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Searls, translator in residence, awarded Lois Roth Award

Damion Searls, Princeton University’s Translator in Residence for the 2019-2020 academic year, was awarded Lois Roth Award for a translation of a literary work from the Modern Language Association of America.
Tuesday, January 7, 2020

Damion Searls, Princeton University’s Translator in Residence for the 2019-2020 academic year, was awarded Lois Roth Award for a translation of a literary work from the Modern Language Association of America. The selection committee said of his translation of Uwe Johnson’s “Anniversaries: From a Year in the Life of Gesine Cresspahl”: “Searls’s superb translation represents an admirable command of language that leads the reader from one side of the Atlantic to the other, weaving through complex, interwoven narratives reflecting profound personal, national and global crises. Searls has accomplished something monumental with this intimate yet sprawling and absorbing novel about individual lives at a fraught historical moment.”

The prize is awarded annually for a translation into English of a book-length literary work.

Searles is a translator from German, Norwegian, French, and Dutch and a writer in English. He is the author of a book on Hermann Rorschach and the Rorschach test, and has translated many classic modern writers, including Proust, Rilke, Nietzsche, Walser, Ingeborg Bachmann, Alfred Döblin, Jon Fosse, Elfriede Jelinek, and Nescio; edited a new abridged edition of Thoreau’s “Journal”; and produced a lost work of Melville’s.

Searls studied German philosophy at Harvard University and American literature at University of California-Berkeley, and has received writing and translating awards from PEN America, PEN Center USA, the Netherland America Foundation, the University of California, and the Austrian, Belgian and Dutch governments.