University of Northampton’s Professor Janet Wilson wins prestigious award for research into New Zealand literature

Date 16.11.2015

Professor Janet Wilson, a lecturer in English and Postcolonial Studies, has recently been awarded the 2014 AEDEAN translation prize for her work on Un Pais de Ceuento: Veinte relatos de Nueva Zelanda.

The  first ever book of New Zealand short stories translated into Spanish, Un Pais de Ceuento: Veinte relatos de Nueva Zelanda was edited by Professor Wilson and Dr Paloma Fresno Calleja from the University of Balearic Isles.

The translation was funded by a Santander award from the University of Northampton. A collaborative effort, Professor Wilson provided notes on the English texts and wrote the introduction, while Dr Fresno made the translation into Spanish.

The book, published by the University of Zaragoza Press, was awarded the 2014 AEDEAN translation prize at the Annual Conference of the Spanish Association of Anglo-American Studies

Professor Wilson commented: “This is a triumph, and we are thrilled.  Zaragoza University Press is to be congratulated on publishing Un Pais de Cuento; the first ever volume of New Zealand short stories translated into Spanish, and so is Paloma Fresno Calleja for a vivid scholarly translation.”

“Dr Paloma Fresno Calleja has a strong research interest in contemporary New Zealand writing and when I won Santander funding for research at the University of Northampton, I saw her as the ideal collaborator to undertake a translation of some New Zealand short stories into Spanish,” Janet continued.

“We spent a lot of time selecting our twenty best stories over the last hundred years, including canonical authors like Katherine Mansfield, Frank Sargeson, Janet Frame, Maurice Duggan,  Maurice Gee, Patricia Grace, and Fiona Kidman, and aiming for a balance in terms of age, gender and theme.  In planning to present a flavor of the diverse voices in New Zealand prose fiction we included Samoan writer Albert Wendt and relative newcomer Sue Orr. When it came to the translation we focused on ‘Kiwi’ features of the language – idioms, colloquial and allusive phrases that ring true for local readers but are often resistant to translation. We consulted dictionaries of New Zealand English, dictionaries of slang and colloquialisms, and Spanish dictionaries in the search for equivalents. Finally we had to find a publisher and were delighted when The University of Zaragoza Press took on the project