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Helen & Kurt Wolff Translator's Prize
Shortlist 2022


"The state of our world, rocked as it is by a new and shocking war, political strife at home and abroad, and an ongoing pandemic, appears to have increased our reliance on literature to offer solace, entertainment, and enrichment. The thirty-two German-to-English book-length translations submitted for this year’s Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize are most impressive in their scope, their storytelling, and their masterful language, and from this remarkable group of texts, the five that constitute this year’s shortlist stand out for their exquisite and compelling wordsmithery. Whether we readers are contemplating the nature of ants in their societies, or of okapis that appear in dream visions, whether we are climbing the Strudlhof Steps in Vienna or wending our way up a bicycle path in the Canary Islands on a New Year’s Day—or recapturing the spirit of an era of theory—we are transported through the power of the words that make these books come alive in their new linguistic garb. Each shines a light on what the finest translations can accomplish, and we jurors congratulate, honor, and thank the five shortlisted translators for the pleasure and insights that their works afford us."

- Shelley Frisch, Jury Chair

tony crawford

Tony Crawford © Jamila Barra For his translation of philipp felsch's the summer of theory: history of rebellion 1960-1990
(polity press, 2021)

Tony Crawford is an American translator in Berlin. His translation of Wonder Beyond Belief by Navid Kermani won the 2018 Schlegel-Tieck Prize.


vincent kling

Vincent Kling © Vincent Kling For his translation of heimito von doderer's the strudlhof steps
(New york review books, 2021)

Vincent Kling teaches English, German, and French at La Salle University in Philadelphia. His dissertation was on the early works of Hugo von Hofmannsthal. He has translated Doderer, Veteranyi, Fritsch, Bahr, and Jonke, as well as Heimrad Bäcker, Hofmannsthal, Andreas Pittler, Engelbert Pfeiffer, and Werner Kofler. He was awarded the Schlegel-Tieck Prize in 2013 for his translation of Veteranyi’s novel Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta.

tess Lewis

Tess Lewis © Annette Hornischer For her translation of mariana leky's what you can see from here
(Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 2021)

Tess Lewis is a writer and translator from French and German. Her translations include works by Peter Handke, Walter Benjamin, Jonas Lüscher and Philippe Jaccottet. Her recent awards include the PEN Translation Prize for Maja Haderlap’s Angel of Oblivion and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Her essays and reviews have appeared in a number of journals and newspapers. She is an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review and co-curator of the Festival Neue Literatur, New York City’s annual festival of German language literature in English.

alta l. price

Alta L. Price © Donnelly Marks For her translation of juli zeh's new year
(world editions, 2021)

Alta L. Price runs a publishing consultancy specialized in literature and nonfiction texts on art, architecture, design, and culture. Alta’s translations from Italian and German into English include books by Anna Goldenberg, Dana Grigorcea, Alexander Kluge, Aldo Novarese, Martin Mosebach, Juli Zeh, and Mithu Sanyal’s forthcoming novel Identitti (Astra House, 2022).

Ayça Türkoğlu

Ayça Türkoğlu © Thomas Waters For her translation of Susanne Foitzik and Olaf Fritsche's empire of ants
(the experiment, 2021)

Ayça Türkoğlu studied European and Middle Eastern Languages at the University of Oxford before going on to study Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia. She translates from German and Turkish and is based in London. Her most recent translations include Selim Özdoğan's Anatolian Blues Trilogy (co-translated with Katy Derbyshire) and Slime: A Natural History by Susanne Wedlich, published by Granta.


Shelley Frisch (Chair), Bettina Abarbanell, Philip Boehm, John Hargraves, Susan Harris