Liam Mac Com Iomaire & Tim Robinson

MLA-Roth Award, 2018

The 2018 award went to Liam Mac Com Iomaire and Tim Robinson for their translation of Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s Irish classic, Graveyard Clay / Cré na Cille: A Narrative in Ten Interludes (Yale University Press, 2016). In critical opinion and popular polls, Graveyard Clay is invariably ranked the most important prose work in modern Irish. It is a novel of black humor, reminiscent of the work of Synge and Beckett. The story unfolds entirely in dialogue as the newly dead arrive in the graveyard, bringing news of recent local happenings to those already confined in their coffins. Avalanches of gossip, backbiting, flirting, feuds, and scandal-mongering ensue, while the absurdity of human nature becomes ever clearer. This bold new translation is the shared project of two fluent speakers of the Irish of Ó Cadhain’s native region.

Esther Allen

MLA-Roth Award, Honorable Mention, 2018

Esther Allen won an honorable mention for her translation of Zama, by Antonio Di Benedetto. First published in 1956 and available in English for the first time, Zama (New York ReviewBooks, 2016) takes place in the last decade of the eighteenth century and describes the solitary, suspended existence of Don Diego de Zama, a highly placed servant of the Spanish crown who has been posted to Asunción, the capital of remote Paraguay. Eaten up by pride, lust, petty grudges, and paranoid fantasies, Don Diego does as little as he possibly can while plotting an eventual transfer to Buenos Aires, where everything about his hopeless existence will, he is confident, be miraculously transformed and made good. As Benjamin Kunkel wrote in The New Yorker: “The belated arrival of Zama in the United States raises an admittedly hyperbolic question: Can it be that the Great American Novel was written by an Argentinean? It’s hard, anyway, to think of a superior novel about the bloody life of the frontier.”

Amy Baram Reid

MLA-Roth Award, Honorable Mention, 2018

Amy Baram Reid won an honorable mention for her translation of Mount Pleasant, by Patrice Nganang. MountPleasant (Macmillan, 2017) tells the astonishing story of the birth of modern Cameroon, a place subject to the whims of the French and the Germans, yet engaged in a cultural revolution. According to Kirkus Reviews, “Cameroonian writer Nganang delivers a modern epic, tinged with liberal doses of magical realism, of life in his country’s colonial era . . . An elegantly drawn and engaging world of a sort unknown to most readers—but one they’ll be glad to have visited.” Born in Cameroon,  Nganang  is a novelist, a poet, and an essayist. His novel Temps de chien received the Prix Littéraire Marguerite Yourcenar and the Grand prix littéraire d’Afrique noire; he is also the author of La Joie de vivre and L’Invention d’un beau regard and teaches comparative literature at Stony Brook University.

Maureen Freely & Alexander Dawes

MLA-Roth Award, 2016

The Time Regualtion Institute

Maureen Freely and Alexander Dawes won the MLA-Roth Award for their spectacular translation of The Time Regulation Institute (Penguin, 2014), by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar, which describes the misadventures of the antihero Hayri Irdal, as tradition meets modernity in early 20th-century Turkey. In the words of Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk, “Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar is undoubtedly the most remarkable author in modern Turkish literature. With The Time Regulation Institute, this great writer has created an allegorical masterpiece, which makes Turkey’s attempts to westernize and its delayed modernity understandable in all its human ramifications.”

Robert Chandler & Elizabeth Chandler

MLA-Roth Award Honorable Mention, 2016

Robert Chandler and Elizabeth Chandler received recognition for their translation of The Captain’s Daughter, by Alexander Pushkin (New York Book Review Books, 2014).

Aaron Poochigian

MLA-Roth Award Honorable Mention, 2016

Aaron Poochigian received recognition for his translation of Jason and the Argonauts, by Apollonius of Rhodes (Penguin, 2014).

Royall Tyler

LRA-Tyler-e1417985767339-150x150MLA-Roth Award, 2014

For his translation of The Tale of the Heike (Viking, 2012). Tyler is at Australian National University.

Christina E. Kramer

Christine Kramer

Christine Kramer

MLA-Roth Award, Honorable Mention, 2014

For her translation of Freud’s Sister by Goce Smilevski (Penguin, 2012).

Gordon M. Sayre

MLA-Roth Award, Honorable Mention, 2014

For his translation of The Memoir of Lieutenant Dumont 1715-1747: A Sojourner in the French Atlantic, by Jean-Francois-Benjamin Dumont de Montigny (Univ. of North Carolina Press, for the Omohundro Inst. of Early American History and Culture, 2012). Sayre is at the University of Oregon.

Robert & Elizabeth Chandler

MLA-Roth Award, Honorable Mention, 2014

For their translation of Happy Moscow, by Andrey Platonov (New York Review Books, 2012).