Friday, July 31, 2015

record number of entries for Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Tanslation

The list of 29 titles - a record number - submitted for the £3,000 Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Translation 2015 was released during the Open Evening of the Banipal Arab British Centre Library of Modern Arab Literature (BALMAL) held at the Arab British Centre in London on 29 July. The titles, translated by 25 translators, were on display on the shelves of BALMAL, together with a display of the titles to have won the prize, now in its 10th year.
The 2015 prize is open to Arabic-English translations published between 1 April 2014 and 31 March 2015.

In alphabetical order by translator, the submitted titles are:

Hosam Abou-Ela
Stealth by Sonallah Ibrahim (New Directions)

Kareem James Abu-Zeid
Nothing More to Lose by Najwan Darwish (New York Review Books)
The Iraqi Nights by Dunya Mikhail (New Directions)

Marilyn Booth
The Penguin's Song by Hassan Daoud (City Lights Publishers)

Charis Bredin
African Titanics by Abu Bakr Khaal (Darf Publishers)

Raphael Cohen
Butterfly Wings by Mohamed Salmawy (The American University in Cairo Press)

C J Collins
Fullblood Arabian by Osama Alomar (New Directions)

Humphrey Davies
The Broken Mirrors: Sinalcol by Elias Khoury (MacLehose Press)

Sarah Enany
Diary of a Jewish Muslim by Kamal Ruhayyim (AUC Press)

Paula Haydar and Nadine Sinno
Who's Afraid of Meryl Streep? by Rashid Al-Daif (University of Texas Press)

Kay Heikkinen
The Woman from Tantoura by Radwa Ashour (AUC Press)

William M Hutchins
French Perfume by Amir Tag Elsir (Antibookclub)

Luke Leafgren
Dates on my Fingers by Muhsin al-Ramli (AUC Press)
Oh, Salaam! by Najwa Barakat (Interlink)

Robin Moger
Where Pigeons Don't Fly by Yousef Al-Mohaimeed (Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing - BQFP)
Women of Karantina by Nael Eltoukhy (AUC Press)
The Crocodiles by Youssef Rakha (Seven Stories Press)

Nancy Roberts
Chaos of the Senses by Ahlem Mosteghanemi (Bloomsbury)
Days of Ignorance by Laila Aljohani (BQFP)
Lanterns of the King of Galilee by Ibrahim Nasrallah (AUC Press)

Barbara Romaine
Blue Lorries by Radwa Ashour (BQFP)

Chip Rossetti
Beirut, Beirut by Sonallah Ibrahim (BQFP)

Paul Starkey
The Book of the Sultan's Seal by Youssef Rakha (Interlink)

Mbarek Sryfi and Roger Allen
Monarch of the Square: An Anthology of Muhammad Zafzaf's Short Stories
by Muhammad Zafzaf  (Syracuse University Press)

John Verlenden and Ferial Ghazoul
The Chronicles of Majnun Layla and Selected Poems by Qassim Haddad (Syracuse University Press)

Farouk Abdel Wahab
Rain Over Baghdad by Hala el Badry (AUC Press)

Jonathan Wright
Land of No Rain by Amjad Nasser (BQFP)
Temple Bar by Bahaa Abdelmegid (AUC Press)

Mona Zaki
Chewing Gum by Mansour Bushnaf (Darf Publishers)

* Robin Moger and Nancy Roberts each translated three of the 29 titiles

* Jonathan Wright, Kareem James Abu Zeid and Luke Leafgren translated two titles each

* of the 29 titles, seven were written  by women (ie less than a quarter)

* 10 of the 25 translators are women (less than half)

* three titles were translated jointly by a duo of translators 

* AUC Press has entered eight titles; BQFP five titles; New Directions three; Interlink, Darf Publishers, and Syracuse University Press two titles each,  and City Lights, MacLehose Press, University of Texas Press, Antibookclub, Seven Stories Press, New York Review Books and Bloomsbury one title each.

* Three Egyptian writers - Youssef Rakha, Sonallah Ibrahim and the late Radwa Ashour - each have two titles submitted

* Humphrey Davies won the inaugural Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize in 2006  for his translation of Lebanese author Elias Khoury's novel Gate of the Sun and in 2010 he won for his translation of Khoury'sYalo (he was also runner up in 2020 for Egyptian Bahaa Taher's Sunset Oasis). This year he is in the running for his translation of yet another Khoury novel, The Broken Mirrors: Sinalcol 
report by Susannah Tarbush, London