Our jury

Program Advisors and Jurors

The 2020 Translation Prize Jury consists of:


  • Linda Asher

    – Translator and former Fiction Editor, The New Yorker

A longtime fiction editor at The New Yorker, Linda Asher has translated work by Milan Kundera, Restif de la Bretonne, Victor Hugo, Honoré de Balzac, Georges Simenon, Jean-Pierre Vernant, and others. She was awarded the French-American Foundation, the ASCAP/Deems Taylor, and the Scott Moncrieff translation prizes, and is a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of the French government.


  • Esther Allen

    – Professor, City University of New York, and Co-Founder, PEN World Voices Festival

Professor in the Ph.D. Programs in French and in Latin American, Iberian and Latino Cultures at City University of New York Graduate Center and at Baruch College (CUNY), Esther Allen co-founded the PEN World Voices Festival in 2005, and guided the work of the PEN/Heim Translation Fund from its inception in 2003 to 2010. She is a two-time recipient of National Endowment for the Arts Translation Fellowships (1995 and 2010), and in 2006, the French government named her a Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Her translation of Zama, by Antonio Di Benedetto, won the American Literary Translators Association’s 2017 National Translation Award. She is a 2018 Guggenheim Fellow.


  • John Cullen

    – Translator

John Cullen was born and grew up in New Orleans and received graduate degrees from the Universities of Virginia and Texas. He is the translator of some fifty books from French, German, Italian, Spanish, and Greek. In 2010, his translation of Philippe Claudel’s novel Brodeck (published as Brodeck’s Report in the UK) won the Independent Foreign Fiction Award and the French-American Foundation Translation Prize. He lives on the Connecticut Shoreline.


  • Emmanuelle Ertel

-Associate Professor, New York University

Emmanuelle Ertel is an Associate Professor of contemporary French literature and translation at New York University. She is also a professional translator. Among her translations of American novels into French are Louis Begley’s The Man Who Was Late and As Max Saw It, Rick Moody’s The Black Veil, and Tom Perrotta’s Little Children and The Leftovers. Most recently, she translated Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, which was shortlisted for the 2015 National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and Pulitzer.


  • James B. Swenson

    – Vice Provost for Academic Affairs, Rutgers University

James Swenson is currently Vice Provost for Academic Affairs at Rutgers University (New Brunswick), where he has also served as Chair of French and Dean of Humanities. He is the author of On Jean-Jacques Rousseau: Considered as One of the First Authors of the Revolution, the translator of five books of contemporary French political philosophy, and the editor of a new critical edition of Jean-Jacques Rousseau’s Affaires de Corse. He is currently preparing the first complete transcription of the Favre Manuscripts, the earliest surviving drafts of Rousseau’s Emile.