Literature

Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize

The annual Helen and Kurt Wolff Tanslator's Prize is awarded each spring to honor an outstanding literary translation from German into English published in the USA the previous year. The translator of the winning translation will receive US-$ 10,000.00. The prize was established in 1996 and is administered by the Goethe-Institut Chicago. It is funded by the German government.

About Helen and Kurt Wolff

Kurt Wolff, joined later by his wife Helen, was one of the most outstanding and innovative publishers in Germany of the 1920s. Helen and Kurt Wolff immigrated to New York in 1941, and founded Pantheon Books, a publishing house devoted mainly to the translation of German and other European literature. Herman Broch, Stefan George and Robert Musil were among the authors they published. In 1961 the couple joined the firm Harcourt Brace Jovanovich where they became co-publishers with their own imprint "Helen and Kurt Wolff Books". Upon her husband's death in 1963, Helen Wolff continued to work with authors on the Wolff list, expanding it to include Karl Jaspers, Walter Benjamin, Uwe Johnson, Günter Grass, Max Frisch, Jurek Becker, Hans Joachim Schädlich, and many others.

Helen Wolff was recognized for her work with an Inter Nationes Award, the Goethe-Medaille, and honorary doctorates from Mount Holyoke, Smith College and Dartmouth College. In 1994 she was awarded the Friedrich Gundolf Prize by the Deutsche Akademie für Sprache und Dichtung (German Academy for Language and Literature) for her promotion of German culture in the USA, and for making German literature accessible to American readers. Helen Wolff died on March 28, 1994 at the age of 87.

    Guidelines for Publisher

    Bild MedienPublishers are invited to submit six copies of a published translation from the German language into English. The deadline for submissions is set for end of January.

    The translation must be published (not only distributed) in Canada or the US in the year prior to the submission deadline date.

    Entries may be fiction or non-fiction and may include: novels, novellas, short stories, plays, poetry, biographies, essays and correspondences.

    A five-member jury will select the winning translation.

    The selected translator of the will be invited, with travel and accommodations paid, to the award ceremony in Chicago. It will be hosted by the German Consul General of Chicago and will take place in June 2014.

      Book Submissions and Prize Recipients

      Bild MedienThe Wolff Translator's Prize has been awarded to a series of outstanding translators:

        2014

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        2013

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        2012

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        2011

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        2010

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        2009

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        2008

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        2007

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        2006

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        2005

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        2004

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        2003

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        2002

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        2001

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        2000

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        1999

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        1998

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        1997

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        1996

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