For the second time, an author whose work Krishna Winston, the Marcus L. Taft Professor of German Language and Literature, Emerita, translated, has won the Nobel Prize in Literature.
The 2019 Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Austrian author Peter Handke on October 10 “for an influential work that with linguistic ingenuity has explored the periphery and the specificity of human experience,” according to the Nobel committee. Handke has become “one of the most influential writers in Europe after the Second World War,” the committee said.
Winston, who specializes in literary translation, began translating Handke after his long-time English translator, Ralph Manheim, died. She has published many translations of Handke’s works, including Essay on the Jukebox (1994), My Year in the No-Man’s-Bay (1998), On a Dark Night I Left My Silent House (2000), Crossing the Sierra de Gredos (2007), Don Juan: His Own Story (2010), The Moravian Night (2016), and The Great Fall (2018). She is currently working on several new translations of Handke’s work.
Winston was also the English-language translator for German author Günter Grass, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1999.
In all, Winston, who specializes in literary translation from German, has translated over 35 works of fiction and nonfiction from authors including Handke, Grass, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Christoph Hein, Golo Mann, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Hans Jonas, and Werner Herzog. Winston has received three major literary prizes for her translations. In 2017 she received the Bundesverdienstkreuz am Bande (Order of Merit) from the President of the Federal Republic of Germany for her contributions to the understanding and dissemination of German culture.
During her nearly five decades at Wesleyan, Winston has supervised numerous undergraduate honors theses that involve translation of entire works or collections of essays and short stories. Though she technically retired at the end of the 2018–19 academic year, she is teaching a course titled “The Simple Life” this fall.
Winston also is professor emerita in the College of the Environment.