May 4, 2009—The PEN Translation Fund, now in its sixth year, is pleased to announce the winners of its 2009 competition. Out of a field of precisely 100 applicants, the Fund’s Advisory Board has selected the following eleven projects for funding:

Eric Abrahamsen for My Spiritual Homeland by Wang Xiaobo (1952-1997), a collection of penetrating, funny and breathtakingly frank essays written fifteen years after the Cultural Revolution by one of China’s most insightful and controversial writers. (No publisher)

Mee Chang for Garden of Youth (1981) by Oh Junghee, a series of powerful stories that center on the struggles of domestic life during the Korean War, by a writer widely recognized as the master of the Korean short story. (No publisher)

Robyn Creswell for The Clash of Images (1995) by Abdelfattah Kilito, a hybrid bildungsroman, written in French, and set in the medina of an unnamed Moroccan city. Growing up in a traditional world in which the image is taboo, the protagonist is seduced by new American technologies of the image. (No publisher)

Brett Foster for Elemental Rebel: The Rime of Cecco Angiolieri(1260-1310?), a selection of impudent sonnets by a Sienese rival of Dante’s with a penchant for parodic wordplay. (Forthcoming from Princeton University Press)

Geoffrey Michael Goshgarian for The Remnants by Hagop Oshagan (1883-1948), a historical novel widely considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Armenian literature, written in the early 1930s “to save what remained of our people.” (No publisher)

Tess Lewis for That Didn’t Reassure the Children (2006) by Alois Hotschnig, a collection of disquieting stories about the mystery, fluidity and perils of intimacy, by a prize-winning Austrian writer renowned for his stylistic virtuosity. (No publisher)

Fayre Makeig for Mourning (2006), a selection of free verse poems by H.E. Sayeh, an eminent contemporary Iranian poet whose life and work span many of Iran’s recent political, cultural and literary upheavals. “Tell us, heaven, why the rain / pours from your eyes…” (No publisher)

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra for Poems of Kabir, a selection of 60 Hindi padas (songs) by India’s legendary mystic poet saint (1398?-1448?) who opposed all religious and social orthodoxies and oppositions. “But I’m wasting my time, / Says Kabir, / Even death’s bludgeon / About to crush your head / Won’t wake you up.” (No publisher)

Frederika Randall for Deliver Us from Evil by Luigi Meneghello (1922-2007), a darkly original memoir, ordered by theme rather than chronology, set in rural Italy when the Church and Il Duce ruled. The savage immediacy of childhood perception combines with amused and astutely ironic insights in an unsentimental human comedy. (No publisher)

Daniel Shapiro for Missing Persons, Animals and Artists (1999) by Roberto Ransom, a short story collection by an acclaimed young Mexican writer which explores the enigmas of art and the creative process with gentle irony and whimsical, at times fantastical, premises. (No publisher)

Chantal Wright for A Handful of Water (2008), poems written in German by Tzveta Sofronieva, a young Bulgarian-born poet, trained as a physicist and science historian, who also writes in Bulgarian and English. Joseph Brodsky said of her, “Listen carefully… She has something to say.”

The voting members of this year’s Advisory Board were Sara Bershtel, Edwin Frank, Michael Henry Heim, Michael Moore, Richard Sieburth and Jeffrey Yang. Esther Allen guided the Board’s deliberations ex oficio.

In this time of fiscal crisis, the Fund very gratefully acknowledges the generous support of Amazon.com, which assists the Fund’s work with an annual gift of $10,000 and provides free publicity to all Fund-supported books. See: www.amazon.com/PENTranslation

For more information about the PEN Translation fund, please visit www.centerforliterarytranslation.org or www.pen.org.

Editors interested in learning more about any of this year’s grant-winning projects may contact Esther Allen (esther.allen@centerforliterarytranslation.org) or Nick Burd (nick@pen.org) for further information.