‘The Sea’: Read the story that won the 2020 Jawad Memorial Prize for Urdu-to-English translation

From Scroll.in:

Haider Shahbaz

The unanimous choice for the 2020 winner of the Jawad Memorial Prize for Urdu-English Translation is “The Sea” by Khalida Hussain, translated by Haider Shahbaz.

Haider Shahbaz’s translation of Khalida Hussain’s “Samundar” was chosen primarily for the quality of translation and secondarily on account of what the story has to offer in its English rendering. The selection of the Urdu text, the urgency of its translation, its flow – all were praiseworthy.

“The Sea” succeeds in capturing the poignancy of the original text, communicating it to the reader so that she can feel the wind in her face, smell the fresh sea breeze, touch the gritty sand beneath her feet, and share in the pain of displacement that underpins Hussain’s short story. This is a difficult task for any writer, and especially for one who works between languages as disparate as English and Urdu in their tonal register and literary sensibility.

Both judges have added a note encouraging the winner to work towards a collection of Khalida Hussain’s stories in English translation.

More here, including the English translation of the story.

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