The French-American Foundation and the Florence Gould Foundation Announce Winners of 25th Annual Translation Prize

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The French-American Foundation and the Florence Gould Foundation announce today the winners of the 25th Annual Translation Prize for superior English translations of French prose published in 2011. This Translation Prize is the largest annual award for translations of French prose into English.

This year three winners were selected:


  •   Marina Harss for The Mirador: Dreamed Memories of Irène Némirovsky by Her Daughter by Élisabeth Gille (New York Review Books)
      Written a decade before the publication of Suite Française made Irène Némirovsky famous once more, her daughter’s book reveals the ambiguity in Némirovsky’s life and work in a profound and empathetic way. 

Non Fiction:

  •   Arthur Goldhammer for The Ancien Régime and the French Revolution by Alexis de Tocqueville (Cambridge University Press)
      An undisputed classic in which Tocqueville’s subtlety of style and profundity of thought offer a challenge to readers.
  •  Richard Howard for When the World Spoke French by Marc Fumaroli (New York Review Books)
    A gallery of incisive portraits of eighteenth-century Europeans and Americans who conversed and corresponded in French at a time when French culture set the standard for all of Europe. 

In each category, the winner is awarded a $10,000 prize, funded by the Florence Gould Foundation. For the non-fiction category, this year’s two winners are splitting the prize. All of the finalists and winners were honored at a special ceremony last night in New York.

Jurors for this year’s competition included Linda Asher, David Bellos, Linda Coverdale, Serge Gavronsky, Lorin Stein and Lily Tuck.

25th Anniversary of the French-American Foundation and Florence Gould Foundation Translation Prize

The French-American Foundation and Florence Gould Foundation also celebrated the 25th anniversary of their prestigious Translation Prize last night.

This special occasion was commemorated with a discussion on the current challenges of working with translations and featuring special guests:

  • David Bellos, an author, translator and Professor of French and Translation at Princeton University
  • Lydia Davis, an author and translator
  • Lorin Stein, a translator and the Editor of the Paris Review
  • Alyson Waters, a translator and Professor of French and Translation at Yale University and New York University  

This event was organized in partnership with the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in New York.

“For 25 years, we have been working with the support of the Florence Gould Foundation to recognize excellence in the field of French to English translation. It is a valuable opportunity for us to honor talented translators, to recognize the editors and publishing houses that support their work, and to promote diverse French literature to a new, English-speaking audience in the United States. It is an honor to congratulate this year’s winning translators,” said Allan Chapin, Chairman of the French-American Foundation Board of Directors. 

About the French American Foundation-United States 

The French-American Foundation is the only non-governmental organization in the United States dedicated specifically to strengthening the bilateral relationship between the two countries. It does so by bringing together leaders, policy makers and a full range of professionals to exchange views, share best practices and consider how each country might profit from the expertise and experience of the other. The Foundation, and its sister Foundation in France, were founded concurrently in 1976.

About the Florence Gould Foundation 

The Florence Gould Foundation is an American foundation devoted to French-American exchange and friendship. Born of French parents in San Francisco in 1895, Florence Gould lived both in the United States and France during her lifetime. At her death in 1993, Florence Gould left the bulk of her fortune to the foundation bearing her name.