Heritage Florida Jewish News - Central Florida's Independent Jewish Voice

Yiddish Book Center shortlisted for The London Book Fair


February 28, 2020

AMHERST, MA—The Yiddish Book Center announced that it has been shortlisted for The London Book Fair International Excellence Awards 2020 for The Literary Translation Initiative Award.

The awards, held in partnership with the UK Publishers Association, celebrate publishing success in 16 categories, representing the best publishing ambassadors, innovative publishing, and ground-breaking initiatives in the industry. In each award category, the judging panel was comprised of experts in that sector.

“We are thrilled to receive the news that the Yiddish Book Center has been shortlisted for the London Book Fair’s 2020 International Excellence Awards for The Literary Translation Initiative Award. Over the past year we are excited to see how our Translation Initiative is bearing fruit through the work of our 60 Translation Fellows, the launch of our publishing imprint, White Goat Press, and two new programs aimed at bringing these translations to new readers through our Great Jewish Books Book Club and our Reading Groups for Public Libraries program. The shortlist is a recognition of our efforts to bring these forgotten treasures to English readers around the world,” said Aaron Lansky, Yiddish Book Center founder and president.

On making the announcement, Jacks Thomas, director of The London Book Fair, commented, “This record number of countries shortlisted for the seventh LBF International Excellence Awards—with entries from 29 countries—really does shout that the global book industry continues to thrive through innovation, inspiration and sheer hard work across the globe The awards capture the passion that underpins the commitment of those working in this global village to share the power of books.”

The Yiddish Book Center launched its Translation Initiative in 2012 with the goal of training and mentoring a new generation of literary translators and bringing newly translated works to publication through the Center’s White Goat Press imprint, a grant program for academic presses, and partnering with publishers.

The Yiddish Book Center has continued to expand its Translation Initiative through two new programs: the Center’s Great Jewish Books Book Club, whose selections are now all works in translation that are being read by Book Club members around the world, and the Center’s recently announced “Coming to America” Reading Groups for Public Libraries program, part of the Yiddish Book Center’s Decade of Discovery initiative. This program, taking place in libraries across the country, presents American identity as an ongoing conversation, using Yiddish literature in translation as a portal to exploring questions of identity, assimilation, language, cuisine, and generational change.

The LBF International Excellence Awards ceremony, an invitation-only event, takes place on Tuesday, 10 March 2020, in London. Two members of the Yiddish Book Center staff will be on hand at the Fair and awards ceremony: Madeleine Cohen, director of translation and collections initiatives, and Lisa Newman, director of communications.


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