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.

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]