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Member Achievement: Jason Grunebaum

Recently, Armory Square Ventures, a technology venture capital firm operating across New York State, announced the launch of the Armory Square Prize for South Asian Literature in Translation. The annual prize will award a literary translator with book publication. The winner will be selected by a jury of their peers for a translation of a literary work from one South Asian language into English.

Professor Jason Grunebaum, a COSAS member, was instrumental in the establishment of the inaugural prize. Professor Grunebaum is a literary translation teacher and is a translator of Manzoor Ahtesham and Uday Prakash and other Hindi writers. In this role, he serves as jury chair for the seven judges.

“This is an enriching and incredible opportunity,” Grunebaum told the Business Wire. “This prize brings together all parts of the literary ecosystem necessary to bring good translations of South Asian literature to bookshelves. Translators will find writers and works to fall in love with and translate, and editors and publishers will discover new voices for readers who are seeking different kinds of storytellers. It will also be a space to form ongoing, sustainable relationships between publishers in the Subcontinent and those beyond.”

The deadline for entries is December 31 which will be followed by the shortlist announcement with excerpts by Words without Borders in March of 2023. The winner will be announced in April of the same year. The prize-winning book is scheduled for publication by Open Letter in the fall of 2024.

Grunebaum and the jury will most heavily consider the quality of the translation with focus on the creative and artful solutions that the translator uses to address the translation challenges within the work. Additionally, they will consider the significance of the original work and its author and the extent to which the language and author are underrepresented in English.

Congratulations to Professor Grunebaum on this accomplishment.