It was announced over a month ago, but on Tuesday night Fady Joudah received the Saif Ghobash - Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation, for The Butterfly's Burden, a collection of three volumes of poetry by Mahmoud Darwish. Complete Review blogging at The Literary Saloon seemed shocked, or at the very least surprised, that it's available in a bilingual edition from Bloodaxe (UK) and Copper Canyon (US) -- editions praised by poet Alfred Corn in his behind-the-scenes account of the pre-award ceremony party in London, attended by Joudah, his parents (flown in from Tennessee) and a number of Arab writers.
The event brings another award, in the form of raising the profile of world literature in translation -- not least poetry, which accounted for five of the seven winners - and the work of translators in creating the "big dialogue." While the blogosphere got there first (The Literary Saloon again, who predicted a blog post by TLS editor Peter Stothard, who presented the awards), there were considered articles in Tuesday's Guardian and André Tahourdin's survey in the TLS.
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