Culture scholarships   Year: 2022  

Helena Hansson

“The whole point is to convey something beyond just facts and events, this includes the rhythm, flow, voice, and any connotations and associations present.”

For the first time in the history of the Stena foundation, one of our scholarships will be awarded to a translator. Helena Hansson lives in Gothenburg and one of the authors she has translated into Swedish are the 2021 Nobel laureate Abdulrazak Gurnah. Ms. Hansson mainly translates works of fiction from English and Danish into Swedish, but she also translates books for children and young adults, poetry, and some non-fiction, such as a Danish biography about the classical pianist Sviatoslav Richter.

Helena Hansson has been a translator based in Gothenburg for 25 years. Her supple translations from English and Danish into Swedish cover a wide range of subject matter and genres, from fiction for adults and children to essay books.

No less than two of her authors are Nobel laureates: Toni Morrison (1993), and Abdulrazak Gurnah (2021). Helena Hansson’s perceptivity, her attention to the value of each word along with an acute analytical sense all contribute to her excellence when it comes to conveying the intentions of the author. Through a strong interest in post-colonial settings, she introduces Swedish readers to new perspectives.

For her keen ability to capture and convey the rhythm, flow, voice, and imagery of the source material – thereby opening doors to unknown worlds – Helena Hansson is awarded the 2022 Culture Scholarship from the Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture.