Susan Bernofsky Wins Schlegel-Tieck Prize for Jenny Erpenbeck Translation

March 17, 2016

Associate Professor Susan Bernofsky’s translation of German writer Jenny Erpenbeck’s The End of Days (New Directions) has won the Schlegel-Tieck Prize.
The Schlegel-Tieck Prize, which has been in existence since 1965, is awarded annually for English-language translations of German texts. In their award citation, this year’s judges said, “Susan Bernofsky’s outstanding translation masterfully captures all the power and intensity of this virtuoso novel.” The director of the literary translation program at Columbia, Bernofsky’s translation has also won the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize and the 2015 Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, which she shared with Erpenbeck.
The End of Days tells five different stories throughout German history, all of which end in the death of a different female protagonist. The novel has won several major European awards for literature, including the prestigious Hans Fallada Prize. Professor Deborah Eisenberg wrote of Erpenbeck’s book: “Wonderful, elegant and exhilarating, ferocious as well as virtuosic:The End of Days is her most direct address to history.”
Bernofsky has translated eight books by the German-Swiss author Robert Walser, and is currently at work on a biography about him. She is also the translator of more than 20 book-length works and more than 80 shorter works into English.