PEN America Literary Awards PEN Translation Prize

The PEN Translation Prize invites submissions of book-length translations from any language into English published during the current calendar year. The award confers a $3,000 prize on the author of the winning book.

All winners and finalists for this award are eligible to receive PEN America’s official winner or finalist seal. If you are a publisher of a shortlisted or winning book for this award and are interested in obtaining PEN’s award seal, please write to [email protected].

Featured Honoree: Len Rix, 2018 Winner

Katalin Street by Magda Szabo

Katalin Street by Magda Szabo (NYRB Classics)
translated from the Hungarian by Len Rix

NYRB Classics Ι Indiebound Ι Amazon

Judges: Denise Newman, Eric M. B. Becker, Jenny Wang Medina, Lara Vergnaud, Lisa Hayden

From the judges’ citation: “The jury is proud to honor Len Rix’s exceptional translation of Magda Szabo’s novel Katalin Street, which tracks the intertwined lives of three Budapest families before and after the devastation of World War II. This beautiful translation illuminates Szabo’s deep humanity. Translating Katalin Street’s intricate, elegant text required tremendous subtlety and artistry to achieve such flawlessness, and Rix clearly possesses the mastery to allow Szabo herself to stand out as an exemplary writer. This translation from the Hungarian does that, and Len Rix has gained lifelong admirers among the jury.”



Previous Winners

(This award was formerly named the PEN/Book-of-the-Month Club Translation Prize.)

2018 Len Rix, Katalin Street by Magda Szabo (NYRB Classics), translated from the Hungarian

2017 Tess Lewis, Angel of Oblivion by Maja Haderlap (Archipelago Books), translated from the German

2016 Katrina Dodson, The Complete Stories by Clarice Lispector (New Directions), translated from the Portuguese

2015 Denise Newman, Baboon by Naja Marie Aidt (Two Lines Press), translated from the Danish

2014 Joanne Turnbull & Nikolai Formozov, Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky (New York Review Books), translated from the Russian

2013 Donald O. White, The Island of Second Sight by Albert Vigoleis (Overlook Press), translated from the German
Katherine Silver, The Cardboard House by Martín Adán (New Directions)

2012 Bill Johnston, Stone upon Stone by Wieslaw Mysliwski (Archipelago Books), translated from the Polish
Sinan Antoon, In the Presence of Absence by Mahmoud Darwish (Archipelago Books), translated from the Arabic
Margaret Jull Costa, The Land at the End of the World by Antonio Lobo Antunes (W.W. Norton), translated from the Portuguese

2011 Ibrahim Muhawi, Journal of an Ordinary Grief by Mahmoud Darwish (Archipelago Books), translated from the Arabic
David Bellos, Hocus Bogus by Romain Gary, publishing as Émile Ajar (Yale University Press/The Margellos World Republic of Letters), translated from the French
Malcolm C. Lyons with Ursula Lyons, The Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights (Penguin Classics), translated from the Arabic

2010 Michael Henry Heim, Wonder by Hugo Claus (Archipelago), translated from the Dutch
Esther Allen, Rex by Jose Manuel Prieto (Grove), translated from the Spanish
David Constantine, Faust: The Second Part of the Tragedy by Johann Wolfgang van Goethe (Penguin), translated from the German

2009 Natasha Wimmer, 2666 by Roberto Bolaño (FSG), translated from the Spanish
Jordan Stump, The Waitress Was New by Dominique Fabre (Archipelago Books), translated from the French
Joel Rotenberg, The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig (NYRB Classics), translated from the German

2008 Margaret Jull Costa, The Maias by Jose Maria Eca de Queiros (New Directions), translated from the Portuguese
Peter Constantine, The Essential Writings of Machiavelli by Niccolò Machiavelli (Random House), translated from the Italian
Evan Fallenberg, A Pigeon and a Boy by Meir Shalev (Schocken Books), translated from the Hebrew

2007 Sandra Smith, Suite Française by Irène Némirovsky (Knopf), translated from the French
Carol Brown Janeway, Measuring the World by Daniel Kehlmann (Pantheon Books), translated from the German
Shaun Whiteside, 54 by Wu Ming (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt), translated from the Italian

2006 Philip Gabriel, Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami (Knopf), translated from the Japanese
Flora Drew, The Noodle Maker by Ma Jian (Picador), translated from the Chinese
Michael Hofmann, Unformed Landscape by Peter Stamm (Other Press), translated from the German

2005 Tim Wilkinson, Fatelessness by Imre Kertesz (Vintage), translated from the Hungarian
Zack Rogow, Green Wheat by Colette (Sarabande Books), translated from the French
Andrew Shields, The Cello Player by Michael Krüger (Harcourt), translated from the German

2004 Margaret Sayers Peden, Sepharad by Antonio Muñoz Molina (Mariner), translated from the Spanish
Linda Coverdale, Street of Lost Footsteps (University of Nebraska Press) by Lyonel Trouillot, translated from the French
Hillel Halkin, The Liberated Bride (Harvest Books, Harcourt) by A. B. Yehoshua, translated from the Hebrew

2003 R.W. Flint, The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese (New York Review of Books), translated from the Italian

2002 Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky, Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy (Viking), translated from the Russian

2001 Tiina Nunnally, Kristin Lavransdatter III: The Cross by Sigrid Undset (Penguin), translated from the Norwegian

2000 Richard Sieburth, Selected Writings by Gerard De Nerval (Penguin), translated from the French

1999 Michael Hofmann, The Tale of the 1002nd Night by Joseph Roth (St. Martin’s), translated from the German

1998 Peter Constantine, Six Early Stories by Thomas Mann (Sun & Moon), translated from the German

1997 Arnold Pomerans, The Letters of Vincent Van Gogh (Viking), translated from the Dutch

1996 Stanislaw Baranczak & Clare Cavanagh, View With a Grain of Sand by Wislawa Szymborska (Harcourt), translated from the Polish

1995 Burton Watson, Selected Poems of Su Tung–p’o (Copper Canyon), translated from the Chinese

1994 Bill Zavatsky & Zack Rogow, Earthlight by André Breton (Sun & Moon), translated from the French

1993 Thomas Hoisington, The Adventures of Mr. Nicholas Wisdom by Ignacy Krasicki (Northwestern University Press), translated from the Polish

1992 David Rosenberg, The Poet’s Bible (Hyperion), from the Hebrew

1991 Richard Pevear & Larissa Volokhonsky, The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (North Point Press), translated from the Russian

1990 William Weaver, Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), translated from the Italian

1989 Matthew Ward, The Stranger by Albert Camus (Random House), translated from the French

1988 Madeline Levine & Francine Prose, A Scrap of Time by Ida Fink (Pantheon), translated from the Polish

1987 John E. Woods, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind (Knopf), translated from the German

1986 Prose: Barbara Bray, The Lover by Marguerite Duras (Pantheon), translated from the French
Poetry: Dennis Tedlock, Popol Vuh: The Mayan Book of the Dawn of Life by Dennis Tedlock (Simon and Schuster), translated from the K’iche’

1985 Prose: Helen R. Lane, The War at the End of the World by Mario Vargas Llosa (Farrar, Straus & Giroux), translated from the Spanish
Poetry: Seamus Heaney, Sweeney Astray by Seamus Heaney (Farrar, Straus & Giroux)

1984 William Weaver, The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), translated from the Italian

1983 Richard Wilbur, Four Comedies: The Misanthrope, Tartuffe, The Learned Ladies, The School for Wives by Molière Jean Baptiste Poquelin De Moliere (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), translated from the French

1982 Hiroaki Sato & Burton Watson, From the Country of Eight Islands: An Anthology of Japanese Poetry (Anchor Press/University of Washington Press), translated from the Japanese

1981 John E. Woods, Evening Edged in Gold by Arno Schmidt (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich), translated from the German

1980 Charles Simic, Homage to the Lame Wolf by Vasko Popa (Oberlin College/Field Translation Series), translated from the Serbian

1979 Charles Wright, The Storm and other poems by Eugenio Montale (Oberlin College/Field Translation Series), translated from the Italian

1978 Adrienne Foulke, One Way or Another by Leonardo Sciascia (Harper & Row), translated from the Italian

1977 Gregory Rabassa, Autumn of the Patriarch by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Harper & Row), translated from the Spanish

1976 Richard Howard, A Short History of Decay by E. M. Cioran (Viking Press), translated from the French

1975 Helen R. Lane, Count Julian by Juan Goytisolo (Viking Press/Richard Seaver Books), translated from the Spanish

1974 Hardie St. Martin & Leonard Mades, The Obscene Bird of Night by Jose Donoso (Knopf), translated from the Spanish

1973 J. P. McCullough, The Poems of Sextus Propertius by Propertius (University of California Press), translated from the Latin

1972 Richard & Clara Winston, Letters of Thomas Mann by Thomas Mann (Knopf), translated from the German

1971 Max Hayward, Hope Against Hope by Nadezhda Mandelstam (Atheneum), translated from the Russian

1970 Sidney Alexander, The History of Italy by Francesco Guicciardini (Macmillan), translated from the Italian

1969 W. S. Merwin, Selected Translations 1948-1968 (Atheneum), translated from various languages

1968 Vladimir Markov & Merrill Sparks, editors Modern Russian Poetry (Bobbs–Merrill), translated from the Russian

1967 Harriet de Onis, Sagarana by J. Guimaraes Rosa (Knopf), translated from the Portuguese

1966 Geoffrey Skelton & Adrian Mitchell, Marat\Sade by Peter Weiss (Atheneum), translated from the German

1965 Joseph Barnes, The Story of a Life by Konstantin Paustovsky (Pantheon), translated from the Russian

1964 Ralph Manheim, The Tin Drum by Gunter Grass (Pantheon), translated from the German

1963 Archibald Colquhoun, The Viceroys by Federico de Roberto (Harcourt Brace), translated from the Italian