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Peter Bush is a candidate for the PEN Translation Prize 2015 for The Gray Notebook

Literature.  New York,  21/04/2015

Peter Bush has been shortlisted for the PEN Translation Prize 2015 for his translation of El quadern gris by Josep Pla. The prize is awarded by the PEN American Center, an institution that promotes literature and defends freedom of speech, for the best prose translation in English published in 2014. 




The English translator Peter Bush is one of the five candidates for the PEN Literary Awards 2015 translation prize. The work is The Gray Notebook by Josep Pla, published by The New York Review of Books in 2014. The prize is awarded for the best translation of a novel published over the last year. The members of the jury are Heather Cleary, Lucas Klein, Tess Lewis and Allison Markin Powell.

The PEN Literary Awards are the biggest in the United States. Every year, with the help of its members and sympathisers, the PEN gives over $150,000 to writers in the fields of fiction, popular science, essays, biography, children’s literature, translation and poetry. Altogether there are 17 categories, and the translation prize is worth $3000.

The shortlist of candidates was announced on 17 March and last week the second selection phase was made official with the five finalists. The other four selected in the translation category are Polly Gannon for her translation from Russian of The Symmetry Teacher by Andrei Bitov; Denise Newman for her translation from Danish of Baboon, by Naja Marie Aidt; Samantha Schnee, translator from Spanish of Texas: The Great Theft by Carmen Boullosa; and Jordan Stump, who has translated Self-Portrait in Green by Marie Ndiaye from French.

Among Bush’s recent translations are Pla’s Life Embitters (2015) –to be published on 5 May–, Uncertain Glory (2014) by Joan Sales, Crazy Tales of Blood and Guts (2013) by Teresa Solana, In Diamond Square (2013) by Mercè Rodoreda and The Body Hunter (2013) by Najat El Hachmi. He has also translated Catalan authors such as Quim Monzó or Empar Moliner.

In 2015 Peter Bush received the Creu de Sant Jordi “for the dissemination of Catalan culture from the work that accredits him as the most important translator of Catalan literature into English today”. Last year he was awarded a prize by the Institut Ramon Llull.

The PEN American Center was founded in 1922 and has its headquarters in New York. It works for the international dissemination of literature, to defend freedom of speech and foster literary cooperation all over the world. It is one of the 145 member centres of the International PEN Club, the international writers association. PEN is the acronym of Poets, Essayists and Novelists. Since 1922 it has also had its Catalan section

The Pla translator is one of the five candidates for the prize, one of the most important in the United States

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is a consortium that comprises the Generalitat de Catalunya (Government of Catalonia), Balearic Islands Government and the Barcelona City Council, and its mission is the promotion of Catalan language and culture abroad.

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