Institut Ramon LLull

Mara Faye Lethem's translation of 'The Adventures and Misadventures of the Extraordinary and Admirable Joan Orpí, Conquistador and Founder of New Catalonia' wins the 2022 SUFTA Award

Literature.  USA, 07/10/2022

This is what the judges had to say about the winner: Mara Faye Lethem inventively trawls multiple registers of English, literary and streetwise, to recreate the verbal comedy of Besora’s anarchic Cervantine parody of the chronicles of the Conquest. It is a translator’s imaginative transformation of the highest order. The farcical humor and subtle wit of Besora’s Catalan is maintained with narrative verve and playful dialogues that constantly delight and surprise the reader. Lethem identifies every literary nuance and satirical barb in this superb mocking of imperial dreams and barbarism and provokes laughs and rueful reflection on every page.

The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2022 Spain-USA Foundation Translation Award (SUFTA). This award, which was inaugurated in 2022, is offered by the American Literary Translators Association in conjunction with the Spain-USA Foundation. The award recognizes translations into English of literary prose works written originally by authors of Spanish (Spain) nationality. The 2022 judges are Peter Bush, Kevin Gerry Dunn, and Amaia Gabantxo.

This year’s winner was awarded at the Awards Ceremony held during ALTA’s 45th annual programming, ALTA45: Value(s). The ceremony included a focus on the 2022 shortlist, and the winner was featured in conversation with judge Peter Bush, followed by a short reading by the translator from the winning text. The announcement was made on October 6, 2022 on ALTA’s Eventbrite page; a recording of the ceremony will be viewable there. The winner will be awarded a $5,000 prize.

Mara Faye Lethem is a translator of Catalan and Spanish prose, and the author of A Person’s A Person, No Matter How Small. Her translations have been recognized with two English PEN Awards, three International Dublin Literary Award nominations, a Warwick Prize nomination, a National Translation Award nomination, and a residency at Art OMI’s Translation Lab. Recent translations include books by Patricio Pron, Max Besora, Javier Calvo, Jordi Nopca, Marta Orriols, Toni Sala, Alicia Kopf, and Irene Solà. She is currently translating the collected short stories of Pere Calders as part of her PhD at the University of St Andrews.

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