Champagne Taittinger has supported the prestigious Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for the 13th year running and last night, the 2014 winner of the prize was announced at a special Champagne Taittinger reception held at the Royal Institute of British Architects in central London.
Hassan Blasim’s second short story collection The Iraqi Christ and translator Jonathan Wright were awarded the £10,000 prize which they will share equally as well as a magnum of Champagne Taittinger Brut Réserve. Not only is this the first time that the prize has been won by an Arab writer, it’s also the first time a short story collection has been victorious.
The 2014 shortlist also featured two Japanese women writers for the first time: Yoko Ogawa, author of Revenge, translated from the Japanese by Stephen Snyder (Harvill Secker), and Hiromi Kawakami’s Strange Weather in Tokyo, translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell (Portobello Books).
Lynn Murray, Marketing Director for Hatch Mansfield the sole UK agents for Champagne Taittinger comments, “Taittinger is a great lover of the arts. We have supported the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize for 13 years now and are absolutely delighted to continue this long association."
The judging panel this year comprised Alev Adil, Artist in Residence, Principal Lecturer and Programme Leader for MA Creative Writing at the University of Greenwich; British writer and broadcaster Natalie Haynes; award winning author Nadifa Mohamed; Boyd Tonkin, Senior Writer and Columnist at The Independent and Literary translator Shaun Whiteside.
The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize is awarded annually to the best work of contemporary fiction in translation. The 2014 Prize celebrates an exceptional work of fiction by a living author, which has been translated into English from any other language and published in the United Kingdom in 2013. Uniquely, the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize acknowledges both the writer and the translator equally – each receives £5,000 – recognising the importance of the translator in their ability to bridge the gap between languages and cultures. The Prize is funded by Arts Council England, managed by Booktrust and supported by The Independent and Champagne Taittinger. www.booktrust.org.uk/iffp