Women in Translation

Jokha Alharthi’s fascinating novel Celestial Bodies, translated by Marilyn Booth and published by Sandstone Press, won the International Man Booker prize a couple of evenings ago. This was particularly exciting because Marilyn is (or technically was) a member of our book group. She joined us in March to discuss the translation and give us some insight into the setting, the history of Oman and the plot.

BBC Jokha Alharthi and Marilyn Booth

What is so encouraging about their joint achievement is that it highlights how women authors are being translated – five of the six-book shortlist were written by women authors, and all were translated by women. Women in translation are still underrepresented but this year’s shortlist certainly went some way to highlighting change.

Another major translation prize which specifically addresses this problem is awarded by Warwick University:


What is exciting about the Warwick Prize is that it has a broader remit than the Man Booker in terms of eligibility criteria: the Warwick Prize extends to poetry, literary non-fiction, work of fiction for children or young adults, graphic novel, or play text – provided that the works are written by a woman, translated into English by a translator (or translators) of any gender, and published by a UK or Irish publisher.

The deadline for this year’s prize entries is 7 June 2019, and the prize will be awarded in November.

So, if you have an eligible title, get your skates on!

The website for the Warwick Prize is here.

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