2008 PEN Translation Prize
Margaret Jull Costa for her translation from the Portuguese of The Maias (New Directions) by Eça de Queirós
The PEN Translation Prize is awarded to book-length translations from any language into English. The prize has been supported since 1963 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, Philip Gabriel for his translation of Haruki Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore, and Sandra Smith for her translation of Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky.
John Balcom, Mary Ann Caws, and Shelley Frisch
From the Judges’ Citation
“Over the years Margaret Jull Costa has produced a number of notable translations of the fiction of Eça de Queirós, the great Portuguese novelist, who is widely considered to be one of the major European novelists of the 19th century, often ranked with Flaubert, Balzac, Dickens, and Tolstoy. Most recently, Margaret Jull Costa turned her hand to Os Maias, Eça de Queirós’s greatest work, and the results are stunning. The sensuous elegance of the prose vividly captures the greatness of the original, bringing the novel to life for the reader in a way only the most masterful of translations can do. Clearly a labor of love, Margaret Jull Costa’s brilliant translation of The Maias stands as a masterpiece in its own right. Eça de Queirós lives in English!”
Peter Constantine for his translation from the Italian of The Essential Writings of Machiavelli by Niccolò Machiavelli (Random House)
Evan Fallenberg for his translation from the Hebrew of A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev (Schocken Books)