Margaret Jull Costa

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Margaret Jull Costa OBE is a British translator of Portuguese and Spanish fiction and poetry, including the works of Nobel Prize winners José Saramago, Eça de Queiroz, Fernando Pessoa, Javier Marías, Bernardo Atxaga and José Régio.

Writing career[edit]

In recent years she has been noted for her work in translating the novels of José Saramago for which she won a number of awards. Her translations include All the Names, and Death at Intervals, about a country where death ceases to exist, was published in 2008.[1]

As part of its 'Europe 1992-2004' programme, the UK publishers Dedalus embarked on a series of new translations by Jull Costa of some of the major classics of Portuguese literature. These include seven works by Eça de Queiroz: Cousin Bazilio (1878, translation published 2003, funded by the Arts Council of England), The Tragedy of the Street of Flowers, The Mandarin (and Other Stories), The Relic, The Crime of Father Amaro, The Maias and The City and the Mountains (2008).

In 2006, she published the translation of the first part of Javier Marías's trilogy, Your Face Tomorrow 1: Fever and Spear. The second part, 2: Dance and Dream, was published in 2006,[2] while the concluding part, 3: Poison, Shadow and Farewell, appeared in November 2009.[3] This last volume won her the 2010 Premio Valle-Inclan.

Her English translation of The Accordionist's Son by the Basque author Bernardo Atxaga was published by Harvill Secker (2007), [4][5] while her previous translations of Atxaga's work include The Lone Man (1996) and The Lone Woman (1999).

Her translation of The Maias by Eça de Queiroz was published by Dedalus Books in 2007, the original book was described by José Saramago as "the greatest book by Portugal's greatest novelist".[6]

In 2008, as first of a new Dedalus Euro Shorts series, Jull Costa made the first-ever English translation of Helena, or The Sea in Summer, Julián Ayesta's enduring, pointillist novel, first published in Spain in 1952 as Hélena o el mar del verano, and for which he is most remembered. Her biographical introduction to the book provides English-language readers with a brief but essential portrait of Ayesta (1919–1996), author, Spanish diplomat and outspoken critic of the Franco regime.

Selected translations[edit]

  • Alberto Barrera Tyszka - Crimes
  • Alberto Barrera Tyszka - The Sickness
  • Alvaro Pombo - The Hero of the Big House
  • Angela Vallvey - Happy Creatures
  • Angela Vallvey - Hunting the Last Wild Man
  • António Lobo Antunes - The Land at the End of the World
  • Antonio Tabucchi - Requiem: A Hallucination
  • Arturo Perez-Reverte - The Flanders Panel
  • Arturo Perez-Reverte - The Dumas Club: The Ninth Gate
  • Arturo Perez-Reverte - The Fencing Master
  • Benito Perez Galdos - Tristana
  • Bernardo Atxaga - Obabakoak
  • Bernardo Atxaga - The Lone Man
  • Bernardo Atxaga - The Lone Woman
  • Bernardo Atxaga - The Adventures of Shola
  • Bernardo Atxaga - Shola and the Lions
  • Bernardo Atxaga - The Accordionist's Son
  • Carmen Martin Gaite - Variable Cloud
  • Carmen Martin Gaite - The Farewell Angel
  • Diogo Mainardi - The Fall: A Father's Memoir in 424 Steps
  • Fernando Pessoa - The Book of Disquiet
  • Helen Constantine (editor) - Madrid Tales
  • Javier Garcia Sanchez - The Others
  • Javier Marías - All Souls
  • Javier Marías - The Man of Feeling
  • Javier Marías - When I Was Mortal
  • Javier Marias - Tomorrow in the Battle Think On Me
  • Javier Marías - A Heart So White
  • Javier Marias - The Infatuations
  • Javier Marias - Your Face Tomorrow: Fever and Spear
  • Javier Marias - Your Face Tomorrow: Dance and Dream
  • Javier Marias - Your Face Tomorrow: Poison, Shadow, and Farewell
  • Javier Marías - While the Women Are Sleeping
  • Javier Marías - Written Lives
  • Jesús Carrasco - Out in the Open
  • Jorge de Sena - The Prodigious Physician
  • José Maria de Eça de Queirós - The Maias
  • José Maria de Eça de Queirós - The City and the Mountains
  • José Maria de Eça de Queirós - The Crime of Father Amaro
  • José Maria de Eça de Queirós - Alves and Co. And Other Stories
  • José Maria de Eça de Queirós - The Mandarin and other stories
  • Jose Maria Eca de Queiroz - Cousin Bazilio: A domestic episode
  • Eca de Queiroz - The Tragedy of the Street of Flowers
  • Eca de Queiroz - The Mystery of the Sintra Road
  • Eca de Queiroz - The Relic
  • Eca de Queiroz - The Illustrious House of Ramires
  • Jose Regio - The Flame-Coloured Dress
  • Jose Saramago - Death with Interruptions
  • Jose Saramago - The Double
  • Jose Saramago - Skylight
  • Jose Saramago - The Elephant's Journey
  • Jose Saramago - Cain
  • Jose Saramago - All the Names
  • Jose Saramago - The Cave
  • José Saramago - Raised from the Ground
  • Jose Saramago - Small Memories
  • Jose Saramago - The Tale of the Unknown Island
  • Jose Saramago - Seeing
  • Jose Saramago - Blindness
  • Juan Jose Saer - The Witness
  • Julian Ayesta - Helena, or the Sea in Summer
  • Julio Llamazares - The Yellow Rain
  • Lidia Jorge - The Painter of Birds
  • Luis Cardoso - The Crossing: A Story of East Timor
  • Luis Fernando Verissimo - Borges and the Eternal Orangutans
  • Luis Fernando Verissimo - The Spies
  • Luis Fernando Verissimo - The Club of Angels
  • Luisa Valenzuela - Bedside Manners
  • Luisa Valenzuela - Symmetries
  • Manuel Rivas - Butterfly's Tongue
  • Marcos Giralt Torrente - Paris
  • Mario de Sa-Carneiro - Lucio's Confession
  • Mario De Sa-Carneiro - The Great Shadow And Other Stories
  • Michel Laub - Diary of the Fall
  • Paulo Coelho - Eleven Minutes
  • Paulo Coelho - Like the Flowing River: Stories, 1998-2005
  • Paulo Coelho - The Zahir
  • Paulo Coelho - Manuscript Found in Accra
  • Paulo Coelho - Aleph
  • Paulo Coelho - Adultery
  • Paulo Coelho - Brida
  • Paulo Coelho - Veronika Decides to Die
  • Paulo Coelho - The Witch of Portobello
  • Rafael Chirbes - On the Edge
  • Rafael Sanchez Ferlosio - The Adventures of the Ingenious Alfanhi
  • Rafael Sanchez Ferlosio - The River: El Jarama
  • Ramon Valle-Inclan - Spring and Summer Sonatas: The Memoirs of the Marquis of Bradomin
  • Ramon Del Valle-Inclan - Autumn & Winter Sonatas: The Memoirs of Marquis of Bradomin
  • Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen - The Perfect Hour (co-translator: Colin Rorrison)
  • Teolinda Gersao - The Word Tree
  • The Dedalus Book of Portuguese Fantasy
  • The Dedalus Book of Spanish Fantasy

Awards and honours[edit]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^ [3]
  4. ^ [4]
  5. ^ [5]
  6. ^ Dedalus Books, News
  7. ^ [6]
  8. ^ The Times, Found in Translation page 2, 11 January 2010
  9. ^ Previous winners.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 60895. p. b11. 14 June 2014.
  11. ^ Jackman, Josh (April 20, 2015). "Michel Laub and Thomas Harding win JQ-Wingate Prize for books on the Holocaust". The Jewish Chronicle. 

External links[edit]