Author, Researcher, Peace & Conflict Professional


  • 2016/2017 apexart New York City (NYC) Fellow
  • 2014 Winner Burt Award for African Literature, Kenya Chapter
  • 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing nominee
  • Ist Prize, Adult Fiction Category – NBDCK  Literary Awards, September 2008 Book Week


The winners of this year’s Best Translated Book Award (BTBA) have been announced on The Millions website and at the Folly in New York as Yuri Herrera for her book Signs Preceding the End of the World, translated from the Spanish by Lisa Dillman, for fiction, and Angélica Freitas’s Rilke Shake, translated from the Portuguese by Hilary Kaplan, for poetry. This is the ninth edition of the BTBA and the fifth in which the four winning authors and translators will receive $5,000.00 cash prizes in collaboration with funding from the Amazon Literary Partnership program.


Herrera’s novel is about Makina, a young woman who leaves behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother, she is smuggled into the USA carrying a pair of secret messages, one from her mother and one from the Mexican underworld. Freitas’s collection on the other hand is a hilarious debut collection of poetry that among other rib-cracking pieces introduces a sushi chef who cries tears of Suntory Whisky!


The BTBA is an American literary award that recognizes the previous year's best original translation into English in the two categories of Fiction and poetry. It was inaugurated in 2008 and is conferred by Three Percent, the online literary magazine of Open Letter Books, which is the book translation press of the University of Rochester.


Lisa Dillman has translated almost a dozen books over the past few years, including works by Andrés Barba and Eduardo Halfon.


Translations have of late gotten a boost and this can only be good news for the literary world as readers get access to books which they couldn’t read before. Three of my current favourite reads which have been doing well had been in the running but didn’t win and these are Fiston Mujila’s debut Tram 83 which recently won the Etisalat Prize, Angolan José Eduardo Agualusa’s A General Theory of Oblivion and Elena Ferannte’s The Story of the Lost Child which were all on the 2016 Best Translated Book Award Long-list Announced - Things to do with translations can only get better!


Congratulations to the winners!


Images courtesy of Amazon.








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