The NTA Countdown to ALTA43: A Couple of Soles

Join us as we count down to the ALTA43: In Between awards ceremony with the National Translation Award in Poetry and Prose longlisted titles! We will be featuring the titles in alphabetical order alongside blurbs penned by our judges for the National Translation Awards in Poetry and Prose. This year’s judges for prose are Amaia Gabantxo, Emmanuel D. Harris II, and William Maynard Hutchins. This year’s judges for poetry are Ilya Kaminsky, Lisa Katz, and Farid Matuk.

The awards ceremony will air on October 15, 2020 on ALTA’s Crowdcast page: you can register to attend the NTA in Prose announcement here, and the NTA in Poetry announcement here. Find the full list of longlisted titles here.

Today we’re shining the spotlight on NTA in Prose longlisted title A Couple of Soles:

A Couple of Soles
by Li Yu
translated from the Chinese by Jing Shen and Robert E. Hegel
(Columbia University Press)

To have actors act a play about an acting school,
. . .
A leading lady and a leading man,
Form a match that’s made in Heaven!

In translating this delightful 17th-century Chinese romp, Jing Shen and Robert E. Hegel have used their meticulous scholarship to create a lively comedy in which a young scholar and a young actress outwit her parents and corrupt government officials. The translators’ critical apparatus is as thorough as it is unobtrusive.

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