2022 Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize

Harvill Secker is delighted to announce the two winners of the biannual prize. This year's focus language was Indonesian.

Harvill Secker Young Translators' Prize logo

Harvill Secker is delighted to announce Anandita ‘Didiet’ Budiman and Sekar Larasati Sulistya as the winners of the 2022 Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize for their joint translation from the Indonesian of Dua Muka Daun Pintu by Triskaidekaman. The prize was awarded at an online ceremony hosted by English PEN and the National Centre for Writing, on Friday 30th September, in celebration of International Translation Day.

The translators receive £1000 and a selection of Harvill Secker titles. They will also be mentored by celebrated translator and writer, Khairani Barokka as part of a National Centre for Writing Emerging Translator Mentorship. Now in its twelfth year, the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize aims to encourage and support the next generation of literary translators and focuses on a different language each year running. Entry is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 34, with entrants having no more than one full-length literary translation previously published. There is no restriction on country of residence. This year’s chosen language was Indonesian and entrants were asked to translate an excerpt from the novel Dua Muka Daun Pintu by Triskaidekaman.

The judges – translator Khairani Barokka, writer Intan Paramaditha, bookseller and publisher Maesy Ang and Harvill Secker editor and prize coordinator Mikaela Pedlow – gave the following statement:

‘This year we were thrilled to hear from nearly 100 aspiring and emerging young translators from all over the world including the UK, United States, Canada, France, Japan, Australia and Indonesia itself. This was an especially challenging translation task, not least because the excerpt from Dua Muka Daun Pintu by Triskaidekaman is narrated by an inanimate object – a door! We were hugely impressed with the creative and thoughtful approaches in the many different translations we read. In the end, the judges were unanimous in their selection, and it was revealed that a joint translation was the winner!'

'We congratulate Anandita ‘Didiet’ Budiman and Sekar Larasati on their winning translation, which won us over with its eagle-eyed attention to detail and faithfulness to and understanding of the original. They managed to handle the many different elements at play in the text, from the humorous to the surreal to the unnerving, with confidence, nuance and style. The judges have also named Olivia Kristina and Johanna Nuryadi as runners-up for their confident and astute translations. Congratulations to our 2022 finalists!’

A few words from our winners on receiving their award:

‘Waking up to the news that my friend Sekar and I had won the Young Translators' Prize was quite a surprise. I would like to express my gratitude to Harvill Secker, the National Centre for Writing, and our future mentor Khairani Barokka for extending this opportunity to us. Typing this, I remember the struggles we had as we translated the text for this competition. My mind then wanders to the collective circumstance we are currently going through. Lockdown after lockdown, it would be a lie to say that there are no personal hardships to be had as days come and go. From all this, I believe we can remind ourselves that for every struggle, there will be a way to overcome if we believe in ourselves and give it our all.’ – Didiet

‘Finding out that Didiet and I had won the Young Translators' Prize was so surprising, I burned my omelette while I was cooking. Triskaidekaman's unique piece was quite the challenge to translate. I am grateful to Penguin Random House, the National Centre for Writing, and our future mentor Khairani Barokka for this amazing opportunity. Translating takes a lot of linguistical skills, therefore I am excited to learn and sharpen my understanding of the languages I love.’ – Sekar 

Their winning translation, an excerpt from Triskaidekaman’s Dua Muka Daun Pintu, will be available to read on the Granta website shortly.

Our winners

ANANDITA ‘DIDIET’ BUDIMAN is an undergraduate student at Padjadjaran University, Indonesia, and is currently majoring in Japanese Studies. Having an interest in languages, specifically in how each language has its own intricacies and history, has led them to pursue an education in translation. They firmly believe translators can be mediators between different cultures and ways of thinking, an important position in an era where global communication networks are commonplace.

SEKAR LARASATI SULISTYA recently graduated from Padjadjaran University in West Java, Indonesia, where she majored in Japanese Studies. Born and raised in Pemalang, a small town where higher education is a privilege, her interest in culture and languages has led her to pursue an education in cultural studies. She likes learning new things and is currently interested in fiction books. She dreams of publishing her own book someday.


OLIVIA KRISTINA is a writer from Indonesia, who grew up switching between English and Indonesian as she studied in an international school but lived in Indonesia (still does!). Her passion for writing and stories led her to pursue a degree in English with Creative Writing at the University of Nottingham Malaysia. When she's not burying her head in books or binging a tv series, she's dancing and writing product communications for a fintech company.

JOHANNA NURYADI lives between Surabaya and Jakarta and recently graduated with a bachelor's degree in Mathematics. With an interest in arts and culture, she is now seeking to embark on her next journey.

About Triskaidekaman

Photograph of Triskaidekaman from chest up, looking direct to the camera. She has short black hair and is wearing a burgundy short-sleeved shirt with pale pink leaf patterns.
Photo: Triskaidekaman

Triskaidekaman has spent most of her life in Jakarta, where she works in the healthcare industry and occasionally writes fiction. Her day-to-day job has partially driven her to craft fiction using scientific elements, but with imaginative twists. In 2017, she won the State University of Semarang Novel Writing Contest for Buku Panduan Matematika Terapan. This book and her second work, Cara Berbahagia Tanpa Kepala, were shortlisted for the Khatulistiwa Literary Award in 2018 and 2019. Her third novel, Cad*l: Sebuah Novel Tanpa Huruf E, was one of the Interesting Manuscripts from the 2019 Jakarta Arts Council Novel Writing Contest, and stood out as the first Indonesian lipogrammatic novel. Her most recent book, Dua Muka Daun Pintu, depicts an inanimate object as its protagonist. All of her aforementioned books were nominated for Tempo’s Best Prose Work of the Year (2018–2021) and are published by Gramedia Pustaka Utama.

The judges

A black and white photo of Khairani Barokka in profile. She is an Indonesian woman with short hair, a visible silver earring and dark dress
Photo: Khairani Barokka. Picture credit: Matthew Thompson.

KHAIRANI BAROKKA is the editor of Modern Poetry in Translation and a writer and artist from Jakarta with over two decades of professional translation experience. Okka’s work has been presented widely internationally and centres disability justice as anticolonial praxis, and access as translation. Among her honours, she has been Modern Poetry in Translation’s inaugural Poet-in-Residence, a UNFPA Indonesian Young Leader Driving Social Change, an Artforum Must-See, and Associate Artist at the UK’s National Centre for Writing. Okka’s books include Indigenous SpeciesRope and Stairs and Whispers: D/deaf and Disabled Poets Write Back (as co-editor). Her latest is Ultimatum Orangutan, shortlisted for the Barbellion Prize.

Photo of Intan Paramaditha, standing outdoors against a tree trunk. She is an Indonesian woman with long, dark hair and a fringe, wearing a knee-length red floral dress.
Photo: Intan Paramaditha.

INTAN PARAMADITHA is a writer and academic. Her novel The Wandering (Harvill Secker, Penguin Random House UK), translated from the Indonesian by Stephen J. Epstein, was nominated for the Stella Prize in Australia and awarded the Tempo Best Literary Fiction Prize in Indonesia, the English PEN Translates Award and the PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant from PEN America. She is the author of the short-story collection Apple and Knife and editor of Deviant Disciples: Indonesian Women Poets, part of the Translating Feminisms series by Tilted Axis Press. Her essay ‘On the Complicated Questions Around Writing About Travel’ was selected for The Best American Travel Writing 2021. She holds a PhD from New York University and teaches Media and Film Studies at Macquarie University, Sydney. 

Photograph of Maesy Ang, smiling at the camera, against a white background. She is an Indonesian woman with bob-length hair, wearing a sleeveless black top and polka dot skirt.
Photo: Maesy Ang.

MAESY ANG is a co-founder of POST, an independent bookstore and publisher in Pasar Santa, Jakarta. Together with Teddy W. Kusuma, Maesy edited the anthology The Book of Jakarta (Comma Press, 2020) which was also published in its original language as Cerita-Cerita Jakarta (POST Press, 2021), and wrote a novella, Semasa (POST Press, 2018). Maesy currently leads a team of social researchers at one of the social innovation labs in the Asia Pacific region.

Photograph of Mikaela Pedlow. She is seated at a table covered in notes, smiling at an out-of-focus man across from her.
Photo: Mikaela Pedlow.

MIKAELA PEDLOW is an editor at Harvill Secker, where she works with many international authors including Ismail Kadare, Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o, Per Petterson and K-Ming Chang. Mikaela is the coordinator of the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize.

Previous winners of the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize:

2010: ‘The Axe Falls’ by Matías Néspolo, translated from the Spanish by Beth Fowler

2011: ‘Gothic Night’ by Mansoura Ez Eldin, translated from the Arabic by Wiam El-Tamami

(available to read on Granta)

2012: ‘The Wig’ by Han Don, translated from the Chinese by Philip Hand

(available to read on Granta)

2013: ‘Success’ by Adriana Lisboa, translated from the Portuguese by Lucy Greaves

(available to read on Granta)

2014: ‘The Family Friend’ by Julia Franck, translated from the German by Eleanor Collins

(available to read on Granta)

2015: ‘The Tatoo’ by Maciej Miłkowski, translated from the Polish by Tul’si (Tuesday) Bhambry

(available to read on Granta)

2016: ‘Swimming Underwater’ by Merethe Lindstrøm, translated from the Norwegian by Marta Eidsvåg

(available to read on Granta)

2017: ‘Seven People with the Same Name and their Discrete Moments’ by Han Yujoo, translated from the Korean by Erica Chung

(available to read on Granta)

2018: ‘After Half-Time’ by Shamik Ghosh, translated from the Bengali by Subha Prasad Sanyal

(available to read on Granta)

2019: ‘Real Men’ by Mohamed Mbougar Sarr, translated from the French by Anna Leader

(available to read on Granta)

2020: ‘Nocturne’ by Yūshō Takiguchi, translated from the Japanese by Jesse Kirkwood

(available to read on Granta)

Harvill Secker is proud to work with:

National Centre for Writing logo

The Emerging Literary Translator Mentorships are run by the National Centre for Writing (NCW). NCW is based at Dragon Hall in Norwich, England’s first UNESCO City of Literature. The National Centre for Writing promotes great literature, inspires communities through the power of writing, reading and literary translation, nurtures literary talent and hosts world-class events.