2016 Winners



Christine Donougher
for her translation of Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, Penguin Classics / Penguin Random House 
Read an Interview with Christine Donougher 

About the Book

A brilliant new translation by Christine Donougher of Victor Hugo's thrilling masterpiece, with an introduction by Robert Tombs. Victor Hugo's tale of injustice, heroism and love follows the fortunes of Jean Valjean, an escaped convict determined to put his criminal past behind him. 

“You may think that 1,300 pages is a huge investment of time when the story is so familiar, but no adaptation can convey the addictive pleasure afforded by Victor Hugo’s narrative voice: by turns chatty, crotchety, buoyant and savagely ironical, it’s made to seem so contemporary and fresh in Donougher’s rendering that the book has all the resonance of the most topical state-of-the-nation novel.” – Jake Kerridge, The Telegraph

About the Translator

Christine Donougher is a freelance translator and editor. She has translated numerous books from French and Italian, and won the 1992 Scott Moncrieff Translation Prize for her translation of Sylvie Germain's The Book of Nights. 

Read more about Les MiserablesHide



Malcolm DeBevoise
for his translation of Birth of a Theorem by Cédric Villani, Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Read an Interview wtih Malcolom DeBevoise 

About the Book 

How does a genius see the world? Where and how does inspiration strike? Cedric Villani takes us on a mesmerizing adventure as he wrestles with the Boltzmann equation - a new theorem that will eventually win him the most coveted prize in mathematics and a place in the mathematical history books. 

“Compellingly readable . . . I am not aware of any other account that so lucidly describes the desolation felt by mathematicians when a solution simply refuses to be found . . . But as Birth of a Theorem shows, the exhilaration when a breakthrough occurs is beyond compare.” – Noel-Ann Bradshaw, Times Higher Education

About the Translator

Malcolm DeBevoise's translations, from the French and Italian, including more than thirty works in every branch of scholarship, have been widely praised. He lives in New Orleans.  

Read more about Birth of a TheoremHide


Steven Rendall
for his translation of Bonaparte: 1769-1802 by Patrice Gueniffey, Harvard University Press
Read an Interview with Steven Rendall 

About the Book

This book, hailed as a masterwork on its publication in France, takes up the epic narrative at the heart of this turbulent period: the life of Napoleon himself. Gueniffey follows Bonaparte from his obscure boyhood in Corsica, to his meteoric rise during the Italian and Egyptian campaigns of the Revolutionary wars, to his proclamation as Consul for Life in 1802. Bonaparte is the story of how Napoleon became Napoleon. 

“Wonderfully lyrical, historically nuanced exploration of the irruption of this Romantic hero…A masterful portrait, staggeringly complete and contradictory and fluently translated—a delight to read.” – Kirkus Reviews

About the Translator

Steven Rendall has translated more than fifty books from French and German, two of which have won major translation prizes. He is professor emeritus of Romance Languages at the University of Oregon and editor emeritus of Comparative Literature. His translation of Harald Weinrich's Lethe: The Art and Critique of Forgetting won the MLA's Scaglione Translation Prize in 2005. He currently lives in France.  

Read more about Bonaparte: 1769-1802Hide