Fabjan Hafner Prize 2020 goes to Erwin Köstler

The bi-annual prize for best translation from Slovenian into German was awarded to Erwin Köstler, an acclaimed translator of Slovenian literature, for his translation of the great historic novel The Harvest of Chronos (Chronos erntet, Wallstein Verlag 2019), written by the award-winning Slovenian author Mojca Kumerdej. The English translation was published by London-based Istros Books.

Mojca Kumerdej received the most important national award for her monumental work in 2018. It is therefore no surprise that the Fabjan Hafner Prize jury wrote: “Not only the length of the novel, but also the polyphony of literary voices and their various speaking registers made the translation of this work an extremely difficult task. However, Erwin Köstler did an excellent job.”

Erwin Köstler (1964) is an awarded translator from Slovenian, based in Vienna. He has translated numerous Slovenian classics (Vladimir Bartol, Ivan Cankar, Slavko Grum, Srečko Kosovel, Prežihov Voranc, etc.), contemporary authors (Mojca Kumerdej, Sebastijan Pregelj, Andrej Skubic, Breda Smolnikar), graphic novels and many more.

The Fabjan Hafner Prize is a biennial prize awarded by the Goethe-Institut in Ljubljana together with  Literarisches Colloquium Berlin (LCB), Robert-Musil-Institut / Kärntner Literaturarchiv, The Embassy of the Republic of Germany in Slovenia and the Land Carinthia (Austria). Translators receive the award for best translation from German into Slovenian (awarded every other year at the Slovenian Book Fair) and for the best translation from Slovenian into German (awarded every other year at the Leipzig Book Fair). Since this year’s Leipzig Book Fair has been cancelled due to coronavirus epidemic, the prize of 4.000€ will be awarded at a ceremony later this year.