We’re thrilled to share that the Society of Authors announced the winners of their prestigious translation prizes with a combined prize fund of $47,000 CAD, and among them is Frank Wynne, who has been awarded the Scott Moncrieff Prize for his translation from the French of Standing Heavy by GauZ’, which was published in North America by Biblioasis on October 3rd, 2023 and by MacLehose Press in the UK.
Scott Moncrieff Prize for Translation judge Jane MacKenzie says of Standing Heavy,
“The writing is searingly witty, incisive, full of vivid imagery, and has been superbly translated by Frank Wynne, losing none of the humour, the energy, the authentic street view. This is a true tour-de-force in both languages, and reads as joyfully and sharply in English as it does in French.”
The novel follows three generations of African security guards as they contend with a society growing more and more hostile to immigration. It offers a funny, fast-paced, and poignant take on the legacy of Franco-African history, and has received many excellent reviews from the New York Times, Financial Times, Elle Magazine, The Walrus, Kirkus Reviews and Publishers Weekly.
Biblioasis publisher Dan Wells says,
“Frank Wynne is a marvel, one of the best translators at work in any language: in this translation of Standing Heavy he’s given us monoglots the next best thing to reading him in the original: a sharp-eared, playful, elegant work of fiction. We’re very happy for him, and for GauZ’: may this bring him a few more readers in English.”
The Society of Authors awards prizes for translations from seven languages including the Scott Moncrieff Prize, an annual award for translations into English of full-length French works of literary merit and general interest. The winner is awarded £3,000 and a runner-up is awarded £1,000. This year’s judges were Constance Bantman, Jane MacKenzie and David Mills.
Get your copy of Standing Heavy here!
Shortlisted for the 2023 International Booker Prize • One of The Walrus‘ Best Fall Books of 2023
A funny, fast-paced, and poignant take on Franco-African history, as told through the eyes of three African security guards in Paris.
All over the city, they are watching: Black men paid to stand guard, invisible among the wealthy flâneurs and yet the only ones who truly see. From Les Grands Moulins to a Sephora on the Champs-Élysées, Ferdinand, Ossiri, and Kassoum find their way as undocumented workers amidst political infighting and the ever-changing landscape of immigration policy. Fast-paced and funny, poignant and sharply satirical, Standing Heavy is a searing deconstruction of colonial legacies and capitalist consumption and an unforgettable account of everything that passes under the security guards’ all-seeing eyes.
Frank Wynne, the translator of Standing Heavy, is an award-winning Irish writer and translator from French and Spanish. Over a career spanning more than twenty years, Wynne has translated a wide variety of authors, including GauZ’, Michel Houellebecq, Patrick Modiano, and Emiliano Monge. This is the third time he has been awarded both the Scott Moncrieff Prize for Translation from the French and he has twice won the Premio Valle Inclán for translation from Spanish. His translation of Animalia by Jean-Baptiste Del Amo won the 2020 Republic of Consciousness Prize.
GauZ’ is an Ivorian author, journalist and screenwriter. After studying biochemistry, he moved to Paris as an undocumented student, working as a security guard before returning to the Côte d’Ivoire. His debut novel, Standing Heavy, won the Prix des libraires Gibert Joseph and the English translation was shortlisted for the International Booker Prize. It was followed by Comrade Papa, which won the 2019 Prix Éthiophile, and Black Manoo. GauZ’ is the editor-in-chief of the satirical economic newspaper News & co, and has written screenplays and documentary films.