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Czech book fair to award British translator, scholar David Short

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Prague, April 20 (CTK) – David Short, British translator and Czech studies scholar, will receive the Jiri Theiner Award, bestowed on those who significantly help spread and promote Czech literature abroad, at the Book World fair and festival in Prague on May 11, Nikola Lorinczova told CTK on Friday, on behalf of the organisers.

The prize, which carries 30,000 crowns, is being awarded by the Book World – the Association of Czech Booksellers and Publishers for the eighth time this year.

Jiri Theiner (1926-1988) was a long-time editor-in-chief of the Index on Censorship magazine.

The nominations can be submitted by professional public, such as publishers, booksellers, university staff, institutions or media dealing with the subject of Czech literature and book culture. The award winner is selected by a commission of five members. Pavel Theiner, Jiri Theiner’s son and the donor of the prize money, is the commission’s honorary member.

“The award can be granted to anyone in the world who has significantly contributed to the promotion of Czech literature and culture. We have agreed that the winner should combine culture and being concerned with the human rights, particularly with the freedom of speech, which corresponds to my fathers’ efforts in the Index, Amnesty International and elsewhere,” Pavel Theiner said.

Short was chosen from 38 nominees. The jury appreciated his numerous translations into English ranging from Czech literary classics to contemporary writers.

Short said he was originally studying the Czech language, which drew him to Czech literature eventually. In the past 50 years, he was active as a teacher, linguist and translator.

The prize was awarded for the first time in 2011, when it was granted to Andrzej Jagodzinski of Poland, Czech studies scholar, translator and journalist.

In the following years, the award went to Ruth Bondy of Israel, Czech studies scholar, translator and writer, Canadian translator and writer Paul Wilson, U.S. translator and writer Peter Demetz, Belarussian Czech studies scholar Siarhei Smatrychenka and Czech-born literary historian and translator Marketa Goetz-Stankiewicz, living in Canada.

Last year, the award was bestowed on Dutch Czech studies scholar Edgar de Bruin.

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