Oxford Translation Day: Shortlisted Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize Translators Reading and Discussing Their Translations

The Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize is for book-length literary translations into English from any living European language. It aims to honour the craft of translation, and to recognise its cultural importance. It was founded by Lord Weidenfeld and is supported by New College, The Queen's College, and St Anne's College, Oxford. This year’s judges were Patrick McGuinness, Laura Seymour, Holly Langstaff, and Karolina Watroba (Chair). To see the Prize winner, 2021 shortlist, and read the judges’ citations, click here.

On this page, we have compiled a series of videos as part of OCCT’s online series of events for Oxford Translation Day 2021. In the following video, Karolina Watroba announces the winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize.

The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2021 was Nichola Smalley, for the translation of Wretchedness by Andrzej Tichý (And Other Stories). Nichola Smalley is a translator of Swedish and Norwegian literature. Her latest translation, Andrzej Tichý's novel Wretchedness, was longlisted for the 2021 International Booker Prize and shortlisted for the 2021 Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize. In 2014 she finished her PhD exploring the use of contemporary urban vernaculars in Swedish and UK rap and literature at UCL, and has since worked at the publisher And Other Stories, where she is now Publicity Director. Watch Nichola Smalley reading from Wretchedness here.

Caroline Schmidt was born in Princeton. She has translated poetry by Friederike Mayröcker, and art historical essays, museum catalogues and exhibition texts for the Albertina in Vienna and the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, among others. She lives in Berlin. Watch Caroline Schmidt reading from Grove here.

Karen Leeder is a writer, academic and prize-winning translator of contemporary German literature including work by Durs Grünbein, Volker Braun, Michael Krüger, Evelyn Schlag and Raoul Schrott. Most recently she won the John Frederick Nims Memorial Prize for her translation of Durs Grünbein. Her translation of Ulrike Almut Sandig’s Thick of it (Seagull Books, 2018) won an English PEN award and an American PEN/Heim award, and was runner up for the Schlegel-Tieck Prize (2019). Their new collaboration, I am a field full of rapeseed, give cover to deer and shine like thirteen oil paintings laid one on top of the other, appeared in 2020. Watch Karen Leeder reading from I Am a Field Full of Rapeseed, Give Cover to Deer and Shine Like Thirteen Oil Paintings Laid One on Top of the Other here.

Teresa Lavender Fagan is a freelance translator living in Chicago, who has published over 20 translations. She has also translated works by Roland Barthes, Tzvetan Todorov, Diane Meur, and Florence Noiville. Watch Teresa Lavender Fagan reading from The Last Days of Mandelstam here.

Suzanne Jill Levine is a writer, scholar, renowned translator of over forty volumes of Latin American literature since 1970, and a Guggenheim fellow among her many national and international honors. She is distinguished professor emeritus of the University of California in Santa Barbara.  Her translations of Silvina Ocampo’s most original works for City Lights count recently with her five-volume edition of Jorge Luis Borges’s poetry and non-fictions for Penguin paperback classics, Untranslatability Goes Global, edited for Routledge, and her translation of Mexican Guadalupe Nettel’s Bezoar and Other Unsettling Stories (Seven Stories Press, 2020).  Her articles, essays and translations have appeared in scores of webzines, anthologies and journals including The New Yorker.  The author of several books, she wrote an acclaimed biography of Manuel Puig (FSG, Faber and Faber, 2000, 2002) and the influential Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction (1991, 2009).  She is currently working on “a translator’s memoir.” Watch Suzanne Jill Levine reading from Bezoar here.

Michele Hutchison was born in the UK and has lived in Amsterdam since 2004. She was educated at UEA, Cambridge, and Lyon universities. She translates literary fiction and nonfiction, poetry, graphic novels, and children’s books. Recent translations include novels by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer, Esther Gerritsen, Sander Kollaard and Tom Lanoye, and poetry collections by Sasja Janssen and Alfred Schaffer. She is also co-author of the successful parenting book The Happiest Kids in the World. In 2020 she won the Vondel Translation Prize and was joint winner of the International Booker Prize. Watch Michele Hutchinson reading from The Discomfort of Evening here.

Padma Viswanathan is the author of two novels: The Toss of a Lemon (2008) published in eight countries and shortlisted for the Pen Center USA Fiction Prize among others, and The Ever After of Ashwin Rao (2014), also published internationally and a finalist for the Scotiabank Giller Prize. Her short fiction, personal essays, critical writing and short translations have been published in Granta, The Boston Review, BRICK, and elsewhere. Her translation of the novel São Bernardo, by the Brazilian novelist Graciliano Ramos, was published in May 2020 by the New York Review Books. Viswanathan lives in Fayetteville, AR and teaches at the University of Arkansas. Watch Padma Viswanathan reading from São Bernardo here.

Anna Moschovakis is a poet, author and translator whose works include the James Laughlin Award-winning poetry collection You and Three Others Are Approaching a Lake and a novel, Eleanor, Or, The Rejection of the Progress of Love. Her translations from the French include Albert Cossery's The Jokers, Annie Ernaux's The Possession and Bresson on Bresson. Watch Anna Moschovakis reading from At Night All Blood Is Black here.