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Hutchins receives National Translation Award

BOONE—William M. Hutchins, a professor in Appalachian State University’s Department of Philosophy and Religion, has received the National Translation Award from the American Literary Translators Association in the prose category. The award recognizes his Arabic to English translation of “The New Waw: Saharan Oasis” by Ibrahim al-Koni.

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“William M. Hutchins’ translation of ‘New Waw: Saharan Oasis’ masterfully channels the poetic rhythms of Ibrahim al-Koni’s tale of a group of Tuareg, struggling with their evolution from a nomadic tribe to a settled community and the tensions that inevitably arise,” said NTA judges Jason Grunebaum, Anne Magnan-Park and Pamela Carmell. “Legends, fables, prophecies and tribal laws, expressed in lyrical, metaphorical language, give a glimpse into the group’s traditions and the Tuareg mythical paradise oasis, Waw.”

Hutchins’ work was supported by a National Endowment of the Arts Literature Translation Fellowship, one of two he has received during his career.

Hutchins is known for his translation of the Cairo Trilogy by Egyptian Nobel Prize-winner Naguib Mahfouz. This trio of novels is widely regarded as one of the finest works of fiction in Arabic literature, and Hutchins’ translation is the principal version available in English.

In addition, he has translated a variety of Arabic authors, including Tawfiq al-Hakim, Ibrahim Abd al-Qadir al-Mazini, Muhammad Salmawy, Nawal El-Saadawi, Ibrahim al-Koni, and others.

Hutchins was co-winner of the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize for Arabic Literary Translation in 2013 for his work on Wajdi al-Ahdal’s “A Land Without Jasmine.”

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