Skip to main content Skip to site map (in footer)

Independent Foreign Fiction Prize

  • Date: 14 May 2009
  • Artform: Literature
  • Area: National
Independent Foreign Fiction Prize: Andrew Nairne and Antonia Byatt of Arts Council England, winning translator Anne McLean, novelist and judge Linda Grant and Boyd Tonkin, Literary Editor of the Independent and Chair of judges Independent Foreign Fiction Prize: Andrew Nairne and Antonia Byatt of Arts Council England, winning translator Anne McLean, novelist and judge Linda Grant and Boyd Tonkin, Literary Editor of the Independent and Chair of judges, Philippa Gedge

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is awarded annually to the best work of contemporary fiction in translation.

The prize celebrates the union of languages, as our eyes are opened to new cultures and ways of life. As its prominence grows, we hope that the prize will encourage publishers to further broaden their lists of international titles.

Uniquely, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize acknowledges both the novelist and translator equally, recognising the importance of the translator in their ability to bridge the gap between languages.

Translators have the profound ability to restructure the original work into something that is innovative, yet faithful to the initial text, something that the prize, awarded by a panel of accomplished judges, seeks to reward.

The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2009 was awarded to Colombian writer Evelio Rosero for his novel, The Armies (Maclehose Press). Rosero is the first Colombian author to win the award.

The £10,000 prize money is shared equally with his translator, Anne McLean, who picks up the award for the second time.

The 2009 judges were:
Linda Grant, novelist
Kate Griffin, literature officer, Arts Council England
Fiona Sampson, editor, Poetry review
Mark Thwaite, blogger, www.readysteadybook.com
Boyd Tonkin, literary editor, The Independent

The 2009 shortlist was as follows:

  • Voiceover by Celine Curiol, translated by Sam Richard from the French, published by Faber and Faber
  • Beijing Coma by Ma Jian, translated by Flora Drew from the Chinese, published by Chatto & Windus
  • The Siege by Ismail Kadare, translated by David Bellos from the Albanian, published by Canongat
  • The Armies by Evelio Rosero, translated by Anne McLean from the Spanish, published by Maclehose Press
  • The Informers by Juan Gabriel Vasquez, translated by Anne McLean from the Spanish, published by Bloomsbury
  • Friendly Fire by A B Yehoshua, translated by Stuart Schoffman from the Hebrew, published by Halban


Guidelines and application forms for publishers can be downloaded from the links below. The 2010 prize is now open for submission, with a closing date of 30 September 2009.

For any further information please contact Maddy Pickard by email: maddy.pickard@artscouncil.org.uk or by telephone: 020 7973 5204.

Links:

IFFP 2009 press release http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/documents/projects/phph4govH.doc
IFFP 2010 entry form http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/documents/projects/phpaedIGn.doc
IFFP 2010 guidelines http://www.artscouncil.org.uk/documents/projects/phpe5RvHk.doc