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The Scott Moncrieff Prize 2018

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Dr Ruth Cruickshank co-judges the Scott Moncrieff prize for French literature in translation

  • Date15 February 2019

Dr Ruth Cruickshank was co-judge of the Scott Moncrieff Prize, one of seven prizes for literature in translation awarded at The British Library on 13 February 2019.


Dr Cruickshank with Emma O’Bryen, representing the prizewinner Sophe Yannow [photo: Adrian Pope ]

The prize went to Sophie Yannow’s collaborative translation of renowned Belgian comic-book author Dominique Goblet’s Pretending is Lying. This was the first time a Society of Authors translation prize has gone to a graphic novel, and Dr Cruickshank praised the achievement in her comments to the BBC World Service, which reported on the awards (link below).

Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Royal Holloway has a long association with the awards, organised by the Society of Authors. This is the second time Dr Cruickshank has acted as judge, and Professor Emily Jeremiah has co-judged the Schlegel-Tieck prize for translation from German on a number of occasions. In 2018 Royal Holloway launched its degree in Translation Studies.

Dr Cruickshank reflected on the experience: 'As I told the BBC World Service’s ‘The Newsroom', my co-judge, Booker-shortlisted novelist Michèle Roberts, and I were excited to read so many excellent translations, many by women, of different genres from across the French-speaking world. Having worked as a translator myself, I was impressed by the quality of the translated works, and I also found great inspiration for my French, Translation Studies and Comparative Literature and Culture teaching!

'We were both delighted to award the prize to cartoonist Sophie Yannow’s Pretending is Lying. Yannow does full justice to the symbiosis of image and text in Goblet’s autobiographic graphic novel. Pretending is Lying rises movingly to one of the most significant of translation challenges: communicating the unsayable, here trauma and its enduring effects.

The prize is a fitting tribute to a brilliant translation of an important and moving work which is an extraordinary example of a fast-maturing literary genre.'

For the next month you can listen to the BBC World Service report on the awards here (from 9:30).

For a full report on the Awards click here.

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