The 2023 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation
Congratulations to the winners and honorable mentions for the 2023 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation, judged by Katrina Dodson.
Izidora Angel's translation of “She Who Remains” by Rene Karabash
Reid Dempsey's translation of “The Factory” by Saša Stanišic
Travis Price's translation of “Caribe Oriental” by Mercedes Estramil
Katrina Dodson, on the winner:
She Who Remains reads like a dark fairy tale from a time when life was lived closer to the bone, yet is grounded in the ways that centuries-old traditional laws, called the Kanun, have continued to shape village life in the Albanian Alps. Bold and visionary, Rene Karabash’s novel unfurls a world of blood feuds and sworn virgins—women accepted into society as men—in a dreamlike narration that burns up the page with feverish urgency. Izidora Angel’s translation from Bulgarian thrillingly captures the novel’s dense tapestry of hypnotic language, arresting imagery, and an acute sense of the rural mountain setting (“the rooted army of rock formations”) and creates a passionate and propulsive rhythm in English that carries the reader through the difficult subject matter and disorienting storyline, the latter a reflection of the main character’s fragmented memory of pivotal events.
Izidora Angel is a Bulgarian-born writer and literary translator in Chicago. She is the author of three book length translations. Her work on Yordanka Beleva’s collection, Keder, received a 2023 NEA translation fellowship; her work on She Who Remains by Rene Karabash was awarded the 2023 Gulf Coast Translation Prize. Izidora's essays, interviews, and translations have been featured in Astra Magazine, Words Without Borders, Electric Literature, Firmament, Two Lines Journal, Chicago Reader, and elsewhere, and her translation of the short story Family Portrait of the Black Earth by Yordanka Beleva is forthcoming in Deep Vellum’s inaugural anthology, Best Literature in Translation 2024. Izidora's writing has been supported by English PEN, Art Omi, Bread Loaf, the Rona Jaffe Foundation, and by the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation, which awarded her a writing fellowship in 2023 for her in-progress memoir.