Subha Prasad Sanyal wins the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize 2018


Harvill Secker have announced that Subha Prasad Sanyal is the winner of the 2018 Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize. The prize was awarded at the International Translation Day reception at the Free Word Centre on 28th September 2018.

Subha receives £1,000 and a selection of VINTAGE titles. He will also take part in a National Centre for Writing Emerging Translator Mentorship, with acclaimed translator and judge of this year’s prize Arunava Sinha.

Subha’s winning translation, After Half-time by Shamik Ghosh, is available to read on the Granta website

On receiving his award, Subha said: ‘I was taken by surprise when I first heard that I’d won the Young Translators’ Prize. Translation as an art deserves far more popular recognition and awareness, and I am honoured to be a part of its propagation by Harvill Secker and the National Centre for Writing. Translation between Bengali and English, especially, represents a cross-cultural handshake, which looks past colonial history. Today, in a globally pervasive atmosphere of insularity, translation encourages the necessary communication between different cultures and demographics. I look forward to being mentored by Arunava Sinha, and under his guidance, hope to sharpen my understanding of both the languages I love, and all that lies between them.’

Now in its ninth year, the Harvill Secker Young Translators’ Prize aims to recognise the achievements of young translators at the start of their careers. The prize is open to anyone between the ages of 18 and 34, with no restriction on country of residence. This year’s chosen language was Bengali and entrants were asked to translate a short story by Shamik Ghosh, from his collection Elvis O Amolasundari.

The judges – Arunava Sinha, Tahmima Anam, Kate Harvey and Mikaela Pedlow – commented: ‘We were very impressed with the range of entries this year, which came in from all over the world: from Kolkata and California, from Dublin and Montreal! Bengali literature is still largely under-represented in English translation, so this widespread enthusiasm was especially exciting to see. From the many impressive entries, Subha’s translation stood out for its confident and immersive prose, displaying both creativity and faithfulness to the spirit of Shamik Ghosh’s original.’

Subha Prasad Sanyal, 18, is an undergraduate student at Jadavpur University in Kolkata, India, studying English Language and Literature. Previously, he attended Modern English Academy, in Barrackpore, where he was on the editorial board for the school magazine. He is interested in a wide variety of things, including cinema, literature, tech, photography and physical sciences. He is a notorious biryani enthusiast and dreams of one day becoming a professor of English at Oxford. 

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