Ma Ainong Wins the Inaugural Irish Literature Translation Prize for Claire Keegan's 'Walk the Blue Fields'

Literature Ireland is delighted to announce the winner of the inaugural Irish-Chinese Literature Translation Prize, 2014.

Ma Ainong, the Chinese translator of Claire Keegan’s collection of short stories Walk the Blue Fields published by Shanghai 99 Readers' Culture Co. Ltd in 2011 is the winner of the inaugural Chinese Irish Literature Translation Prize! The Prize was presented by the Consul General, Austin Gormley at the Shanghai Book Fair on Thursday, August 14.

The Prize is organised by the Consulate General of Ireland in Shanghai in association with the Shanghai Book Fair, the Shanghai Review of Books and Literature Ireland

The winning translator receives a trophy, a cash award of 17,000RMB and a bursary to travel to Ireland to work on another translation of a work by a contemporary Irish author. While in Ireland, the winning translator will be hosted by Literature Ireland the national organisation for the promotion of Irish literature abroad.

Speaking at the announcement of the winning Chinese translation, the director of Literature Ireland Sinéad Mac Aodha said:

“We are delighted that many excellent and exciting works of Irish literature are being translated and published to such a high standard in China with the support of Literature Ireland I should like to congratulate Claire Keegan, her translator Ma Ainong and her publishers Shanghai 99 Readers' Culture Co. Ltd on winning this prestigious award. Ma Ainong was hosted in Dublin on a literary translation bursary by Literature Ireland in 2011. We look forward, together with our partners in the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, to welcoming her again to Ireland and to seeing many more of her sensitive and expert literary translations of Irish literature.”




Ma Ainong is a translator and editor. She is the director of the Foreign Literature Department at the People’s Literature Publishing House. Over the course of her career she has translated over 40 English language books into Chinese, including Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse, Annie Proulx’s Shipping News, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables and J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. She has also edited translations by, amongst others, Sebastian Barry, Karen Ardiff, Michael Frayn, Ali Smyth and Julian Barnes.

Claire Keegan grew up on a farm in Wicklow and studied English and Political Science at Loyola University. Her first collection of short stories, Antarctica (1999), won the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Her long-awaited second collection, Walk the Blue Fields (2007), established her as an exceptionally gifted writer. Her third work, Foster, appeared in 2010 and won the Davy Byrnes Memorial Prize.

Literature Ireland makes international friends for Irish literature, by bringing the finest of Irish literature in the best possible literary translations to readers around the world; by encouraging publishers to publish the work of Irish writers worldwide; by hosting literary translators in Ireland and representing Irish writers at international events, book fairs and festivals. Established 20 years ago, Literature Ireland has funded the translation of over 1,500 works of Irish literature into 55 languages around the world.

In the past five years, Literature Ireland has supported over 30 works of Irish literature in Chinese translation, hosted seven Chinese literary translators in Ireland, organised participation of Irish authors at events and festivals in China and attended international book fairs in Beijing and Shanghai.


For further information contact:

Sinéad Mac Aodha, Director, Literature Ireland 00353 87 3442299

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