Announcing the Winner of the 2022 Italian Prose in Translation Award (IPTA): PENELOPE

Announcing the Winner of the 2022 Italian Prose in Translation Award (IPTA): PENELOPE

October 6, 2022—The American Literary Translators Association (ALTA) is pleased to announce the winner of the 2022 Italian Prose in Translation Award! Starting in 2015, the Italian Prose in Translation Award (IPTA) recognizes the importance of contemporary Italian prose (fiction and literary non-fiction) and promotes the translation of Italian works into English. This prize is awarded annually to a translator of a recent work of Italian prose (fiction or literary non-fiction). This year’s judges are Nerina Cocchi, Douglas Grant Heise, and Barbara Ofosu-Somuah.

This year’s winners were awarded at the Awards Ceremony held during ALTA’s 45th annual programming, ALTA45:  Value(s). The ceremony included a focus on the 2022 shortlist, and the winners were featured in conversation with judge Barbara Ofosu-Somuah, followed by a short reading by the translators from the winning text. The announcement was made on October 6, 2022 on ALTA’s Eventbrite page; a recording of the ceremony will be viewable there. The winners will share a $5,000 prize.

Winner: 2022 Italian Prose in Translation Award

Book cover of PENELOPE

By Silvana La Spina
Translated from Italian by Anna Chiafele and Lisa Pike
Bordighera Press

This is what the judges had to say about the winner:

Anna Chiafele and Lisa Pike’s co-translation, which flows like an original, delivers a poignant re-elaboration of Penelope’s mythical figure. Connecting the reader to a fabric as old as time, the translators weave Silvana La Spina’s evocative tongue into a sensitive journey that turns Ulysses’s myth on its head and brings to the forefront a feminine tale whose power resides not in station or duty, but in the progressive self-discovery of one’s own inner universe and desire. A tumultuous read that gives voice to one of Western history’s most univocally told figures, and opens up our understanding of her in the style of Mary Renault or Ursula Le Guin.

About the winners

Headshot of Anna Chiafele

Anna Chiafele is an Associate Professor of Italian Studies at Auburn University, Alabama. Chiafele has published a monograph on Luigi Malerba and scholarly articles on Italian writers, such as Massimo Carlotto, Elisabetta Bucciarelli, Ugo Riccarelli and Antonio Scurati. Her current research focuses on Italian climate fiction in conjunction with material ecocriticism. Together with Canadian writer Lisa Pike, Chiafele published the translation of three short stories by Malerba. Penelope is their first book-length translation.

[Image description: Anna, a middle-aged Caucasian woman, is standing in front of a grey background. Anna is smiling at the camera showing a big smile. She is wearing a white V-neck shirt; she is also wearing a necklace with two stars and small earrings. Finally, she has very short white hair and brown eyes.]

Headshot of Lisa Pika

Lisa Pike is the author of the novel My Grandmother’s Pill (Guernica Editions, 2014) and, most recently, of the short story collection, Industrial Roots, forthcoming in 2023 with Héloïse Press (UK). Her fiction, poetry, and collaborative translations have been published in various journals including Columbia JournalCV2, and VIA: Voices in Italian Americana. She has lived in both Italy and France, and holds her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from the University of Toronto. Her collaborative translations with Anna Chiafele include Silvana La Spina’s Penelope (Bordighera Press, 2021) and the short fiction of Luigi Malerba, including his collection Ti saluto filosofia.

[Image description: Lisa, a middle-aged light-skinned woman of English and eastern European origin, smiles at the camera. She is sitting at an outdoor café table with her left hand closed in a loose fist propping up the left side of her chin and cheek. Reading glasses sit atop her head. Her hair is brown with long bangs pushed to the left side; she wears a white blouse open at the neck and black cardigan.]

The 2023 Italian Prose in Translation Award submissions portal will be opened in January 2023.