October 16, 2021—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2021 National Translation Award (NTA) in Prose! 2021 marks the twenty-third year for the NTA, and the seventh year to award separate prizes in poetry and prose. The NTA, which is administered by ALTA, is the only national award for translated fiction, poetry, and literary nonfiction that includes a rigorous examination of both the source text and its relation to the finished English work. This year’s judges for prose are Jennifer Croft, Anton Hur, and Annie Janusch.
This year’s winner was awarded at the ALTA’s 44th annual conference, Inflection Points, held jointly virtually and in-person in Tucson, AZ. The ceremony was held virtually, and included a focus on the 2021 shortlist, presented by judge Anton Hur, and the winner was featured in conversation with him and then conducted a brief reading. The announcement will be viewable on the ALTA Crowdcast channel. The winner will be awarded a $2,500 prize.
Winner: 2021 National Translation Award in Prose
No Presents Please: Mumbai Stories
By Jayant Kaikini
Translated from Kannada by Tejaswini Niranjana
From the judges:
No Presents Please deserves all the presents for its intimate and life-affirming portrayal of ordinary people in Mumbai. This collection of short stories features a range of people, from a modest shop owner who passes on his late parents’ love, to a Bollywood stunt artist about to take to the air one more time. Each story is a perfectly crafted world where the unexpected suddenly expands the reader’s horizons in a single thrilling and affecting moment. Jayant Kaikini’s generous vision combines with Tejaswini Niranjana’s virtuoso translation to create a reading experience that is distinctly of its place, and profoundly universal at the same time.
Tejaswini Niranjana is a cultural theorist and translator. She is author of Siting Translation: History, Post- Structuralism and the Colonial Context, and several other academic books. She has curated the Saath-Saath Project, a set of collaborations between Indian and Chinese musicians, and produced three documentary films relating to music. For her translations from Kannada into English, she has been awarded the Central Sahitya Akademi Award, the State Sahitya Akademi Award, and the JCB Prize for South Asian Literature.
The 2022 National Translation Award in Prose submissions portal will be opened in January 2022.