Krzhizhanovsky’s ‘Autobiography of a Corpse’ Wins the 2014 PEN Translation Prize

NYRB Classics is pleased to announce that Autobiography of a Corpse by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky, translated from the Russian by Joanne Turnbull & Nikolai Formozov, has won the 2014 PEN Translation Prize.

Each year, the PEN Translation Prize is awarded for a book-length translation of prose into English. This year’s Translation Prize judges were Ann Goldstein, Becka McKay, and Katherine Silver. Here is an excerpt from the judges’ citation:

“Fantastical, hallucinatory, and wildly imaginative, the book is rich in linguistic playfulness—part metafiction, part exploration into the farthest reaches and minutest details of reality…Joanne Turnbull, in collaboration with Nikolai Formozov, has produced a compellingly readable translation that is also inventive, that improvises when necessary and consistently insinuates a strangeness and beauty of other worlds, both literary and real…With her notes and her translation, [Turnbull] effectively offers us Krzhizanovsky’s genius—unrecognized and suppressed during his lifetime—rather than drawing attention to herself and her own considerable resourcefulness and artistry. This is a rare and welcome conjunction of a literary text that allows the art of translation to shine and a translator who has brilliantly met the challenge.”

To read the rest of the judges’ citation, visit the PEN website.

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