Previous Prize Years

First awared in 1999, the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize has celebrated translation and translators for nearly a quarter of a century. Based at St Anne’s College, and supported by New College and The Queen’s College, the prize is named in honour of the publisher and philantropist Lord Weidenfeld. Each year, a panel of judges selects a winning book-length translation into English from any other living European language. Former winners of the prize include Margaret Jull Costa, Edwin Morgan, Michael Hofmann, Anthea Bell, Jamie McKendrick, Philip Boehm, Susan Wicks, among many others.

The winner is announced at a prize-giving ceremony coinciding with the annual Oxford Translation Day, held at St Anne’s College. Last year’s winner was Nancy Naomi Carlson for her translation of Khal Torabully’s Cargo Hold of Stars (Seagull Books).

I have been a judge for the last four years now, and each time, when faced with the pile of eighty-odd entries, the multiple source languages (a few known to me, most not), the gamut of genres [...] not to mention the variety of translation challenges and ways of meeting them, from the exfoliation of a much-translated classic to the acute responsibility of introducing a writer for the first time, from the fairly straightforward demands of genre fiction to the peculiar meld of liberty and rigour required by the translation of poetry — each time, when faced with all this, I have asked: How on earth do you set about it? How can such incommensurables be compared?
— Matthew Reynolds, ‘On Judging the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize’

Awarding of the 2022 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. Photograph by Nicolò Crisafi.

Awarding of the 2022 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. Photograph by Nicolò Crisafi.

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The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2023 is Monica Cure, for the translation of The Censor's Notebook by Liliana Corobca (Seven Stories Press).

The 2023 Shortlist

The Censor's Notebook by Liliana Corobca, translated from the Romanian by Monica Cure (Seven Stories)

When I Sing, Mountains Dance by Irene Solà, translated from the Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem (Granta Books)

Chilean Poet by Alejandro Zambra, translated from the Spanish (Chile) by Megan McDowell (Granta Books)

Lucky Breaks by Yevgenia Belorusets, translated from the Russian (Ukraine) by Eugene Ostashevsky (Pushkin Press)

Awake by Harald Voetmann, translated from the Danish by Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen (Lolli Editions)

The Last One by Fatima Daas, translated from the French by Lara Vergnaud (HopeRoad)

Of Saints and Miracles by Manuel Astur, translated from the Spanish by Claire Wadie (Peirene Press)

The Map by Barbara Sadurska, translated from the Polish by Kate Webster (Terra Librorum)


Here are the Judges’ Citations:

The Censor's Notebook

The Censor's Notebook is a marvellous feat of translation that goes beyond language and politics. It is at once a book about the everyday and mundane, and yet that detail builds up in skillfully crafted layers to offer ways of thinking historically and contemporaneously about cycles of fear and control. How do we write, translate, or read interiorized repression? The book seems both to be written inside these tropes and satirising them too. Yet reading it never feels like an intellectual exercise. Instead, it suggests how, in the vacuum vacated by truth, comes fiction—speculative and surprising. This is a high-concept book that melts genres to create a monument of scrutiny that is overlaid with language and many absences. In order to achieve this effect from one language to another, it required a mastery of translation.

When I Sing, Mountains Dance

It is difficult to do justice to Irene Sola’s polyphonic novel When I Sing Mountains Dance in words, as this book’s maximalist vision comprises everything from family history, folklore and mythology, political sweep, and a sustained and committed environmental imaginary. Luckily for us, Mara Faye Lethem has done just that in this simultaneously bold and tender translation that captures the book’s dizzying range of perspectives and discourses with wit and flair. Lethem’s multi-hued version of the narrative reflects not only to the demands of voice (the book swoops between the consciousness of clouds, humans, mushrooms and more), but also to the specificities of translating an entire locality, the ethos of a small village on the Pyrenees, for an Anglophone audience. The result is a translation that balances these competing demands, creating a harmonious text that is never totalising or complacent, but minutely attuned the idiosyncrasies of different forms of Life. 

Chilean Poet

This is a novel about family relationships set against the backdrop of the Chilean literary scene as the two central characters, step-father and son, make their way in the world of poetry. The novel interweaves familial and literary lives with a good dose of humour, warmth and irony. The translation by Megan McDowell is utterly convincing. McDowell seamlessly moves between various perspectives, family discussions, and the poems of both step-father and son, entertainingly capturing the poetic blunders and triumphs of both. McDowell carefully and subtly glosses linguistic and cultural references without this feeling like an addition or afterthought.

Lucky Breaks

Lucky Breaks, Yevgenia Beloruset’s multimedial, genre-troubling collection of narrative snapshots of Ukrainian women living under occupation, is deftly translated by Eugene Ostashevsky, who captures both the lyricism and the disjointedness, the mundanity and the acuteness, of the various vignettes and the lives they describe. What does it mean to persist in the face of chronic threat, and to continue to live life in all its beauty and absurdity, its minuteness and its grandeur? Ostashevsky draws out, through language that tugs and rubs at the edges of poetry, narrative fiction, documentary and surrealist prose, the complexity and profundity of everyday existence at the margins of ongoing violence.


Harald Voetmann’s Awake—the first of his novels to be published in English translation—finds and maintains an unlikely balance between philosophical speculation and a visceral, grotesque, sometimes hilarious but often horrifying evocation of the materiality of everyday life in the early decades of the first milenium. Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen’s masterful translation finds a home in English not only for the ideas, but also the voice, obsessions, hypocrisy, even nosebleeds of the novel’s strange and compelling protagonist, Pliny the Elder. Remarkable for its consistency, its handling of humour, and its ability to interweave the abstract and the concrete—to make you think and feel simultaneously—Ottosen’s translation makes possible and controls a closeness and immersion across an almost unimaginable temporal distance.

The Last One

The Last One is a debut book that punches above its weight. It is a lyrical virtuoso that explores what it means to be young, queer, and French in the suburbs of Paris. In that sense, it is a beautiful and tender catalogue about identity, religion, and sexuality. It is a book filled with honesty and humour, written with grace. It is light and tender, poetic and emotional. To achieve this effect, it requires language technicians. In this case, the writer and the translator are in concert and produce a musical composition with mastery and complexity. Reading the book is like one deep breath, and when you exhale, you feel human and vulnerable again.

Of Saints and Miracles

Of Saints and Miracles tells the story of Marcelino, a man who, when tricked out of his family home by his brother, lashes out, unintentionally and inadvertently killing him. Fearing reprisal from his brother, Marcelino flees to the forested mountains where he acquires cult status as the subsequent chase plays out in the news. This is a work about working-class lives and exclusion, about our relationship to the natural world and a community forced to come to terms with the intrusion of the modern world, a change speeded up by the intrusion of TV cameras and social media. It is the first work by Manuel Astur to be translated into English, and Claire Wadie’s translation never misses a beat as it shifts between Marcelino and the characters of this village who comment on their relationship to the outlaw and in doing so reveal the history of this place and the effects of the change they are witnessing.  

The Map

Barbara Sadurska’s The Map, across its seven stories connected by the map as both an object and idea, explores the human cartographic impulse even as its eddying confusions and deliberate inconsistencies challenge the reader’s own need to map unambiguously the various tensions each character lives with and through. Kate Webster’s translation brings these subtle and intricate techniques of distortion and non-linearity out of Polish and into English beautifully, managing the reader’s doubts and hesitations, and the text’s own traps and false trails, with carefully textured narration and cryptically allusive dialogue. These are stories which, remarkably, hold you in your uncertainties—stories which Webster’s precise and creative translational craft makes available to an English readership for the first time.


The 2023 Longlist

The Censor's Notebook by Liliana Corobca, translated from the Romanian by Monica Cure (Seven Stories)

Never Did the Fire by Diamela Eltit, translated from the Spanish (Chile) by Daniel Hahn (Charco Press)

Strangers I Know by Claudia Durastanti, translated from the Italian by Elizabeth Harris (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

Still Born by Guadalupe Nettel, translated from the Spanish (Mexico) by Rosalind Harvey (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

Telluria by Vladimir Sorokin, translated from the Russian by Max Lawton (NYRB)

When I Sing, Mountains Dance by Irene Solà, translated from the Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem (Granta Books)

The Queens of Sarmiento Park by Camila Sosa Villada, translated from the Spanish (Mexico) by Kit Maude (Virago)

Chilean Poet by Alejandro Zambra, translated from the Spanish (Chile) by Megan McDowell (Granta Books)

Antonio by Beatriz Bracher, translated from the Portuguese (Brazil) by Adam Morris (Pushkin Press)

Lucky Breaks by Yevgenia Belorusets, translated from the Russian (Ukraine) by Eugene Ostashevsky (Pushkin Press)

Awake by Harald Voetmann, translated from the Danish by Johanne Sorgenfri Ottosen (Lolli Editions)

Swanfolk by Kristín Ómarsdóttir, translated from the Icelandic by Vala Thorodds (Penguin Books)

The Last One by Fatima Daas, translated from the French by Lara Vergnaud (HopeRoad)

Of Saints and Miracles by Manuel Astur, translated from the Spanish by Claire Wadie (Peirene Press)

The Map by Barbara Sadurska, translated from the Polish by Kate Webster (Terra Librorum)

Standing Heavy by Gauz, translated from the French (Ivory Coast) by Frank Wynne (Maclehose)


The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2022 was Nancy Naomi Carlson, for the translation of Cargo Hold of Stars by Khal Torabully (Seagull Books).

The 2022 Shortlist

Bird Me by Édith Azam, translated from the French by Stuart Bell (the87 press)

The Liquid Land by Raphaela Edelbauer, translated from the German by Jen Calleja (Scribe) 

Cargo Hold of Stars by Khal Torabully, translated from French (Mauritius) by Nancy Naomi Carlson (Seagull Books)

In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, translated from Russian by Sasha Dugdale (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

Occupation by Julian Fuks, translated from Portuguese (Brazil) by Daniel Hahn (Charco Press)

Co-Wives, Co-Widows by Adrienne Yabouza, translated from French/Sangho (Central African Republic) by Rachael McGill (Dedalus)

The Song of Youth by Montserrat Roig, translated from Catalan by Tiago Miller (Fum D’Estampa)

Union of Synchronised Swimmers by Cristina Sandu, translated from Finnish by Cristina Sandu (Scribe)


Here are the Judges’ Citations:

Bird Me 

In this lyrical translation by Stuart Bell, the speaker has rivers in her pockets and birds in her blood. Yet Hannah her beloved, the one who makes the river dance and pecks her ‘terrible beso’ at the agonised speaker, is uncontainable. The language of queer desire in Bird Me is both arrestingly idiosyncratic (Hannah ‘redimensions me : | in space’), and simply tender: ‘Hannah is a bird | Hannah is…| Hannah I’d love | to be her nest’. This translation is published by the87 Press, a radical South London publishing collective. This small press focuses on experimental work ‘at the intersections of race, class, gender, sexuality, and neurodiversity’. Bird Me is the first translation of Azam’s poetry into English, and one of several of Stuart Bell’s translations published by this press.

The Liquid Land 

The Liquid Land is about a community with literal ‘cracks…all over the place’. Greater Einland is sinking into ground breaking frighteningly apart, the herringbone parquets and facades of public buildings fissuring ever more visibly as the novel progresses. This translation deftly captures a certain silencing politeness, and its relation to trauma both personal and collective. The narrator, Ruth, a physicist, struggles to say ‘no’ to Greater Einland’s cajoling and commanding Countess who demands that she help find some filler for the cracks. In Jen Calleja’s often deadpan and very funny translation, the archly formal and dismissive language of Ruth’s conversations with the Countess and other members of the community stretches over a raw sense of unease. This unforgettably evokes the creaking structures of the buildings slipping over ‘the liquid land’ itself. 

Cargo Hold of Stars: Coolitude

In Khal Torabully’s Cargo Hold of Stars: Coolitude, poetry speaks for all humanity. Echoing Aimé Césaire’s notion of ‘negritude,’ Coolitude is a term coined by Torabully himself to summon over the absent presence of the indentured labourers who were taken from their homes in India, China and other Asian communities into forced labour in the island of Mauritius. Divided into three parts - The Book of Métissage, The Book of the Journey and The Book of Departure - , the volume pivots around a vital paradox: rootedness vs uprooting. In a language marked with lyrical richness, wordplay and corporeal imageries, Torabully writes these labourers into poetry through archiving their names, bodies and lived and endured experiences. Written in French interspersed with Mauritian creole, Hindi, Bhojpuri, and Urdu, thereby reaffirming these labourers’ plurilingualism and multiple geographies of origin, this is a book where names, religions, languages and bodies combine to form an ever-resounding ode for the absented. In this brilliant translation, Nancy Naomi Carlson embroiders an English that matches and reaffirms the multi-layered and multitextured French, through which Torabully and Carlson walk together hand in hand.

“My skin sings more than I do” contends Torabully. This writing is flesh translated into a poem.

In Memory of Memory

Maria Stepanova offers a series of reflections on personal and cultural memory in this genre-defying book of extraordinary scope. The discovery of an array of photographs, objects, postcards, diaries, and letters following the death of an aunt prompt Stepanova to write the history of her Russian-Jewish family which opens onto a wider history of the Soviet Union. The book shifts between memoir, essay, criticism, travelogue, historical document as it toys with the limit between fiction and non-fiction. The tenderness of these intimate yet wide-ranging reminiscences and meditations is masterfully maintained in Sasha Dugdale’s eloquent and poetic translation.  


This unsettling book, the second in a trilogy by Brazilian writer and journalist Julián Fuks, follows a narrator, whose father has been hospitalized with a life-threatening illness and whose wife has decided she wants a child, as he interviews the inhabitants of a São Paulo squat which was once a luxury hotel. The voices of the novel occupy buildings, bodies, and stories as the narrator questions what role there is for literature in times of crisis and destruction, both personal and collective. The measured translation by Daniel Hahn ensures that a sense of dispossession pervades every line of this self-conscious narrative. 

Co-wives, Co-widows

Set in the Central African Republic, Adrienne Yabouza’s novel Co-Wives, Co-Widows closely follows the intersecting lives of Ndongo Passy and Grekpoubou, as they navigate their own positionality in the wake of their husband’s death. With unwavering playfulness and raw humour, meandering through the national and the personal, the book – which is deftly and brilliantly conveyed into English by Rachel McGill - grapples with questions of social justice, womanhood, and politics while at the same time weaving a plot concerned with the two protagonists’ survival as active subjects. Co-Wives, Co-Widows powerfully recentres the very meaning of sorority not only in its solidary facets but more so as an existential tie through which different forms of exploitation and patriarchy are outwitted and eventually repelled. This important translation by Rachel McGill is to be particularly commended for so carefully recapturing the intimate specifics in and of these two women’s lives which underpin and uphold the very spirit of this book.

The Song of Youth

The Catalan writer Montserrat Roig’s fiction has been brought to an Anglophone audience for the first time in the form of Tiago Miller’s translation of the 8-story collection The Song of Youth. Miller subtly captures the disjointed, otherworldly nature of Roig’s narrative which spans a dazzling range of subjects: from institutional disquiet to the intricacies of female friendship to a fatal obsession with giraffes. Miller’s translation eschews perfectionism in favour of a voice that is by turns unsettling, searching, enlivening--and as such perfectly alert to the seductively estranging nature of Roig’s prose.

The Union of Synchronised Swimmers

Cristina Sandu’s accomplished self-translation of The Union of Synchronised Swimmers moves smoothly between surface and depth, giving voice to an array of experiences of women living, working and loving in foreign countries while grappling with questions of identity, memory and a past that is never truly past. There is an irreverence to Sandu’s English voice that, combined with the interspersed deadpan descriptions of a newly formed Olympic synchronised swimming team, pushes the prose into experimental narrative waters. If one abandons oneself to the pull of this current, the narrative offers a vivid taste of modern alienation that lingers long after this slim volume has been put down.

The 2022 Longlist

This year, we introduced the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize Longlist for the first time, in order better to celebrate and showcase the range of brilliant entries for the Prize.

The Hangman's House by Andrea Tompa, translated from Hungarian by Bernard Adams (Seagull Books)

Bird Me by Édith Azam, translated from the French by Stuart Bell (the87 press)

Complete Poems of Salvatore Quasimodo, translated from Italian by Jack Bevan (Carcanet) 

Dream of a Journey by Kateřina Rudčenková, translated from Czech by Alexandra Büchler (Parthian)

The Liquid Land by Raphaela Edelbauer, translated from the German by Jen Calleja (Scribe) 

Cargo Hold of Stars by Khal Torabully, translated from French (Mauritius) by Nancy Naomi Carlson (Seagull Books)

In Memory of Memory by Maria Stepanova, translated from Russian by Sasha Dugdale (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

Occupation by Julian Fuks, translated from Portuguese (Brazil) by Daniel Hahn (Charco Press)

Nordic Fauna by Andrea Lundgren, translated from Swedish by John Litell (Peirene Press)

Boat Number Five by Monika Kompaníková, translated from Slovak by Janet Livingstone (Seagull Books)

Co-Wives, Co-Widows by Adrienne Yabouza, translated from French/Sangho (Central African Republic) by Rachael McGill (Dedalus)

The Song of Youth by Montserrat Roig, translated from Catalan by Tiago Miller (Fum D’Estampa)

Permafrost by Eva Baltasar, translated from Catalan by Julia Sanches (And Other Stories)

Union of Synchronised Swimmers by Cristina Sandu, translated from Finnish by Cristina Sandu (Scribe)

A New Name by Jon Fosse, translated from Norwegian by Damion Searls (Fitzcarraldo Editions) 

Night As It Falls by Jakuta Alikavazovic, translated from French by Jeffrey Zuckerman (Faber)


This year’s judges were Vittoria Fallanca, Holly Langstaff, Yousif M. Qasmiyeh, and Laura Seymour (Chair).


The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2021 was Nichola Smalley, for the translation of Wretchedness by Andrzej Tichý (And Other Stories).

The 2021 Shortlist

The Last Days of Mandelstam by Vénus Khoury-Ghata, translated from French by Teresa Lavender Fagan (Seagull Books)

The Discomfort of Evening by Marieke Lucas Rijneveld, translated from Dutch by Michele Hutchison (Faber)

I Am a Field Full of Rapeseed, Give Cover to Deer and Shine Like Thirteen Oil Paintings Laid One on Top of the Other by Ulrike Almut Sandig, translated from German by Karen Leeder (Seagull Books)

Bezoar by Guadalupe Nettel, translated from Spanish by Suzanne Jill Levine (Seven Stories Press)

At Night All Blood Is Black by David Diop, translated from French by Anna Moschovakis (Pushkin Press)

Grove by Esther Kinsky, translated from German by Caroline Schmidt (Fitzcarraldo Editions)

Wretchedness by Andrzej Tichý, translated from Swedish by Nichola Smalley (And Other Stories)

São Bernardo by Graciliano Ramos, translated from Portuguese by Padma Viswanathan (New York Review of Books)


Here are the Judges’ Citations:

The Last Days of Mandelstam

A series of sentences perfectly snipped at their edges conjure the final days of the poet Osip Mandelstam in the Vladperpunkt transit camp, where he died aged 47. In Teresa Lavender Fagan’s translation of this poetic novella by Turkish-Lebanese writer Vénus Khoury-Ghata, each sentence is a crafted shock, savoured image, or moment of rage-filled absurdity. This work traces Mandelstam’s exhausted, pyretic thought as it ranges from his first days at Talmud school to the internal exile he endured with his wife Nadezhda. Read this book for a sharp angle on history.

The Discomfort of Evening

This stunningly original novel is rightly being celebrated as a classic in a making. Set in a strict Christian community in the Dutch countryside, it is narrated by a young girl whose life is disrupted by her brother’s sudden death. Michele Hutchison’s seemingly effortless translation creates a distinct new voice for this narrator, naïve and profound, comic and tragic, violent and searingly beautiful. Obsessively descriptive and impressively unsettling, it is an unforgettable book.

I Am a Field Full of Rapeseed, Give Cover to Deer and Shine Like Thirteen Oil Paintings Laid One on Top of the Other

Karen Leeder’s translation of Ulrike Almut Sandig’s innovative 2016 poetry collection allows space for a startling variety of distinct speakers. Characters from Grimm fairy tales wait beside voices recognisable from present-day bus-stop and street. The fairy tale theme (wolves, Hansel and Gretel) runs throughout this collection, the first half of which deals boldly with conflict and war crimes in recent memory. Leeder shapes a polyphonic work where Fitcher’s bird bathes in honey before butchery and priests lift from the ground. The title of this book is a beauty in itself, making it an excellent clue to what lies within.


These curious (and often indeed ‘unsettling’) stories hook the reader in with deceptively light or simple beginnings, and go on to turn our certainties inside-out, often disturbingly. The translator has captured Nettel’s way of edging us into strange and increasingly alien territory by means of increments of almost deadpan prose. Every page is fresh, strange-familiar, and rendered with such clarity that Nettel’s dramas linger unsettlingly in the mind.  

At Night All Blood Is Black

This is a viscerally powerful book about the horrors of war, colonial racism, and the internal as well as the external violence they perpetrate. It explores WWI from an unfamiliar angle: that of soldiers from French colonies, in this case the Senegalese who fought in the French trenches. The narrative voice is fragmented, describing a present that is full of violent trauma and a past that is sundered, in language that is by turns violent and propulsive, and lyrical and vulnerable. The translator, Anna Moschovakis, has dealt magnificently with the huge challenges of maintaining the tempo as well as the transitions of the original French.  


This stunning novel of subdued elegance was written by Esther Kinsky, herself a translator from English, Polish, and Russian. Subtitled A Field Novel, it consists of a series of beautifully crafted, fragmentary observations of Italian landscape and people, captured by an unnamed narrator mourning the death of her partner. Caroline Schmidt’s measured prose studiously recreates the intimacy, understated intensity of feeling, and crystalline precision of Kinsky’s German.


The first of Andrzej Tichý’s novels to be translated from Swedish into English, Wretchedness begins with an encounter between a cellist and a homeless man who approaches him for money and cigarettes. A throwaway comment sparks a series of recollections from a youth spent in the economically deprived housing estates of Malmö and in underground clubs and warehouses from Hamburg to Glasgow. Opposing worlds collide and enmesh as the narrative interweaves memories of conversations between old friends over video games and at drug-fuelled parties and present-day discussions with colleagues about music theory on the way to a classical concert in Copenhagen. Nichola Smalley’s translation seamlessly negotiates the different voices and registers of this polyphonic narrative, maintaining a blistering intensity and dynamism from beginning to end. The eight paragraphs making up the novel echo the powerful vibrations and dense notes of the concert hall performance which threaten to overwhelm and consume the narrator in the build-up to the dramatic closing lines. The novel critiques academics and journalists who seek to represent the lives of those marginalised by society in their sanitised dark poetry – ‘gutter tourists, on the hunt for the next aesthetic wonder’ – and searches for a tone in which these experiences can be voiced.

São Bernardo

This classic novel by the writer and communist politician Graciliano Ramos is here translated anew. Padma Viswanathan has remade the first-person narrative of Ramos’s protagonist, Honório, in ways that feel immediate for all their distance in time and context: by turns frank and elusive, straightforward and elliptical, searching and humdrum, Honório’s voice in Viswanathan’s translation is perfectly sustained over all its meanderings. 


This year’s judges were Patrick McGuinness, Laura Seymour, Holly Langstaff, and Karolina Watroba (Chair). They read over 100 eligible submissions of various genres and periods, written in more than 25 languages, and published by more than 30 different publishers, big and small. To accompany the award of the Prize, St Anne’s and Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation Research Centre (OCCT) have uploaded videos in which the shortlisted translators discuss or read from their respective translations.


The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2020 was David Hackston, for the translation of Crossing by Pajtim Statovci (Pushkin Press).

The 2020 Shortlist

A Greek Ballad by Michális Ganás, translated from the Greek by David Connolly and Joshua Barley (Yale UP)

Crossing by Pajtim Statovci, translated from the Finnish by David Hackston (Pushkin Press)

Older Brother by Mahir Guven, translated from the French by Tina Kover (Europa)

Aetherial Worlds by Tatyana Tolstaya, translated from the Russian by Anya Migdal (Daunt Books)

Max Havelaar by Multatuli, translated from the Dutch by Ina Rilke and David McKay (New York Review Books)

Billiards at the Hotel Dobray by Dušan Šarotar, translated from the Slovene by Rawley Grau (Istros Books)

The Madwoman of Serrano by Dina Salústio, translated from the Portuguese by Jethro Soutar (Dedalus)

You Would Have Missed Me by Birgit Vanderbeke, translated from the German by Jamie Bulloch (Peirene Press)


Here are the Judges’ Citations:

A Greek Ballad

David Connolly and Joshua Barley’s selection of, and translations from, Michális Ganás’s poetry is the first to be made available in the English language. It is a jointly translatorly and poetic tour de force that proves to be a mesmerising exploration of genres and styles. Connolly and Barley’s pioneering enterprise responds effortlessly to the range of challenges Ganás’s oeuvre presents for the translator: their renditions are inventive and formally exact when needed and stripped back when the original is elegantly succinct.


It is no coincidence that the title of Finnish-Kosovan writer, Pajtim Statovci’s second novel (Tiranan Sydän, literally Heart of Tirana) has been translated into English as Crossing. The story of two young men trying to leave post-communist Albania, Crossing is a continuous exploration and explosion of borders: male and female, health and disease, life and death, migration and return, falsity and truth. After leaving Albania, Statovci’s protagonist seeks repeated new beginnings in Italy, Spain, the US, and Finland. But each beginning is never really new. Bujar borrows and steals stories from others as they try to reinvent themselves and as much as they would like to forget their past, they can never truly leave it behind. David Hackston’s impeccable translation never falters in the voices he gives to the characters. He switches effortlessly from Bujar’s father’s idiom of legends and fairytales to the obsessive, runaway sentences of the protagonist’s inner reflections. This is a heartbreaking novel that addresses some of the most urgent questions we face, but refuses to give us any simple answers.

Older Brother

With all the pace and excitement of a thriller, Mahir Guven’s Older Brother throws us headfirst into the frictions of twenty-first century France. The story is told from two perspectives within the same family, that of the older brother who has stayed in France as a taxi driver and that of the idealistic younger brother who goes to Syria as a nurse in unclear circumstances and who may or may not have returned to Paris when the novel begins. Like the older brother, we try to piece together what has really happened to the younger brother from glimpses, rumours, memories, and news reports. Tina Kover sweeps us along in this paranoid guessing game. She renders the spiky voice of the older brother deftly, as he switches from expletives to streetwise philosophizing. Read it to be drawn into the uncomfortable tensions at the centre of a family, a city, and a country at large.

Aetherial Worlds

This collection of stories impressed the judges for its variety, for the ingenuity of its thinking and the depth of its insights. Moving, sad, funny, surreal, and always questioning what we think we know or remember, Tolstaya is a writer at the height of her powers. In Anya Migdal she has a translator with perfect pitch, always ready to rise to the challenge of the next transition, the next shift of tone and subject, and who has made an unmistakeable voice for her in English.

Max Havelaar

This retranslation of one of the most discussed novels in the history of Dutch literature is very timely, as we continue to face up to the damage that has been wrought by the colonial and imperial exploits of the European powers. First published in 1860 and set partly in the Netherlands and party in Indonesia, this novel helped change the public narrative about the colonial Dutch East Indies by forcing its readers to confront its fundamental injustice and brutality. This is achieved through a series of effortlessly executed experimental literary techniques which, however, do not diminish the readability of the novel: quite the opposite, they draw the reader in and demand them to take a stand. This new translation matches the effortlessness of the original and carefully but effectively frames Max Havelaar with up-to-date historical and scholarly commentary and, through the introduction and cover art, gives the perspectives of Indonesian artists Pramoedya Ananta Toer and Raden Saleh.

Billiards at the Hotel Dobray

Silence sits at the heart of Dušan Šarotar’s Billiards at the Hotel Dobray. The town of Sóbota lies stagnant, waiting for the upheaval of the end of the second world war to reach it. As the soldiers stationed at the Hotel Dobray sit in wait for what is to come, the recent past slowly surfaces amid the murk and covert activities of the town. Rawley Grau’s elegant translation conjures the thick atmosphere of Šarotar’s novel and conveys its surprising imagery with poise.

The Madwoman of Serrano

The plot of Salústio’s novel moves between a traditional village and a big city. The village, seemingly untouched by the passage of time, is in fact threatened by ecological destruction and deeply impacted by changing gender dynamics. At its core, The Madwoman of Serrano is an intricate family chronicle, with the narrative mode at times reminiscent of magical realism, a detective novel, and even soap opera. The energetic, witty, and fast-paced narrative twists and turns in an attempt to make sense of the conflicting allegiances of the main characters, including a powerful businesswoman with a mysterious past. Originally published in the 1990s, this was the first novel by a woman to ever come out in Cape Verde, and now becomes the first to be translated into English, as part of Dedalus’s ambitious programme of introducing new translated voices of African writers to English readers.

You Would Have Missed Me

This powerful and atmospheric novella about Cold War East and West Germany takes us back to a moment in our European history when the promise of the future was already tinged with jadedness. A masterpiece of economy, it is also sustained feat of fictional voice: a child's eye view of a small geographical movement that feels, like a movement between lives and between worlds. The translator, Jamie Bulloch, rendered its intensity, as well as its melancholy and humour, in English that never once loses in precision or misses its effect. The kind of short book that stays a long time with us. 


This year’s judges were Patrick McGuinness, Marta Arnaldi, Karolina Watroba, and Simon Park (Chair). To accompany the award of the Prize, St Anne’s and Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation (OCCT) have uploaded a number of videos in which the shortlisted translators discuss or read from their respective translations.


The winner of the 2019 prize was Celia Hawkesworth, for the translation of Omer Pasha Latas by Ivo Andrić (New York Review Books).

The 2019 Shortlist

About the Size of the Universe by Jón Kalman Stefánsson, translated from the Icelandic by Philip Roughton (MacLehose)

The Beggar and Other Stories by Gaito Gazdanov, translated from the Russian by Bryan Karetnyk (Pushkin Press)

Shadows on the Tundra by Dalia Grinkevičiūtė, translated from the Lithuanian by Delija Valiukenas (Peirene Press)

Heroines from Abroad by Christine Marendon, translated from the German by Ken Cockburn (Carcanet)

Springtime in a Broken Mirror by Mario Benedetti, translated from the Spanish by Nick Caistor (Penguin)

Omer Pasha Latas by Ivo Andrić, translated from the Serbo-Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth (New York Review Books)

Zero by Gine Cornelia Pedersen, translated from the Norwegian by Rosie Hedger (Nordisk Books)

The Desert and the Drum by Mbarek Ould Beyrouk, translated from the French by Rachael McGill (Dedalus)


Here are the Judges’ Citations:

About the Size of the Universe

Jón Kalman Stefánsson’s novel About the Size of the Universe packs a universe into every page, a world into every sentence. The novel picks up where its companion piece, Fish Have No Feet, left off. It splits and gathers the threads of a multi-generational tale, taking the reader on an exhilarating journey through Iceland’s long twentieth century and the history of a family. Our protagonist Ari tries to unpick those decades, seeking to understand the meaning of a series of messages and parcels that he receives in his self-imposed exile in Denmark. This present-day action lasts little more than a single day, but the narrator casts his net wide to haul in tale after tale from the darkest pools of the family’s and nation’s existence. The story that emerges revolves around a death but is bursting with life, searingly painful yet shot through with humour. It immerses the reader in a saga that is about the tiniest and most significant aspects of human experience, and pretty much everything in between. Philip Roughton’s virtuosic translation replicates and holds that expansive and allusive prose with style and assurance, giving voice to one of the most exciting authors writing in Europe today.

The Beggar and Other Stories

The Beggar and Other Stories, translated into English for the first time by Bryan Karetnyk, is a collection of six stories by Russian émigré Gaito Gazdanov, presented in chronological order so as to represent the span of his writing career. The first story, Maître Rueil, was first published in 1931, and the last, Ivanov’s Letters, in 1962.  We find in these stories a series of compelling characters: a secret agent sent from Paris to Moscow; a melancholic account of a young woman drawn into an affair; the second marriage of an affectionate father; the malaise of a man who became suddenly rich; semi-paranoid reflections on the identity of a particular wealthy Russian émigré; and, in the title story, The Beggar, a well-to-do, educated man who has renounced the world and lives in a crate. The stories blend idiosyncratic anecdotes with existential reflection. The title of the second story is Happiness; in some sense each tale deals with what might be beautiful or meaningful in a life, and how easily that could be lost, or never found at all. Gazdanov’s atmospheric stories are vigorously translated by Bryan Karetnyk, whose crisp prose is full of elegant inversions and lexical flourishes.

Shadows on the Tundra

Dalia Grinkevičiūtė (1927–1987) was fourteen years old when her family was caught up in the first wave of Soviet mass deportations of Lithuanians (along with Latvians and Estonians). Between 1941 and 1952, at least 130,000 people were packed into lorries and trains, usually in appalling conditions, and sent to remote regions of Siberia where they were abandoned by the Soviet authorities to survive in any way they could, or just to die.

 In this fascinating book, Grinkevičiūtė recounts her family’s journey to the bleak and remote Lena River delta on the Arctic coast of Siberia. In her straightforward prose style she describes exactly what it took to survive the Arctic winters with nothing but the most basic food and shelter, and the awful toll the conditions took on the families. Much like the life she was forced to live, Grinkevičiūtė’s language is pared down to its bare essentials. She is unsparing, almost forensic in her descriptions of the suffering of her family and the other Lithuanian exiles they lived with, yet her anger at the injustice and inhumanity of their treatment is never far below the surface of her prose. Delija Valiukenas captures this dual quality of Grinkevičiūtė’s writing superbly in her translation and in so doing introduces us to an event that had devastating consequences for the Lithuanian people, but that remains little-known in the West.

Heroines from Abroad

Heroines From Abroad, by Christine Marendon, translated by Ken Cockburn, is a subtly powerful collection. The relationship between nature and culture is at the heart of the project; plants, insects, animals, stones, and water meet humans and their inventions in the poems. These meetings take on a wide range of moods, from the comic to the melancholic. The human subjects are in no way more present than the natural objects; the enigmatic 'you' and 'I' of many of the poems are sometimes the shadows that brings the natural imagery into relief. Ken Cockburn's translation sensitively transposes the lyrical qualities of the poems, the wordplay, and aspects of sound patterning, while creating a fresh poetic voice that itself is engaged in a kind of meeting with the German text on the facing page.

Springtime in a Broken Mirror

Mario Benedetti’s Springtime in a Broken Mirror is about the aftermath of the military coup in Uruguay in 1973. The story is told in alternating fragments, from the point of view of Santiago, a political prisoner in Uruguay, and of his exiled family in Buenos Aires: his wife, Graciela, struggling to adapt to her new life and struggling not to adapt too much; their daughter, Beatriz; and Santiago’s quietly devastated father Don Rafael. We also get the perspective of Santiago's old friend and comrade Rolando, to whom Graciela is increasingly attracted. Woven into the main narrative are semi-autobiographical vignettes that reflect Benedetti’s own experiences of exile. Springtime in a Broken Mirror is about what comes after major personal and political events. It’s a novel about guilt, love, and the irrepressibility of new beginnings, however painful. Benedetti’s prose is experimental and highly affecting, with tonal shifts that can verge on the discordant, and a moving transition into something like verse at the end; he pushes the possibilities of language in order to represent the experience of imprisonment and exile. This is the first time the novel has been translated into English, and Nick Caistor’s translation rises to the challenge posed by the varied voices and narrative styles in the novel, as well as by Benedetti’s particular poetic verve. 

Omer Pasha Latas

This year’s prize goes to Celia Hawkesworth for her translation of Ivo Andrić’s Omer Pasha Latas published by New York Review Books. The novel tells the story of the historical figure Omar Pasha Latas (1806–1871), born Mihajlo Latas to Orthodox Christian parents. Seeing the military career he so desired in Austria slip from his fingers because of his father’s missteps, Latas fled to Ottoman Bosnia, where he converted to Islam and built a new life for himself. He rose through the ranks of the Ottoman army, becoming Military Governor of Constantinople, Governor of Baghdad and eventually Field Marshal of the armies of Sultan Abdulmejid.

The novel recounts Latas’s return to Bosnia in 1850–1, where he was sent to reassert the Sultan’s control over the restive local lords and landowners and the mixed emotions this provokes in him. Alongside his portrait of Latas, though, Andrić paints for us a whole gallery of intriguing characters, arranged as a series of diptychs that reveal the hidden desires of these individuals and their regular misapprehension of others’ motives and personalities. Hawkesworth’s translation gives us all the pleats of Andrić’s prose, effortlessly rending all the nuances and inflections of his descriptions into English. It’s a novel about displacement, the multiple identities we all present to the world or try to hide away, our attempts to reinvent ourselves and the role of people, places, and languages in that process. As such, Omer Pasha Latas is both an historical novel, which intrigues with the glimpses it offers of unfamiliar times and places, and a story that, through Hawkesworth’s captivating translation, can speak directly to our present moment.


Gine Cornelia Pedersen’s debut novel, Zero, hurtles us into the mind of its young protagonist, as she wrestles with her mental health, the wishes of those around her, and her own desires and ambitions. The prose is arrestingly direct, giving us not the flowing loops of thought we are accustomed to in steam-of-consciousness writing, but more staccato rhythms of mind, abrupt changes in perception, and blinding revelations about the inefficacy of the platitudes we all tell ourselves and those we care about. Towards the novel’s end we slide into a world where the line between fact and fantasy is barely perceptible. Rosie Hedger’s translation renders Zero effortlessly into millennial idiom, giving the voice in this novel all its immediacy, and hitting the reader square in the face with each of the novel’s emotional punches and many hilarious punchlines.

The Desert and the Drum

This prize for translation from a European language can also open windows onto cultures beyond Europe’s borders, and this first-ever publication of a Mauritanian novel in English is a fine example of such border-crossing. Mbarek Ould Beyrouk and translator Rachael McGill take the reader deep into the heart of a Bedouin tribe, exploring a moment of crisis and its fallout for a community that is held together by extreme conformity, loyalty and tradition. From the outset these claustrophobic scenes of camp life are viewed from the outside, as the young protagonist flees from her tribe and gradually fills in for the reader the events that have brought her to this pass. The narrative oscillates between the illusory sanctuary of tribal life and the edgy yet homely communities of the desert cities, as well as between other poles: from warmth and affection to brutality and violence, hallucinatory episodes to grim realism, the supernatural to the painfully human. McGill’s translation digs into the shifting sands of this story, with a lithe prose that can be stark and lyrical, encapsulating both the dream world and the characters’ material existence, and drawing English-language readers into this world that is ultimately far more familiar than it is strange.


This year’s judges of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize were the academics Charlotte Ryland, Emma Claussen, James Partridge and Simon Park (Chair).


The winner of the 2018 prize is Lisa Dillman, for the translation of Such Small Hands by Andrés Barba (Portobello Books).

The 2018 Shortlist

Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorthe Nors, translated from Danish by Misha Hoekstra (Pushkin Press)

Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Towada, translated from German by Susan Bernofsky (Portobello Books)

Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda Poems by Pablo Neruda, translated from Spanish by Forrest Gander (Bloodaxe Books)

A Love Story by Émile Zola, translated from French by Helen Constantine (Oxford UP)

Blood Dark by Louis Guilloux, translated from French by Laura Marris (New York Review Books)

Such Small Hands by Andrés Barba, translated from Spanish by Lisa Dillman (Portobello Books)

The End of Eddy by Édouard Louis, translated from French by Michael Lucey  (Harvill Secker)

Belladonna by Daša Drndić, translated from Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth (MacLehose)


Here are the Judges’ Citations:

Mirror, Shoulder, Signal

Sonja, the main protagonist of Dorthe Nors’ novel Mirror, Shoulder, Signal, is a translator of Swedish crime fiction into Danish and when the novel opens, she is learning how to drive a car for the first time at the age of 40. Complicating her efforts is a chronic case of “positional vertigo,” which strikes unexpectedly, but particularly when she engages in any sudden movements. Even without the vertigo, it is clear that Sonja has spent most of her adult life playing it safe, moving cautiously through her personal and professional affairs. The subdued, tentative pace of Sonja’s life is also a linguistic effect that translator Misha Hoekstra has expertly rendered in English. But Hoekstra’s translation also deftly captures the sudden shifts in perspective that occur when Sonja’s vertigo takes over. In a novel where, at least of the surface, very little seems to happen, these “sudden” linguistic moves allow for moments of high drama that ultimately propel Sonja out of her comfort zone.

Memoirs of a Polar Bear

Yoko Tawada’s latest novel to be translated into English, Memoirs of a Polar Bear, traces the lives of three generations of polar bears from Soviet Russia to East Berlin to a zoo in a reunified Berlin. Divided into three sections, it opens with the recollections of an unnamed polar bear who has turned to writing after an injury brings her successful circus career to end. “Writing: a spooky activity,” she observes. What makes writing “spooky” is its ability to blur the lines between here and there, now and then. It also characterizes the novel itself, which offers its human readers an altogether different perspective on human history, highlighting the ways in which contemporary crises like climate change and the refugee crisis are interrelated. Susan Bernofsky’s virtuosic English translation also blurs the line between translation and original, revealing how writing, through translation, offers another way of looking at our world.

Then Come Back: The Lost Neruda Poems

This Bloodaxe volume presents twenty-one recently discovered poems by Pablo Neruda under three guises: in the Spanish, as reproductions of their original, ephemeral compositions (on scraps of paper, musical programmes, menus), and as bold translations by the poet Forrest Gander. As Gander himself admits, he has been ‘caught several times in print saying, “The last thing we need is another Neruda translation.”’ However, upon encountering the manuscript ‘locked up like the Queen’s jewels’, it transpired that these lost poems were not only worthy of re-finding for scholarly or archival purposes, but complex, beautiful, ‘hilarious’ and ‘emotively forceful’ in their own right. The poems discuss writing, love of course, but also the moon landing or politics. Gander’s own poetic identity is given space - taking issue with interpretations by the Spanish editors; making a case for the ‘feral voice’ with which one returns to one’s own poetry after completing a translation project - in a volume which is all the stronger for it.

A Love Story

Of her new translation of Emile Zola’s A Love Story, Helen Constantine writes that she sought to communicate the author’s ‘abiding passion’ for Paris, which ‘shines throughout’ this story of romantic, familial and platonic attachments as they are knotted and undone. Written in five parts, the fifth and final chapter of each part—or rather, scene of each act - offers a magisterial naturalist description of a city which mirrors the internal worlds of the protagonists even as it exceeds them, remaining essentially unknown to the characters living reclusive, suburban, domestic lives, sheltered—or so the young widow Hélène believes—from the deforming forces of passion. Constantine’s translation beautifully captures the confrontation of the sublime and the everyday in this undeservedly lesser known novel from Zola’s Rougon-Macquart series, as the characters’ powerful desire for life builds, peaks, and descends to its tragic, compromised conclusion.

Blood Dark

Louis Guilloux’s Blood Dark is a novel of the Great War, but at one remove. We’re in St Brieuc rather than the Somme. Its tragic protagonist, the hobbling schoolteacher Cripure—derisively christened by his students after Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason—is pathetic in both senses of the word: a lovelorn and nostalgic Casaubon, but also the sorry target of children’s cruelty and middle-class snobbery.  Blood Dark, taking on the epic mantle of the nineteenth-century novel, is a book that punctures the bloat of nationalism, and the silly pretentions of the provincial bourgeoisie, but also manages to sketch the paradoxes, delusions, and tenderness of everyday life, the relationships between parents and children, colleagues, and lovers. Laura Marris’s translation keeps the vibrancy of Guilloux’s imagery and the social variegation of his large cast, expertly bringing this forgotten bestseller of 1930s France to a new audience.

Such Small Hands

This year’s Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize goes to Lisa Dillman’s translation of Andrés Barba’s Such Small Hands, published by Portobello Books. Dillman’s translation of Yuri Herrera’s The Transmigration of Bodies (And Other Stories) was one of last year’s shortlisted entries, so her brisk return to the shortlist this year is both a testament to her fine skills as a translator, as well as to the publishers who have supported her work. In Such Small Hands, Andrés Barba transforms the creepy clichés of horror movies into a tense exploration of group psychology and trauma. It is a classic tale of a new arrival disrupting a community, but Barba manages to keep us wondering whether the cuckoo or the nest is more terrifying. Barba’s attention to the sometimes talismanic quality of language, phrases that bring security or propel uncomfortable revelations, is matched by Dillman’s carefully paced translation, one that takes us into this feverish world animated by the inarticulable desires and violence of childhood. Make this your next bedtime reading but bear in mind that this story carries a high risk of keeping you up at night. That this is the case owes a great deal to Dillman’s translation, which pushes language to a near-breaking point, into a zone where translation truly takes on a life of its own and acquires its own monsters. We also acknowledge here the particular challenges of translating a novella. As the story progresses, the tension that quickly builds between these characters owes much to the novel’s tight economy of language, and to Dillman’s ability to recast Barba’s taut sentences and disconcerting syntax in her own comparably unsettling English translation.

The End of Eddy

In his translation of Édouard Louis’s French autobiography, Michael Lucey has faced the challenge of bridging two stylistic worlds. One of them is the language of a poor boy growing up with his working-class family in a rural area of France, possibly a stronghold of Le Pen’s Front national, and the other – that of a gay intellectual trying to critique everything about himself and make sense of the clash between his two identities. Interweaving these seemingly irreconcilable registers, The End of Eddy pursues its twofold and double-edged style of writing. Each chapter of the novel oscillates between a psychological case study and a literary impression, an inquisitive portrait of the contemporary French society and a highly intimate account of a turbulent life—all reconstructed and renegotiated in the English translation.


An ambitious literary collage sweeping through various events of the twentieth-century history, the Croatian novel Belladonna is not an easy read, let alone an easy work to bring into English. Celia Hawkesworth’s rendering takes up the gauntlet and invents its own dense idiom for Daša Drndic’s experimental mix of different genres: from stream of consciousness with elements of drama and poetry, to historical reportage, to modern biography, to art criticism. At the same time, this is a very necessary translation of the novel that revisits and reinstates some of the most urgent issues: the rise of nationalism, moray and physical decay, aging process, and last but not least, the mediocrity of academia.


This year’s judges of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize were the academics Kasia Szymanska, Simon Park, Jessica Stacey, and Adriana X. Jacobs (Chair).


The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2017 was Frank Perry, for the translation of Bret Easton Ellis and ther Other Dogs by Lina Wolff (And Other Stories).

The 2017 Shortlist

Cry, Mother Spain by Lydie Salvayre, translated from French by Ben Faccini (MacLehose)

For Two Thousand Years by Mihail Sebastian, translated from Romanian by Philip Ó Ceallaigh (Penguin Classics)

Sudden Death by Álvaro Enrigue, translated from Spanish by Natasha Wimmer (Harvill Secker)

Bret Easton Ellis and The Other Dogs by Lina Wolff, translated from Swedish by Frank Perry (And Other Stories)

The Transmigration of Bodies by Yuri Herrera, translated from Spanish by Lisa Dillman (And Other Stories)

Masha Regina by Vadim Levental, translated from Russian by Lisa C. Hayden (Oneworld)

Panorama by Dušan Šarotar, translated from Slovenian by Rawley Grau (Peter Owen World Series/Istros Books)

Stéphane Heuet’s adaptation of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time: Swann’s Way, translated from French by Arthur Goldhammer (Gallic)


The winners of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2016 was Philip Roughton, for the translation of The Heart of Man by Jón Kalman Stefánsson (MacLehose) and Paul Vincent and John Irons, for the translation of 100 Dutch-Language Poems (Holland Park Press).

The 2016 Shortlist

100 Dutch-Language Poems, translated from Dutch by Paul Vincent and John Irons (Holland Park Press)

The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud, translated from French by John Cullen (Oneworld)

The Same Old Story by Ivan Goncharov, translated from Russian by Stephen Pearl (Alma Classics)               

Dancing in the Dark: My Struggle by Karl Ove Knausgaard, translated from Norwegian by Don Bartlett (Harvill Secker)

Melnitz by Charles Lewinsky, translated from German by Shaun Whiteside (Atlantic Books)

When the Doves Disappeared by Sofi Oksanen, translated from Finnish by Lola M. Rogers (Atlantic Books)

The Heart of Man by Jón Kalman Stefánsson, translated from Icelandic by Philip Roughton (MacLehose)

Laurus by Eugene Vodolazkin, translated from Russian by Lisa C. Hayden (Oneworld)


The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2015 was Susan Bernofsky, for the translation of The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck (Portobello Books).

The 2015 Shortlist

The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck, translated from German by Susan Bernofsky (Portobello Books)

Talking to Ourselves by André Neuman, translated from Spanish by Nick Caistor and Lorenza Garcia (Pushkin Press)

The Incorrigible Optimists Club by Jean-Michel Guenassia, translated from French by Euan Cameron (Atlantic Books)

The Great War by Aleksandar Gatalica, translated from Serbian by Will Firth (Istros Books)

Ice Roses by Sarah Kirsch, translated from German by Anne Stokes (Carcanet)

The Sermon on the Fall of Rome by Jérôme Ferrari, translated from French by Geoffrey Strachan (MacLehose)

Água Viva by Clarice Lispector, translated from Portuguese by Stefan Tobler (Penguin)

While the Gods Were Sleeping by Erwin Mortier, translated from Dutch by Paul Vincent (Pushkin Press)


The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2014 was Susan Wicks, for the translation of Talking Vrouz by Valérie Rouzeau (Arc Publications).

The 2014 Shortlist

In Times of Fading Light by Eugen Ruge, translated from German by Anthea Bell (Faber)

The Jew Car by Franz Fühmann, translated from German by Isabel Fargo Cole (Seagull Books)

Talking Vrouz by Valérie Rouzeau, translated from French by Susan Wicks (Arc Publications)

The Enigma of the Return by Dany Laferrière​, translated from French by David Homel (MacLehose)

Selected Poems by Vladislav Khodasevich, translated from Russian by Peter Daniels (Angel Classics)

Every Promise by Andrea Bajani, translated from Italian by Alastair McEwen (Maclehose)

The Conductor and Other Tales by Jean Ferry, translated from French by Edward Gauvin (Wakefield Press)

Colonies by Tomasz Różycki, translated from Polish by Mira Rosenthal (Zephyr Press)


The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2013 was Philip Boehm, for the translation of The Hunger Angel by Herta Müller (Portobello).

The 2013 Shortlist

One Hundred Days by Lukas Bärfuss, translated from German by Tess Lewis (Granta)

Witness by Mario Benedetti, translated from Spanish by Louise B. Popkin (White Pine Press)

HHhH by Laurent Binet, translated from French by Sam Taylor (Harvill Secker)

The Blue Hour by Alonso Cueto, translated from Spanish by Frank Wynne (Heinemann)

The Hunger Angel by Herta Müller, translated from German by Philip Boehm (Portobello)

The Lairds of Cromarty by Jean-Pierre Ohl, translated from French by Mike Mitchell (Dedalus)


The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2012 was Judith Landry, for the translation of New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani (Dedalus).

The 2012 Shortlist

Illuminations by Arthur Rimbaud, translated from French by John Ashbery  (Carcanet)

Seven Houses in France by Bernardo Atxaga, translated from Basque by Margaret Jull Costa (Harvill Secker)

How I Lost the War by Filippo Bologna, translated from Italian by Howard Curtis (Pushkin)

Down the Rabbit Hole by Juan Pablo Villalobos, translated from Spanish by Rosalind Harvey (And Other Stories)

New Finnish Grammar by Diego Marani, translated from Italian by Judith Landry (Dedalus)

Into the War by Italo Calvino, translated from Italian by Martin McLaughlin (Penguin)


The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2011 was Margaret Jull Costa, for the translation of The Elephant's Journey by José Saramago (Harvill Secker).

The 2011 Shortlist

The Secret History of Costaguana by Juan Gabriel Vásquez, translated from Spanish by Anne McLean (Bloomsbury)

130 Poems by Jean Follain, translated from French by Christopher Middleton (Anvil Press)

The Elephant’s Journey by José Saramago, translated from Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa (Harvill Secker)

Everything Flows by Vasily Grossman, translated from Russian by Robert and Elizabeth Chandler, with Anna Aslanyan (Harvill Secker)

The Journey of Anders Sparrman by Per Wästberg, translated from Swedish by Tom Geddes (Granta)

No Way Back by Theodor Fontane, translated from German by Hugh Rorrison and Helen Chambers (Angel Books)


The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2010 was Jamie McKendrick, for the translation of The Embrace by Valerio Magrelli (Faber).

The 2010 Shortlist

Cold Spring in Winter by Valérie Rouzeau, translated from French by Susan Wicks (Arc)

Pro Eto – That’s What by Vladimir Mayakovsky, translated from Russian by Larisa Gureyeva and George Hyde (Arc)

The Embrace by Valerio Magrelli, translated from Italian by Jamie Mckendrick (Faber and Faber)

Three Tales by Gustave Flaubert, translated from French by Howard Curtis (Hesperus Press)

Nikolski by Nicolas Dickner, translated from French by Lazer Lederhendler (Portobello)

Joe Speedboat by Tommy Wieringa, translated from Dutch by Sam Garrett (Portobello Books)


The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2009 was Anthea Bell, for the translation of How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone by Saša Stanišic (Weidenfeld & Nicolson).

The 2009 Shortlist

How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone by Saša Stanišic, translated from German by Anthea Bell (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

The Twin by Gerbrand Bakker, translated from Dutch by David Colmer (Vintage)

The Director by Alexander Ahndoril, translated from Swedish by Sarah Death (Granta)

Magnus by Sylvie Germain, translated from French by Christine Donougher (Dedalus)

The Seventh Well by Fred Wander, translated from German by Michael Hofmann (Granta)

Of Kids and Parents by Emil Hakl, translated from Czech by Marek Tomin (Twisted Spoon Press)


The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2008 was Margaret Jull Costa, for the translation of The Maias by Eça de Queiroz (Dedalus).

The 2008 Shortlist

The Maias by Eça de Queiroz, translated from Portuguese by Margaret Jull Costa (Dedalus)

Raving Language: Selected Poems 1946-2006 by Friederike Mayröcker, translated from German by Richard Dove (Carcanet)

The Garden of the Finzi-Continis by Giorgio Bassani, translated from Italian by Jamie McKendrick (Penguin)

The Bells of Bruges by Georges Rodenbach, translated from French by Mike Mitchell (Dedalus)

We by Yevgeny Zamyatin, translated from Russian by Natasha Randall (Vintage)

The Darkroom of Damocles by Willem Frederik Hermans, translated from Dutch by Ina Rilke (Harvill Secker)

The Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2008 was presented by guest judge Helen Dunmore. The full text of her speech can be found here.


The winner of the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2007 was Michael Hofmann, for the translation of Ashes for Breakfast: Selected Poems by Durs Grünbein (Faber).

The 2007 Shortlist

Selected Writings by Friedrich Durrenmatt, translated from German by Joel Agee (University of Chicago Press)

Vienna by Eva Menasse, translated from German by Anthea Bell (Weidenfeld and Nicolson)

Inferno by Dante Alighieri, translated from Italian by Robin Kirkpatrick (Penguin)

Shyness and Dignity by Dag Solstad, translated from Norwegian by Sverre Lyngstad (Harvill Secker)

Suite Française by Irene Nemirovsky, translated from French by Sandra Smith (Chatto and Windus)  

Previous Winners

2006 | Len Rix for the translation of The Door by Magda Szabó (Harvill Secker)
The Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2006 was presented by guest judge Ali Smith. The full text of Ali Smith’s speech can be found here.

2005 | Denis Jackson for the translation of Paul the Puppeteer by Theodor Storm (Angel Books)

2004 | Michael Hofmann for the translation of Storm of Steel by Ernst Jünger (Penguin)

2003 | Ciaran Carson for the translation of Inferno by Dante Alighieri (Granta)

2002 | Patrick Thursfield and Katalin Banffy-Jelen for the translation of They Were Divided by Miklos Banffy (Arcadia)

2001 | Edwin Morgan for the translation of Phaedra by Jean Racine (Carcanet)

2000 | Margaret Jull Costa for the translation of All the Names by José Saramago (Harvill)

1999 | Jonathan Galassi for the translation of Collected Poems by Eugenio Montale (Carcanet)