Goethe-Institut Honors the Art of Translation, Awards Juried Prizes for German Translations

Daniel Bowles (photo by Lee Pellegrini) and Laura Caton (photo by Jenn Monahan)

The Goethe-Institut, Germany’s cultural institute operating worldwide with 160 branches in 94 countries, is pleased to announce the 2016 recipients for its annual North American translation prizes.

Awarded each year since 1996, the annual Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize honors an outstanding literary translation from German into English published by a North American publisher during the previous year. The juried prize with a purse of $10,000 is funded by the German government and administered by the Goethe-Institut New York.

The 2016 recipient is Boston College German Studies professor Daniel Bowles for his translation of Christian Kracht’s Imperium: A Fiction of the South Seas (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015). The jury praised Bowles’ brilliant and creative use of an exaggeratedly antiquated diction and syntax to craft a self-consciously ornate and mannered text that succeeds in capturing the comic archness of Kracht’s prose style for English-language readers.

Established in 2011, the annual Gutekunst Prize for Emerging Translators identifies exceptional young translators (under the age of 35) of German literature into English and assists them in establishing contact with the translation and publishing communities. The winner, as judged by a jury of German literature and translation experts, receives a prize of $2,500.

The 2016 recipient is Laura Caton for her translation of an excerpt from Tom Hillenbrand’s Drohnenland (Kiepenheuer & Witsch, 2014).

Both recipients will be honored at an award ceremony at the Goethe-Institut New York on June 9, 2016.