Date: April 29, 2008
Department: News & Public Information
Professor Rabassa, Distinguished Emeritus Professor of Portuguese at City University of New York, is the translator of over 40 novels, including masterpieces of the greatest literary figures of Latin America, including Machado de Assis, Miguel Ángel Asturias, the Nobel Prize for Literature for 1967, and Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel Prize for Literature for 1982. (Marquez called Rabassa's translation of One Hundred Years of Solitude better than his own Spanish original.) Prof. Rabassa has also translated the Spanish novelists Juan Goytisolo and Juan Benet, and the Portuguese novelists António Lobo Antunes, Mário de Carvalho and João de Melo, the latter being the foremost Azorean writer today.
The New York Times considers Prof. Rabassa "one of the great practioners of his craft." He won the National Book Award in 1967 for Julio Cortázar's Hopscotch, the first time the prestigious award was given for a translation. He has received numerous other awards, including the National Medal of Arts, the highest honor conferred upon an individual artist by the United States Government. Prof. Rabassa has contributed mightily to disseminating Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese literature.