SEATTLE – Two titles celebrating contemporary gay life in Brazil – Here the Whole Time by Vitor Martins and Where We Go from Here by Lucas Rocha (both translated from the Portuguese by Larissa Helena and published by Scholastic Press) – are the co-winners of the 2021 GLLI Translated YA Book Prize. Administered by the Global Literature in Libraries Initiative, the three-year-old prize recognizes publishers, translators, and authors of books in English translation for young adult (YA) readers.
"We are particularly excited to award these two outstanding novels from Brazil," said David Jacobson, chair of the prize committee. "We see far too few translations from our neighbors in Latin America and it is gratifying to see publishers making them available for teens in English."
Here the Whole Time is a touching coming-of-age story that expresses the vulnerability of an overweight gay teen, with humor, heart, and authenticity. Where We Go from Here, set in Rio de Janeiro, tackles the taboo subject of prejudice against those who are HIV positive with joy and humanity.
In-depth interviews with the authors and translators of this year's and last year's winners of the GLLI Translated YA Book Prize will be featured in an online presentation to be released on April 14 at 2:30pm CDT as part of the University of Southern Mississippi's Fay B. Kaigler Children's Book Festival. The festival is free and open to the public (registration required).
"There is no question this has been a banner year for young adult literature in translation!" commented GLLI Executive Director Karen Van Drie. "Submissions have increased by more than a third this year. That suggests growing publisher interest and commitment to global literature and their recognition of the importance of sharing perspectives from abroad."
Fewer young adult (YA) books are translated into English than any other type of children's literature. The GLLI prize aims to focus attention on the gems of world literature for 12-to-18-year-olds.
The committee also selected two honor books: Almond by Won-pyung Sohn (translated from the Korean by Sandy Joosun Lee and published by HarperVia), the gritty story of a Korean teen born with a condition that leaves him unable to identify or express emotion, and The End by Mats Strandberg (translated from the Swedish by Judith Kiros and published by Arctis Books), in which Swedish teens have 4 months to come to grips with the fact that world will be ending.
The winning books were selected from a field of titles translated from 16 languages and representing 21 countries or regions from Bangladesh to Belgium. Works published within three years of the submission deadline were considered. The shortlist of 13 titles contains a diversity of themes and subject matter of interest to every teen imaginable: from a horror story about a Halloween-like event gone wrong, the true voices of immigrants crossing the US southern border, and a graphic novel of friendship amid a zombie apocalypse, to a magical, fable-like tale of a stereotype-busting woman from Palestine.
Members of the prize committee include David Jacobson, chair and author/Japanese translator; Catharine Bomhold, University of Southern Mississippi; Abigail Hsu, Morristown & Morris Township Library; Karen Jensen, Fort Worth Public Library; Lynn E. Palermo, Susquehanna University; Karen Van Drie, GLLI executive director/international literature and libraries consultant; Sujei Lugo Vázquez, Boston Public Library; and Rachel Wang Yung-Hsin, writer/translator and Kirkus reviewer.
The Global Literature in Libraries Initiative brings together translators, librarians, teachers, editors and others dedicated to helping librarians identify and raise the visibility of world literature for children, teens, and adults. Our activities include creating pan-publisher catalogs; maintaining a database of translations; sharing ideas for selecting, evaluating, using and promoting world literature for all ages; and administering the GLLI Translated YA Book Prize. We regularly showcase and review world literature on our blog and featured Brazilian literature most recently in April 2020. Check us out on Facebook, Twitter (@GlobalLitin), as well as at our website.
For more information about the prize and instructions for 2022 submissions, see glli-us.org/prizes