Tahar Ben Jelloun’s Novel Awarded English PEN Translates Grant

We are pleased to announce that About My Mother, a forthcoming novel by award-winning Moroccan novelist, essayist and poet, Tahar Ben Jelloun, has been awarded the English PEN Translates grant.

This year’s list includes writers such as Han Kang, Karmele Jaio and Lydie Salvayre and is the first time that women and men have shared the grants equally. Samantha Schnee, a trustee of English PEN and Chair of the Writers in Translation Committee, said : “We had more submissions than ever from independent publishers. The PEN Promotes grants include two collections of stories from Sudan and Bangladesh, a Korean novel, and a Kurdish epic and, as a whole, these 19 titles provide an excellent window onto the world.”

First published to critical acclaim in 2008 in France by Gallimard, About My Mother is a delicate portrait of a son and his ailing mother, whose slow descent into Alzheimer’s causes her lose her grasp on reality, blending the past and the present.

Written in tender and compelling prose, About My Mother is a heartfelt tribute to Ben Jelloun’s own mother, tackling the personal realities of living with Alzheimer’s and is a powerful account of the subjugation of women in post-war Morocco.

Translated from the French by Ros Schwartz and Lulu Norman, the novel will be published by Telegram in July 2016.