It is with great regret that we announce that, last year, the Prix Coindreau— LRE’s oldest translation prize, established in 1993—came to an end. We were informed of this decision by Marc Chénetier, founding member and chair of the jury. He wrote: “The measure we resolved to take will insure that the Prix Maurice- Edgar Coindreau will never decline or peter away. A clean break is, to our eyes, more efficient and honest than a potentially limping future.” Our gratitude and admiration go to Marc, Marie- Claude Peugeot and Anne Damour for their expertise and untiring devotion to the best of contemporary American literature and its translation into French.
The Prix Coindreau, jointly sponsored with the Comité Coindreau and the French Société des Gens de Lettres, is the Roth Endowment’s oldest translation prize. It was established in memory of renowned translator and Maurice‐Edgar Coindreau (1892‐1990), who introduced American authors, such as Faulkner, Steinbeck, Hemingway and Dos Passos, to French readers. Granted for a masterly translation into French of an American literary work, Prix Coindreau winners are selected by a jury of French scholars and translators, and the award is given at a ceremony at the Société’s historic Hôtel de Massa in Paris. In 2016, after over 25 years of honoring exceptionally talented translators, the Prix Coindreau celebrated its last year.
In 2016, the award went to Jean-Yves Pellegrin for his magnificent translation of Richard Powers’ Orfeo (Orfeo, éditions Le Cherche Midi), the story of an aging avant-garde composer who becomes fascinated with microbiological patterns. Pellegrin’s exceptional translation rose to the challenge of conveying the nuances of an especially talented author, who has been the recipient of a National Book Award and the MacArthur “genius grant.”
Additionally, an Honorable Mention went to Mathilde Bach for her translation of William Giraldi’s Hold the Dark (Aucun homme ni dieu, editions Autrement).
For a complete list of those who have won the Prix Coindreau, please consult Prix Coindreau Recipients.