Sandra Smith for her translation from the French of Suite Française (Knopf) by Irène Némirovsky

The PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize is awarded to book-length translations from any language into English. The prize has been supported since 1963 by the Book-of-the-Month Club in recognition of the art of the literary translator—the first American award to do so. The most recent recipients are: Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky for their translation of Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina, R. W. Flint’s translation of The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese, Margaret Sayers Peden’s translation of Sepharad by Antonio Muñoz Molina, and Philip Gabriel for his translation of Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore.

2007 Judges

Philip Gabriel, Nahid Mozaffari, and Mark Polizzotti

From the Judges’ Citation

“Like Jean-Paul Sartre’s contemporaneous Paths of Liberty trilogy, the novel captures, with a power shared by few others, the tragic, absurd, desperate, even comic atmosphere of France during the early days of the Occupation, and does so with a depth of human feeling rare in wartime depictions. Sometimes this atmosphere is conveyed in minor moments, such as the brief chapter detailing a housecat’s nocturnal adventures in the quiet seconds before the town arsenal explodes. At others, it lights on more consequent human matters, such as a girl’s ambivalence toward the handsome boy who happens to be an enemy occupant, or a man’s opportunistic fleecing of a trusting young couple. It is especially in such descriptions that Sandra Smith’s translation renders the grace and flow of Némirovsky’s style and does justice to the book’s undeniable impact.”


Carol Brown Janeway
for her translation from the German of Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann (Pantheon)

Shaun Whiteside
for his translation from the Italian of 54 by Wu Ming (Harcourt)