Samantha Farmer will receive the inaugural Momentum Grant for Early-Career Translators, Words Without Borders announced today. The grant recognizes Farmer’s translation from Croatian of the novel My Dear You (Moja ti) by Jasna Jasna Žmak. This groundbreaking novel revolves around gender, language, and love, as the protagonist and her girlfriend challenge and subvert binary categorizations and gendered language. The translation was chosen from ninety-eight submissions by the judge, the acclaimed translator and author Anton Hur.
“Samantha Farmer, through their translation of My Dear You (Moja ti) by Jasna Jasna Žmak, delivered a sample that is compulsively readable and aesthetically rich, but it is also clear they see the road ahead, both for themselves as a translator and for the traditions they work with,” said Hur. “I hope the Words Without Borders Momentum Grant adds speed to their great journey.”
Samantha Farmer is a Midwest-based translator of Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian and Macedonian and a PhD student researching postsocialist and queer literature of Eastern Europe. Their translation of a story by Jasna Jasna Žmak, “400,000,” was published in Asymptote, and their other translations can be found in TROIKA, Turkoslavia, Exchanges: Journal of Literary Translation, and Zenithism (1921–1927): A Yugoslav Avant-Garde Anthology (forthcoming from Academic Studies Press).
Farmer said, “I am thankful for the material support the Momentum Grant will provide me in the process of finding a publisher for My Dear You that will appreciate its singular style, charm, and significance in Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian-language literature. It is also gratifying to have my interpretation of My Dear You appreciated by Anton Hur, whose work as a translator of queer literature inspires mine. I look forward to being able to share Žmak’s work with even more readers in the future.”
The Momentum Grant supports the completion of a sample of a book-length work of prose translation suitable for submission to English-language publishers. Focused on underrepresented voices and source languages, it is awarded to an emerging translator who has not yet published a book-length translation. An excerpt of Farmer’s winning sample translation will be published in Words Without Borders, and they will receive a $3,000 grant, funded by the Malecha Family Foundation.
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