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Mahany wins award for books translation

 John Thomas (J.T.) Mahany, a 2008 graduate of South Effingham High School, has been a busy man since his days in Effingham County. He’s been a college student at Oglethorpe University, a graduate student at the University of Rochester and is currently teaching and getting his Masters at the University of Arkansas.

His latest accomplishment, however, may be his most prestigious: award-winning author.

Mahany recently won the coveted Albertine Prize for his translation of the French work of fiction, Bardo or Not Bardo, by Antoine Volodine.

Mahany and his parents, Tom and Susan Mahany, made their way to the Big Apple for an award ceremony in his honor, complete with Mahany rubbing elbows with other authors and even signing copies of his book.

Mahany’s translation was one of three books vying for the Albertine Prize, which he won by way of popular vote.

With his win, Mahany received a cash prize of $10,000, which he split equally with Volodine.

“This is a distinguished prize, and we’re thrilled that J.T.’s work is being recognized and promoted,” Davis McCombs, director of the Program in Creative Writing and Translation said. “He’s both a gifted and prolific translator, and he clearly has a bright future ahead.”

According to a summary of Bardo or Not Bardo, Volodine’s book follows recently deceased characters through the Bardo, or Tibetan afterlife, where they are charged to wander 49 days until their rebirth.

Mahany was a Philosophy major and studied French at Oglethorpe University before moving on to graduate school at the University of Rochester in New York. He is currently pursuing his MFA at the University of Arkansas while teaching English classes and is on track to graduate with his MFA in 2018.

In addition to Bardo or Not Bardo, Mahany has also translated Volodine’s Post-Exoticism in Ten Lessons: Lesson Eleven.

Mahany’s translated book can be purchased on