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We’re delighted that our upcoming picture book has won the PEN Translates Award! The award has allowed Tiny Owl to commission a translation from Slovenian by the amazing Olivia Hellewell. Written and illustrated by Dunja Jogen, it was originally published in Slovenia as ‘Felix and his Suitcase’. We can now reveal that the UK title will be…Felix After the Rain!

Felix is tired of carrying around his heavy, black suitcase filled with all his worries and woes, but he can’t seem to let go of it. Until one day a young boy opens up the suitcase and lets all the feelings escape! Felix learns that his grandma was right: sad feelings can’t last forever. Felix After the Rain is an uplifting story about a boy who learns to overcome his sadness by letting out his emotions.

Translator Olivia Hellewell said on Twitter: “Honoured to be on this list! Tiny Owl and I have been in touch for nearly 2 years, trying to get funding for me to translate Dunja Jogan’s beautiful illustrated book. Thank you PEN for seeing what we see, and supporting us in making this book available in English!”

Books from sixteen countries and eleven languages make up the latest round of PEN Translates award winners. They include fiction, non-fiction, poetry, short stories and children’s literature and – for the first time – translations from the Burmese, Vietnamese and Romanian.

Will Forrester, Translation and International Manager, English PEN, said:

These awards go to seventeen books of outstanding merit and courage. In a moment where the movement of art and ideas across borders is being challenged, translation is a vital corrective. We are thrilled that PEN Translates continues to contribute to literary accessibility and internationalism, and to ensure translators are paid properly for their work. We’re excited that the UK public will get to read these important books.

Sarah Ardizzone, Co-chair of the English PEN Writers in Translation Committee, said:

The depth of field for these PEN Translates awards is breathtaking – from a hard-hitting memoir by a young Rohingya man, to a poignant children’s illustrated work from Slovenia, via a zany exposé of colonised language in a Belarusian novel. We’re proud to be supporting outstanding literary fiction from across Latin America, as well as China, Vietnam, Palestine, Iraq and Romania; together with poetry from Haiti, Cuba and Romania, and short story collections from Malaysia and Myanmar. Dynamic and innovative models for international publishing are especially to be saluted, in a list that is proactively both global and local.

Books are selected for PEN Translates awards on the basis of outstanding literary quality, strength of the publishing project, and contribution to literary diversity in the UK. The award-winning books are featured on the English PEN World Bookshelf website, in partnership with Foyles.

  • Read a blog: We’re lost without translation!
  • Discover A World of Books in Translation
  • Hear from translator Azita Rassi

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