NTA Winner 2006
The 2006 National Translation Award winner is Ellen Elias-Bursać for her translation of David Albahari’s Serbian novel Götz and Meyer.
Ellen Elias-Bursać received her doctorate in Yugoslav literature and language from Zagreb University in 1998. She taught Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian in the Harvard Slavic Department from 1994 to 2005. While at Harvard she co-chaired the South East Europe Study Group at the Center for European Studies. She lived in Zagreb from 1972 to 1990 where she worked as a free-lance translator and coordinated American study-abroad programs for Macalester College and the ACM-GLCA consortia at the Zagreb Faculty of Philosophy. She has also taught at Tufts University. She is currently living in the Netherlands. Götz and Meyer is one of three books by David Albahari that Elias-Bursać has translated. The other two are Words are Something Else: Writings from an Unbound Europe (Northwestern University Press 1996) and Snow Man (Douglas & McIntyre 2005).
Götz and Meyer is the imaginative reconstruction, through the voice of a Serbian teacher, of two Rosencrantz-and-Guildenstern-like noncommissioned SS officers engaged in gassing Jews, as the narrator comes to terms with destruction of his own people and the implications of history.
“GÖTZ AND MEYER has a resonance beyond its own times.” — Richard Eder, Boston Globe
“At once a novel, fictional biography, history and meta-fictional commentary, GÖTZ AND MEYER, composed in a single hallucinatory paragraph . . . [is] a masterful addition to the literature of the Holocaust and a fascinating philosophical meditation on that enormity.” — Jason Thompson, San Francisco Chronicle