“[In the past century,] a number of old Sanskrit manuscripts of [Chandrakirti’s] work have been discovered, and Anne MacDonald has harvested their riches for this new edition of its first chapter. Her accompanying copiously annotated English translation makes accessible in all their complexity and brilliance Chandrakirti’s arguments against his opponents, and significantly enhances our understanding of seminal aspects of his Madhyamaka vision.”
— From the publisher’s description of In Clear Words. 
The 2016 KF Prize for Outstanding Translation was awarded to Dr. Anne MacDonald for her translation of the first chapter of the Prasannapada, which is contained in her book In Clear Words. (In Clear Words. The Prasannapada, Chapter One. Two volumes, Austrian Academy of Sciences Press, 2015, 951 pages.)


“Although the title suggests clarity, the text is actually quite challenging,” said Dr. MacDonald in an article published in Der Standard, a Viennese newspaper. The Prasannapada, written in Sanskrit by the 7th century scholar Chandrakirti, is a commentary on Nagarjuna’s Mulamadhyamakakarika.


Dr. MacDonald is a researcher at the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia of the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, Austria. Her primary focus is the development of Madhyamaka thought in India and Tibet. Her research on Chandrakirti’s Prasannapada and Madhyamakavatarabhaṣya is based on newly available manuscripts of these works.


Dr. Anja Hartmann, chair of the KF Academic Committee, presented the award to Dr. MacDonald on October 9, 2017, at the Austrian Academy of Sciences in Vienna, Austria.

Left to right: Birgit Kellner, director of the Institute for the Cultural and Intellectual History of Asia of the Austrian Academy of Sciences; Anja Hartmann, Khyentse Foundation; Anne MacDonald; Michael Alram, vice president of the Austrian Academy of Sciences.

In her acceptance speech, Dr. MacDonald said,

“I would like to sincerely thank Khyentse Foundation for having selected my book for their Prize for Outstanding Translation…I am sure that Chandrakirti would be thrilled were he alive today to see his work acknowledged by such a remarkable foundation, and by extension, by its exceptional founder and head, Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, held by the Tibetan tradition to be an emanation of Manjushri, the bodhisattva associated with prajna, insight, who is repeatedly mentioned and praised by Chandrakirti in his works.

“I have long admired the wide-ranging activities and impressive achievements of Khyentse Foundation, especially its dedication to excellence in scholarship, indeed critical scholarship, in Buddhist Studies, and its support of scholars both in the modern university system and in traditional monastic and lay settings. I have seen first hand the fruits of its generosity at the University of Vienna’s Department of South Asian, Tibetan and Buddhist Studies.”