Translation Prize Finalist July 27, 2010
Howard, the author of fourteen volumes of poetry, has published more than one hundred fifty translations from the French, including an NYRB Classics edition of Balzac’s The Unknown Masterpiece. His numerous honors include a Pulitzer Prize for Untitled Subjects, a collection of poetry, and a National Book Award for his translation of Charles Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du mal. His translation of Alien Hearts—a novel once described by Walter Benjamin as “containing such inconceivably beautiful sentences, I would have liked to memorize some”—is the first in over a hundred years. With his characteristically scrupulous attention to the details of language, Howard reveals the beauty, intricacy, and intensity of Maupassant’s writing. Writes Harpers, “The details crystallize, the senses and sentences sharpen… This is classic Maupassant, beautifully rendered by Howard.”
Since its founding in 1976, the French-American Foundation has served as a nongovernmental link between the United States and France, encouraging the international relationship through “programs that deepen the understanding and appreciation of each country for the other by providing a platform to share knowledge and best practices.” Similarly, the Florence Gould Foundation is devoted to French-American exchange, scholarship and friendship. This marks the twenty-third year of the Foundations’ annual collaborative effort to honor preeminent English translations of French prose.
The winner of this year’s prize will be announced at the Awards Ceremony held on the evening of Thursday, September 16 at the Century Association in New York.