Well there is some justice in the world.
The LBF’s advisory board unanimously agreed on [Harcourt editor] Willen as the winner; Simon Master, chair, said: “Drenka Willen has for 40 years inspired respect and admiration amongst her peers across the globe, from authors to agents to publishers. Her dedication to discovering and championing foreign authors, including four Nobel Prize winners [Gunter Grass, Jose Saramago, Wislawa Szymborska and Octavio Paz], which must be something of a record, marks her out as a worthy recipient.”
(For the full press release, go to www.thebookseller.com.)
Drenka Willen represents a direct link to the interwar European publishing tradition, having inherited the imprint of German emigres Kurt and Helen Wolff (which is now called Harvest Books); and she has also been a translator, from Serbo-Croatian. Her contributions to Polish literature include a number of other Polish authors besides Szymborska, such as Stanisław Lem, Stefan Chwin, and most recently Andrzej Stasiuk (whose GOING TO BABADAG is forthcoming next spring).