PUP’s record year for translations: A note from our director

This year PUP is proud to announce a banner year across the board in international rights. Our team reported a 27% increase in translation licensing, including a record deal with the German publisher Klett-Cotta for Angus Deaton’s The Great Escape, negotiated via our representatives at The Fritz Agency. Publisher’s Weekly covered the deal, which started with a bidding war at the Frankfurt Book Festival shortly after Deaton won the 2015 Nobel Prize in Economics. Other exceptional translation deals included those for The Gunpowder Age by Tonio Andrade, The Rise and Fall of American Growth by Robert Gordon, and Phishing for Phools by George Akerlof and Robert Shiller, with economics and science titles particularly well-represented.

Along with a consistently strong market in China, a significant increase in Italian licensing, and our first Mongolian license this year, we’re thrilled to see a 140% increase in translation licensing over a ten year period. This is a testament to the global reach of our outstanding scholarship as well as our partnerships with some of the finest publishers in the world.

Thanks again to our fabulous international rights team, including Kim Williams, Jenny Redhead, and Rebecca Bengoechea.

—Peter Dougherty

International Rights

Congratulations to Shelley Frisch, 2014 Winner of the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize

05-20 Frisch
Shelley Frisch’s magnificent English translation of Reiner Stach’s German-language biography of Franz Kafka, entitled Kafka: Die Jahre der Erkenntnis (Kafka: The Years of Insight) has been named the 2014 winner of the Helen and Kurt Wolff Translator’s Prize. The award, established in 1996 by the Goethe-Institut Chicago, is given each spring to an outstanding German-to-English literary translation published in the U.S., with an accompanying prize of $10,000 funded by the German government.

Of her translation, the Goethe-Institut Chicago says that, “Frisch sustains Stach’s voice over hundreds of pages, finding fresh, compelling, and often witty ways to render his German to English,” and that even without a complete edition of Kafka’s work in English, “Frisch made the risky and courageous decision to provide her own translations of all the biography’s [Kafka] quotations.” The book examines the final years of Kafka’s life and  is monumental in scope, detailing disease, romance, and war in the wake of the collapsed Austro-Hungarian empire.

Shelley Frisch holds a PhD in German literature from Princeton University, and has taught at Columbia University while working as the Executive Editor of The Germanic Review. She also chaired the Haverford/Bryn Mawr Bi-College German Department prior to her transition into a full-time translator. Frisch’s second volume of the Kafka series, Kafka: The Decisive Years (Princeton), was awarded the Modern Language Association’s Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize. She is a prolific translator of other German books, including biographies of Nietzche and Einstein.