Book prize season is always fun, especially when translators get the spotlight. In 2015, the Booker Prize Foundation decided to award the Man Booker International Prize exclusively to works of fiction translated into English, as of the 2016 awards. Even better (if you’re a translator!) was their decision to split the 50,000 pound prize money equally between the author and the translator.
This year’s prize was announced yesterday, and we in Colorado are beyond thrilled to see our very own Denverite Jessica Cohen recognized for her Hebrew-to-English translation of David Grossman’s novel A Horse Walks Into a Bar. Jessica is a lovely and generous person as well as an incredible translator, and we had the good fortune to have her do a presentation on literary translation at our local mid-year conference a few years back.
If you’re looking for some summer reading, the books on the shortlist all look amazing. My only suggestion to the Booker Prize folks: tell us what language the books were translated from–translators like to geek out on those things!