Bernard Shaw Prize 2023 shortlist announced

Four SELTA members feature on the shortlist for the 2023 Bernard Shaw Prize.

Six translators feature on the shortlist for the 2023 Bernard Shaw Prize announced today by the Society of Authors, among which are an impressive four  SELTA members (Kira Josefsson, Alice Menzies, Alice E. Olsson, Saskia Vogel). The prize is awarded for translations into English of full-length Swedish-language works of literary merit and general interest. Having previously been triennial, this is the first time that the prize has been awarded on a biennial basis. The winning translator will receive a cash prize of £3,000, while the runner-up will receive £1,000.

This year’s judges include SELTA member Nichola Smalley, whose translation of fellow judge Amanda Svensson’s ‘A System so Magnificent it is Blinding’ (Scribe) was shortlisted for both the 2023 Booker International Prize and the 2023 Warwick Prize. They are joined on the judging panel by  the Guardian journalist and former news editor at The Bookseller Alison Flood. In the words of Svensson:

‘From the lyrical to the matter-of-fact, these translators have captured the essence of each of their authors tone, ambition, quirks and strengths with accuracy and verve. This shortlist is a testament not only to the power of great literature, but also the power of great translation.’

Smalley added:

‘It was truly a delight to put together this shortlist, and with so little discord among the judges about what made the list and why. We were looking for brilliant translations that captured the rhythm and voice of their source texts, and all the books on the shortlist stand out for doing this in one way or another. As well as novel translations that consistently upheld the atmosphere and experience of reading the Swedish equivalents, we loved the energy in the short story collection and nonfiction book translations we selected. A wonderful selection of books that it was a pleasure to read and celebrate.’

The shortlist in full:

– Jennifer Hayashida for a translation of Euphoria by Elin Cullhed (Canongate Books)
– Kira Josefsson for a translation of The Trio by Johanna Hedman (Hamish Hamilton)
– John Litell for a translation of Nordic Fauna by Andrea Lundgren (Peirene Press)
– Alice Menzies for a translation of We Know You Remember by Tove Alsterdal (Faber and Faber)
– Alice E. Olsson for a translation of The Herd by Johan Anderberg (Scribe UK)
– Saskia Vogel for a translation of Strega by Johanne Lykke Holm (Lolli Editions)

The winner and runner-up will be announced at a ceremony at the British Library on 7 February 2024. Congratulations to all the shortlisted translators.