo, and East Timor, and his translation from Hindi of Uday Prakas's novel The Girl with the Golden Parasol (Penguin India) won a 2005 PEN Translation Fund award. His awards also include a 2006 fellowship by the American Literary Translators Association. His short stories have appeared in various journals, and Salman Rushdie selected his "Maria Ximenes da Costa de Carvalho Perreira" for a Best American Short Stories honorable mention. He teaches in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago and holds an M.F.A. in fiction from Columbia University. He will collaborate on this project with Ulrike Stark, a professor of Hindi literature at the University of Chicago.
To support a translation from the Yiddish of Chassidim Re-tell, a collection of Chassidic tales by Rabbi Tovia Halberstam. These authentic folktales give the reader entry into Chassidim culture through its storytelling tradition. They reintroduce readers to the original, full-length tales, which are mostly only available in American culture through anecdotes or extended sayings. Rabbi Halberstam, a master Chassidic storyteller and the translator's father, emigrated from Poland in the 1920s and published a series of these tales in Yiddish newspapers and broadcast them on a popular radio program in the 1950s. Sixteen years after the Rabbi's death, Halberstam discovered the handwritten manuscripts used for the radio program in his mother's house.
Joshua Halberstam received a Ph.D. in philosophy from New York University in 1978 and pursued Talmudic studies at the Rabbinical Academy of America, a post-graduate yeshiva in Brooklyn. He has taught philosophy at Columbia University and New York University. He currently teaches in the Department of Communication Arts and Science at Bronx Community College, CUNY. His most recent book is the novel A Seat at the Table (Sourcebooks, 2009).
Hanoosh, Yasmeen S.
To support the translation from the Arabic of Closing His Eyes, a collection of short stories by Iraqi prose writer and critic Luay Hamza Abbas. Published in 2008, Closing His Eyes is the fourth collection of stories from Abbas. Two of the 17 stories in this collection have been selected for publication in five different languages. The title story, "Closing His Eyes," was selected for the 2006 Kikah Best Short Story Award in London. Abbas's work is known for its unique, individualized perspective on the treatment of the themes of violence, identity, and authoritarianism.
Yasmeen S. Hanoosh was born in Basra, Iraq, in 1978. She earned an M.A. in Arabic literatures and languages from the University of Michigan in 2003 and earned her doctorate in 2008. She currently teaches in the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures at Portland State University. Her translations have been published in several magazines and anthologies including The Iowa Review and Words Without Borders. Her translation of theIraqi novel by Muhsin Al-Ramli, Scattered Crumbs, was published by University of Arkansas Press in 2003.
To support the translation from the Russian of selections from the memoir How Much Is a Person Worth? by Eufrosinia Kersnovskaia (1907-94). After Kersnovskaia's escape from a labor camp in Siberia, she traveled 900 miles through the Siberian taiga on foot, only to be captured and sent to the Gulag for 10 years where she worked as a swineherd, medical assistant, morgue attendant, and miner. Her handwritten journals and illustrations first appeared in print in a popular Soviet magazine in the early 1990s. Due to her photographic memory and vivid, ironic writing, her essays are important additions to the works about this era in Russian history.
Deborah Hoffman is a freelance translator who earned an M.A. in Russian translation from Kent State University in 2010. In 1991, she studied the Russian language at the Moscow State Linguistics University. She has received many awards for her translations, including a PEN American Center Translation Grant (2005) and an American Literary Translators Association fellowship (2007). She also has a law degree from Case Western Reserve University.
To support the translation from the Hebrew of Reality Crumbs, a collection of Raquel Chalfi's poetry. This collection will draw from Chalfi's 10 volumes of poetry, representing 35 years of her work, including Solar Plexus, Poems 1975-1999 (2002), Secret Details from the Transparent Binder (2007), and Witches (2009). Her Tel Aviv-based poems have carved a niche in the contemporary Hebrew poetry scene. This would be the first collection by Chalfi to be published in this country.
Tsipi Keller holds an M.A. in English from New York University and a B.A. in French literature from Tel Aviv University. She has received several awards, including the New York Foundation for the Arts Award in Fiction, a student fellowship from the Academy of American Poets, and an NEA Literary Translation Fellowship (1997). She has had her her poetry translations published in American Poetry Review, The Kenyon Review, BOMB magazine, and The New Republic, among others. She is the editor and the translator of Poets on the Edge – An Anthology of Contemporary Hebrew Poetry (SUNY Press, 2008).
Myung-Hee Kim's most recent published translations are The Life on the Edge of the DMZ (Global Oriental Ltd, 2008) and The Dog Thief,a Korean short-story collection by Lim Chul-woo (Tamal Vista Publications, 2006). In 2007 and 2008, she received a Korean Literature Translation Institute's translator-research residency. She spent 2009-10 in Korea working on translations. She has an M.A. in English with a focus on creative writing from New York University and an M.A. in sociology from Columbia University.
To support the translation of the 1934 Lithuanian novel Frank Kruk by Petras Cvirka (1909-47). Cvirka's fame as a writer and social realist came posthumously during the Soviet era; there are numerous books about him, as well as documentaries, streets in his name, a postage stamp with his picture, a statue, and a museum on the site of his birthplace. Frank Kruk, his first novel, is a comic tale told in two volumes of the adventures of an immigrant to the United States and then his life after he returns to his home country. The novel is considered a classic because of its humane and humorous treatment of perennial themes of immigration and corruption.
Elizabeth Novickas grew up the daughter of Lithuanian immigrants. With the fall of the Iron Curtain, she took advantage of being able to freely travel to Lithuania and wrote about her experiences for the Chicago Sun-Times in 1993. Subsequently, she earned an M.A. in Lithuanian language and literature at the University of Chicago. In 2009, Open Letter Press published her translation of Ri?ardas Gavelis's 1989 Vilniaus Pokeris (Vilnius Poker).
To support the retranslation from the Ancient Greek of the epic 6,000-line poem "Argonautika" by Apollonius of Rhodes. The poem narrates the famous quest of Jason and the Argonauts to recover the Golden Fleece, complete with murder, monsters, magic, and heroism. The project will reintroduce the formal elements and sound of the original – aspects missing in existing 20th-century translations.
Aaron Poochigian earned a Ph.D. in classics from the University of Minnesota in 2006. His most recent translations include the book Stung With Love: Poems and Fragments of Sappho (Penguin, 2009) andexcerpts from Aeschylus, Apollonius, Aratus, and Moschus in The Greek Poets: Homer to the Present (W.W. Norton & Co., 2009). He has taught at Brooklyn College, Roanoke College, the University of Utah, and the University of Minnesota.
To support the translation from the Spanish of Woman in Battle Dress, a historical novel by Cuban writer Antonio Benítez Rojo. Published in 2001, this epic novel re-imagines the story of Henriette Faber, a 19th-century woman who posed as a man to attend medical school and work as a doctor during the Napoleonic wars. After immigrating to Cuba, Faber's secret was discovered when she was prosecuted during a sensational trial for marrying another woman. She was exiled from Cuba in 1827.
Jessica Powell has a Ph.D. in Hispanic languages and literatures from the University of California, Santa Barbara. For the past several years she has worked as a freelance translator and editor. Her translations have been published in several journals, including Review: Literature and Arts of the Americas, Fiction, Two Lines, and BOMBmagazine. Her translation of Jorge Luis Borges' essay, "Berkeley's Crossroads," appears in a new anthology of his work from Penguin Classics.
Simmons, John Galbraith
To support the translation of the French novel Aline and Valcour by Marquis de Sade. Composed while Sade was imprisoned in the Bastille and published in 1795 during the French Revolution, this 600-page epistolary novel is replete with Sade's black humor, unique philosophy, and original thought. It consists of three interrelated stories that include unrequited love, perilous journeys to Africa and the South Seas Islands, and utopian and dystopian interludes. Only a few pages have ever been translated into English.
John Galbraith Simmons will collaborate on this project with his wife, Jocelyne Geneviève Barque. An author of fiction and nonfiction books, Simmons is also the translator of such works as Return to Vietnam, a travel memoir by French journalist Jean-Claude Guillebaud (Verso, 1994).
Clare Sullivan has a Ph.D. in Spanish from New York University. She received a grant in translation in 2009 from the International Center for Writing and Translation. She teaches Spanish language, translation, and literature at the University of Louisville. Her book reviews and translations have appeared in a number of journals, as well as two book-length translations published by Wings Press.
To support the translation from the French of Paper Collage, a collection of essays and personal narratives by Georges Perros. These three volumes were published in 1960, 1973, and 1978 and include essays, short narratives, and original maxims for which Perros was famous. Perros's work includes recurring themes of love, solitude, daily life, writing, death, and mostly atheistic meditations on the existence of God.
John Taylor settled and began teaching in Paris in 1977. He is a frequent contributor to journals, including the Times Literary Supplement, Yale Review, the Michigan Quarterly Review, and Absinthe: New European Writing. He has three collections of criticism, including Paths to Contemporary French Literature (Transaction Publishers, 2004, volume 1; 2007, volume 2) and Into the Heart of European Poetry (Transaction, 2008).
Kelly Washbourne is Associate Professor of Spanish Translation at Kent State University. He has translated the work of José Asunción Silva, Manuel Antonio Garretón, and José Victorino Lastarria and is editor of An Anthology of Spanish American Modernismo (Modern Language Association, 2007). He received his Ph.D. in Hispanic literature and linguistics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
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