Penny Hueston

2017 - Shortlisted


Judges' comments

Penny Hueston’s translations have helped establish Australian publishers Text Publishing Company as a world centre for publishing significant contemporary French literature in translation. Hueston has tackled writers of international standing, such as Nobel Laureate Patrick Modiano, with a pitch-perfect rendition of his novel of loss, Little Jewel, that conveys the depth of melancholy in strong and fluid prose. She has with equal effortlessness met the challenges of translating Sarah Cohen-Scali’s bestselling young adult novel Max, covering the Nazi past, not uncontroversially, from the womb in which the protagonist lays out his narrative.

But she is most acclaimed for her translations of Marie Darrieussecq’s brilliant linked novels All the Way and Men. The challenges of both are multiple and Hueston meets them head-on, gleefully reproducing Darrieussecq’s sharply perceptive, comic and poetic registers with a freshness and an energy that resonate with the original. She shows remarkably sure judgement and responds to the complexities of context.