Agnes Broomé’s translation of Maria Adolfsson’s Fatal Isles wins Petrona Award

Congratulations Agnes and Maria!

This year in its tenth edition, The Petrona Award celebrates the best Scandinavian crime novel of the year.

The judges said of this year’s winner: “Set in the fictional yet completely credible location of Doggerland, this three-islands archipelago in the North Sea reflects Scandinavian, North European and British heritages. Doggerland is shaped and influenced by its geographical position; the atmospheric setting, akin to the wind- and history-swept Faroe and Shetland Islands, and Nordic climes, enhances the suspenseful and intriguing plot of a police procedural that combines detailed observations and thoughts on the human condition.”

Congratulations Agnes and Maria, who both receive prizes.

Major distinction bestowed on SELTA by Swedish Academy

The Swedish Academy recognises SELTA for its dissemination of Swedish culture abroad.

At an event to mark SELTA’s 40th birthday held at the Swedish Ambassador’s residence in London on 30th November, Chair Ian Giles announced the news that SELTA has been awarded Svenska Akademiens pris för introduktion av svensk kultur utomlands (the Swedish Academy’s Prize for the Introduction of Swedish Culture Abroad). This is an annual prize, established in 1992, for efforts to disseminate and promote Swedish culture outside of Sweden). The prize is worth SEK 160,000 (£12,600).

The prize has an illustrious list of past winners, including SELTA members Tom Geddes, Frank Perry, and the late editor of Swedish Book Review Laurie Thompson. Other past winners have included translators Elena Balzamo and Laura Cangemi, as well as the Department of Scandinavian Studies in Poznan, Poland.

SELTA Chair Ian Giles described the award as a tremendous honour, and noted that the committee has written to the Academy’s permanent secretary Mats Malm to offer its thanks. Ian told guests assembled at the 40th anniversary celebration: ‘This award recognises the hard work of every member of SELTA over the years as ambassadors for translation, as well as the sterling efforts of committees past and present. It is particularly gratifying that our efforts to promote Swedish literature abroad have been noticed.’

Warwick Prize awarded to Peter Graves

Peter Graves has been announced as the joint winner of the 2022 prize for his translation of Osebol by Marit Kapla.

Many congratulations to Peter Graves who has been announced as the joint winner of the 2022 Warwick Prize for Women in Translation for his translation of Osebol: Voices from a Swedish Village by Marit Kapla, published by Allen Lane/Penguin Random House. In the first instance of a double award in the Warwick Prize’s history, Peter shares this year’s prize with Tomb of Sand by Geetanjali Shree, translated from Hindi by Daisy Rockwell and published by Tilted Axis Press.

Judges Amanda Hopkinson, Boyd Tonkin and Susan Bassnett said of Osebol: “Selected, edited, and laid out with truly poetic grace and flair, these intimate stories of time and place, change and loss, accumulate into an unforgettable fresco of human experience and memory in an era of transition and upheaval.” You can read more of the judges’ comments here and watch the prize ceremony on YouTube.

Our congratulations once more to Peter and Marit.


Peter Graves shortlisted for Warwick Prize

Congratulations Peter and Marit!

We are delighted to hear that SELTA member Peter Graves’ translation of Osebol: Voices from a Swedish Village by Marit Kapla (Allen Lane 2021) has been shortlisted for the 2022 Warwick Prize for Women in Translation. Established in 2017, the annual prize aims to address the gender imbalance in translated literature and awards the winning pair of author and translator equally. SELTA translators are no strangers to the Warwick Prize, with this being Graves’ second nomination and Sarah Death and Fiona Graham having also appeared on both the longlist and shortlist. You can see all the nominees here.

Marit Kapla’s debut has garnered much acclaim both in Sweden – where it was awarded the August Prize in 2019 – and in the UK, having been nominated for the British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding. Our congratulations go to Peter Graves and Marit Kapla.

Bernard Shaw Prize awarded to Sarah Death for Tove Jansson translation

The 2021 Bernard Shaw Prize has been awarded to Sarah Death for her translation from Swedish of Tove Jansson’s Letters from Tove.

The winner of the 2021 Bernard Shaw Prize is Sarah Death for her translation of Letters from Tove by Tove Jansson (edited by Boel Westin and Helen Svensson) and published by Sort of Books. The announcement of the winner was made as part of the Society of Authors’ annual Translation Prizes ceremony held online on 10th February.

The judges’ citation noted: ‘This translation was the standout contribution from within the shortlist for the judges. It is beautifully illustrated and produced, balancing general reader interest with scholarly value throughout its footnotes and index.’

The two runners up were Amanda Doxtater for her translation of Karin Boye’s Crisis, and Sarah Death, whose translation of Chitambo was also featured on the shortlist. The judges noted that ‘Death and Doxtater’s translation prowess proved inseparable’.

The prize is awarded for the best translation into English of a full length Swedish language work of literary merit and general interest, with the winner receiving £2000. Named after the author and dramatist George Bernard Shaw, whose Nobel Prize went towards a foundation for ‘the promotion and diffusion of knowledge and appreciation of the literature and art of Sweden in the British Islands’, the prize was established in 1991 and is generously sponsored by the Anglo-Swedish Literary Foundation and the Embassy of Sweden in London. It has been awarded triennially since its inception, but will be awarded biennially from now, meaning that the next award will be for 2023 (awarded in 2024).

Sarah Death has won the Bernard Shaw prize on two previous occasions, in 2003 and 2006, and was commended in 2015. This is also a third win for the late Tove Jansson and her publisher Sort of Books. SELTA offers its wholehearted congratulations to Sarah on her achievement.

You can watch the full prize ceremony here. And finally well done to all the translators who were featured on the shortlist for the 2021 prize as announced last November.