The Polish Book Institute, the Polish Cultural Institute in London, and the Polish Cultural Institute in New York are delighted to announce that Anna Zaranko has been awarded the 2023 Found in Translation Award, for her translation of Wladyslaw Reymont's ‘The Peasants’, which was published by Penguin Classics in 2022.
The year 2022 saw a remarkable selection of outstanding Polish books, now available in English. The longlist featured a blend of classic and contemporary works, spanning a diverse range of literary genres, from prose to poetry, historical and academic essays, making it an impressive celebration of the richness and diversity of Polish literature.
Translating a piece that subtly delivers a powerful impact on the reader's mind and heart can be a daunting task, yet Anna Zaranko managed to do just that in her translation of Reymont’s 'The Peasants'. The committee recognized Zaranko for her remarkable ability to convey the energy, drama, and humor of the original work.
Megan Thomas, the co-recipient of the 2021 Found in Translation Award, said: ‘Anna Zaranko's astonishing, enthralling translation plunges readers into a world thrumming with life, gliding with seeming effortlessness between salty gossip and piercing longing, wry observation and exquisite lyricism. In her hands, the novel's 900+ pages fly by--a pure pleasure.’
Director of the Polish Cultural Institute, dr Marta de Zuniga said: ‘This is Anna Zaranko's second Found in Translation Award, which demonstrates her masterful skills as a translator. We are delighted to have talented individuals like Anna translating the finest Polish literature, ensuring that the quality of the original remains intact.’
As Ursula Phillips noticed in her review of ‘The Peasants’, one of the notable aspects of the novel is the 'peasant-speak' language created by the author, which does not reflect any dialect spoken in rural Poland. Zaranko's translation approaches this language with a light touch, utilizing colorful informal speech that avoids any reliance on British dialects, while still retaining its northern rhythm at times.
Zaranko's approach not only makes the original text accessible to contemporary readers but also helps to maintain its authenticity. As a result, her translation is a remarkable testament to her exceptional skill and expertise in translation, and it stands as a significant achievement in the field of Polish literature in translation.
About the book
Wladyslaw Reymont's masterpiece is a richly poetic and realistic portrayal of the joys and sorrows of rural life. It is both comic and tragic, introspective, and a tribute to the timeless matters of the heart that persist despite the passage of time. Set in the village of Lipce, the novel brilliantly captures the scandal, romance, and drama. The wealthiest farmer in the village, Boryna, who marries the young and beautiful Jagusia, but she only has eyes for his impetuous son Antek. The tangled skein of their story unravels over the course of four seasons, Autumn to Summer, watched eagerly by the other peasants, including the gossip Jagustynka, pious Roch, hot-blooded Mateusz, and gentle Witek.
Reymont wrote and published ‘The Peasants’ between 1904 and 1909. The book's universal theme led to Reymont receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1924, which saw its subsequent translation into several European languages.
About the translator
Anna Zaranko was born in England to Polish parents. She took a First Class degree in Russian from the University of Durham and went on to hold two British Council scholarships at the Jagiellonian University in Krakow. She did research towards a D.Phil. in Polish literature at Oxford University (where she was also an assistant editor at POLIN – a journal of studies in Polish Jewry) but moved into publishing, alongside freelance editing, writing, reviewing, and translating (from Polish, Russian, and French). In 2015, she was an American Literary Translators’ Association Mentee, working with Bill Johnson. In 2020 Anna received Found in Translation Award for her translation of The Memoir of an Anti-hero by Kornel Filipowicz, published by Penguin Modern Classics in 2019.
She is currently working on short stories by Kornel Filipowicz, and Julia Fiedorczuk’s Pod Słońcem (Under the Sun). Her other translations include The Memoir of Anti-hero by Kornel Filipowicz (2019), A Portrait of the Provinces by Jacenty and Katarzyna Dędek (2020), When They Come in Our Dreams by Kornel Filipowicz (Przekrój Magazine, 2019), Medulla by Julia Fiedorczuk (Przekrój Magazine, 2019), Warsaw Ghetto Diary and Letters by Janusz Korczak (Vallentine Mitchell Publishers, 2018), Julia Fiedorczuk’s The Midden (Dalkey Archive’s Best European Fiction 2018), Moss (Asymptote Journal, 5 June 2018), and War (Words Without Borders, February 2017), The Doll by Bolesław Prus (original translation by David Welsh, revised by Dariusz Tołczyk and Anna Zaranko, Central European University Press, 1996), and short stories by Hanna Krall and Urszula Benka (Storm: Writing from East and West, 1991-1992).
Anna Zaranko will be a guest on an upcoming episode of the series Encounters with Polish Literature, which is available on the Polish Cultural Institute NY's YouTube channel.
2022 – Jennifer Croft for The Books of Jacob by Olga Tokarczuk (Fitzcarraldo Editions, the U.K., 2021) (Riverhead Books, the U.S., 2022)
2021 – Ewa Małachowska-Pasek and Megan Thomas for The Career of Nicodemus Dyzma by Tadeusz Dołęga-Mostowicz (Northwestern University Press, 2020)
2020 – Anna Zaranko for The Memoir of an Anti-hero by Kornel Filipowicz (Penguin Modern Classics, 2019)
2019 – Madeline G. Levine for Collected Stories by Bruno Schulz (Northwestern University Press, 2018)
2018 – Jennifer Croft for Flights by Olga Tokarczuk (Fitzcarraldo Editions (UK) and Riverhead Books (US), 2017)
2017 – Piotr Florczyk for Building the Barricade by Anna Świrszczyńska (Tavern Books, 2016)
2016 – Bill Johnston for Twelve Stations by Tomasz Różycki (Zephyr Press, 2015)
2015 – Ursula Phillips for Choucas by Zofia Nałkowska (Northern Illinois University Press, 2014)
2014 – Philip Boehm for Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall (Peirene Press, 2013)
2013 – Antonia Lloyd-Jones for the entirety of her translating output in 2012: Paweł Huelle’s Cold Sea Stories (Comma Press), Jacek Dehnel’s Saturn (Dedalus Press), Zygmunt Miłoszewski’s A Grain of Truth (Bitter Lemon Press), Artur Domosławski’s Ryszard Kapuściński, A Life (Verso Books), Wojciech Jagielski’s The Night Wanderers (Seven Stories & Old Street Publishing), Andrzej Szczeklik’s Kore: On Sickness, the Sick and the Search for the Soul of Medicine (Counterpoint Press), Janusz Korczak’s Kaytek the Wizard (Urim Publications/Penlight Press)
2012 – Joanna Trzeciak for Sobbing Superpower by Tadeusz Różewicz (W. W. Norton & Company, 2011)
2011 – Clare Cavanagh and Stanisław Barańczak for Here by Wisława Szymborska (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010)
2010 – Danuta Borchardt for Pornografia by Witold Gombrowicz (Grove Press, 2009)
2009 – Antonia Lloyd-Jones for The Last Supper by Paweł Huelle (Serpent’s Tail, 2008)
2008 – Bill Johnston for New Poems by Tadeusz Różewicz (Archipelago Books, 2007)
The award was established in 2008. It is given every year to an author/authors of the best Polish literature translation into English that was published in a book form in the past calendar year. The award is a one-month residence in Kraków, Poland with a monthly grant of 2,000 PLN, a flight to and from Kraków and a financial award of 16,000 PLN.
The award is given by the jury consisting of representatives of its organisers: The Polish Book Institute Warsaw / Kraków, The Polish Cultural Institute London, and The Polish Cultural Institute New York as well as translators, the laureates of the last two editions.
For more information about the award please contact Łucja Gawkowska e -mail: email@example.com with a postscript FOUND IN TRANSLATION AWARD.