Drenka Willen to receive first James H. Ottaway Jr. Award for the Promotion of International Lit

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact Information
Contact: Joshua Mandelbaum, Executive Director
Organization Name: Words without Borders
E-mail Address: joshua@wordswithoutborders.org
Web site Address: wordswithoutborders.org

New York City, New York, May 13, 2013—Drenka Willen to be the first recipient of the James H. Ottaway Jr. Award for the Promotion of International Literature

Words without Borders, a nonprofit and online magazine, has announced that Drenka Willen is the first recipient of the James H. Ottaway Jr. Award for the Promotion of International Literature (aka the Ottaway). Willen joined Harcourt as a translator and freelance editor in the 1960s and has been a tireless advocate for literature in translation for close to fifty years. Among the authors and translators she has worked with are Nobel laureates Günter Grass, Octavio Paz, José Saramago, and Wisława Szymborska, as well as Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Stanisław Lem, Ryszard Kapuściński, Amos Oz, A. B. Yehoshua, William Weaver, Edith Grossman, Margaret Jull Costa, Krishna Winston, Clare Cavanagh, and Geoffrey Brock.

“I am thrilled that Drenka has been chosen as the first recipient of the Ottaway,” said Alane Salierno Mason, founder of Words without Borders and  vice-president and executive editor at W. W. Norton. “I was fortunate to work in Drenka’s ambit at Harcourt Brace Jovanovich early in my career, and to some degree it was a sense of homesickness for the world she fostered that led me to start Words without Borders.”

The online magazine for literature in translation Words without Borders launched in 2003 with its first issues devoted to “Literature from ‘the Axis of Evil.’”  Named in honor of the first chair of Words without Borders, James H. Ottaway Jr., the Ottaway prize recognizes an individual whose work and activism has supported the mission of Words without Borders of promoting cultural understanding through the publication and promotion of international literature. The award will be presented at Words without Borders’ Tenth Anniversary Gala on October 29, 2013.

For additional information, please contact:

Contact: Joshua Mandelbaum, Executive Director
Organization Name: Words without Borders
Email Address: joshua@wordswithoutborders.org
Web site Address: wordswithoutborders.org


Founded in 2003, Words without Borders is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to the promotion of global understanding through the translation, publication, and promotion of international literature. To date WWB has translated over 1,600 pieces of literature and poetry representing 92 languages by writers from 119 countries. WWB has been featured in the New York Times, the New York Times Book Review, the Boston Globe, the Guardian (UK), Vanity Fair, and the Chronicle of Higher Education, as well as in various foreign-language papers and numerous literary blogs. Our most recent print anthology is Tablet & Pen: Literary Landscapes from the Modern Middle East (W.W. Norton & Co., 2010).