2023 Abolhassan Najafi Award announces finalists

2023 Abolhassan Najafi Award announces finalists

Nine Persian translations of books by foreign writers have been shortlisted for the 6th edition of the Abolhassan Najafi Award.

A jury comprising Zia Movahed, Mahasti Bahreini, Abdollah Kowsari, Hossein Masumi Hamedani, Musa Asvar, Omid Tabibzadeh and Abtin Golkar selected the nominees from among 83 works, the Abolhassan Najafi Award Foundation announced on Tuesday.

A translation of French author Michel Houellebecq’s 2010 novel “The Map and the Territory” by Abolfazl Allahdadi is among the finalists.

“The Map and the Territory” was among the most eagerly awaited and discussed novels of the 2010 literary season in France.

The novel tells the story of the life and art of Jed Martin, a fictional French artist who becomes famous by photographing Michelin maps and painting scenes about professional activities.

A translation of American author Nathanael West’s 1939 novel “The Day of the Locust” by Farid Dabir-Moqaddam is competing for the prize.

The novel is about Hollywood and its corrupting touch and the American dream that turned into a sun-drenched California nightmare.

A Persian translation of Lebanese novelist Elias Khoury’s novel “Gate of the Sun” by Narges Qandilzadeh has also been nominated.

It tells the story of Yunes, an aging Palestinian freedom fighter, who lies in a coma. Keeping vigil at the old man’s bedside is his spiritual son, Khalil, who nurses Yunes, refusing to admit that his hero may never regain consciousness.

Another highlight of the nominees is a translation of British novelist Marina Lewycka’s humorous novel “A Short History of Tractors in Ukraine”.

The novel describes the reactions of two daughters when their widowed 84-year-old father Nikolai marries a highly beautiful and much younger Ukrainian immigrant, Valentina.

Sara Palidi’s translation of “P.S. I Love You”, Irish novelist Cecelia Ahern’s novel about holding on, letting go and learning to love again, is also contending for the award.

A translation by Vazrik Der-Sahakian of Italian writer Indro Montanelli’s novel “General Della Rovere” is also on the list.

It is about an Italian confidence man who turns into an unintentional hero while impersonating a patriot imprisoned by the Nazis.

Hanieh Pedram is also competing for the award with her translation of American novelist writer Carson McCullers’s 1946 novel “The Member of the Wedding”.

Also among the nominees are a translation of French author Emile Zola’s 1867 novel “Thérèse Raquin” by Mohammad Nejabati and a rendition of Ecuadorian writer Mauro Javier Cardenas’s 2016 novel “The Revolutionaries Try Again” by Tahura Ayati.

The Abolhassan Najafi Award is a private Iranian literary prize that is given to a Persian translator of a novel or short story collection every year.

The winner will be announced during a special ceremony at the Book City Institute in Tehran next week.

The award was established in the name of Abolhassan Najafi (1930-2016), a linguist and translator of French literature, by his family and the Book City Institute in 2016.

Photo: A combination photo shows the front covers of the nominees for the 2023 Abolhassan Najafi Award.

Source: Tehran Times