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October, 2012

The Week in Translation

GO what: 2012 PEN Literary Awards Ceremony when: Tuesday, October 23, 6:30pm where: Proshansky Auditorium, The City University of New York more info: http://ow.ly/eEu3U what: The Bridge: Passageways Launch Party with WWB contributors Naja Marie Aidt, Erica Mena, and...

Translation Roundup

READ Honors and Awards Congratulations to the recipient of the 2013 Newman Prize for Chinese Literature, Taiwonese poet Yang Mu! The 2012 National Book Award finalists were revealed this week. Interviews, Articles, Reviews In the new issue of Asymptote, award-winning...

The Song and the Singer: On Translating Gon Ben Ari’s \“The Sequoia Children\”

I grew up in Israel to bilingual parents. My father was born and raised in Philadelphia. My mother was born in New York City to Israeli parents. When my father speaks Hebrew he still has an accent. His Rs are soft. My mother is fluent in English and Hebrew, and makes spelling mistakes in...

Q & A with Aliefka Bijlsma

The Consul General’s Wife is the second novel from author and screenwriter Aliefka Bijlsma, now available in a sensitive translation from the Dutch by Kate Brown. The sad and tragi-comic tale of an aging diplomat and his downfall, which reverberates through the lives of those...

The Week in Translation

GO what: 2012 Garden City Literary Festival when: opens October 15 where: Port Harcourt, Nigeria more info: http://ow.ly/et5Co what: Manchester Literature Festival when: October 8-23 where: Manchester, England more info: http://ow.ly/et5EK what: MONET TO...

Translation Roundup

READ Honors and Awards This year's Nobel Prize in Literature was awarded to Chinese writer Mo Yan, whose novel Big Breasts & Wide Hips (translated by Howard Goldblatt) was reviewed by WWB. Interiews, Articles, Reviews All this month, City Lights bookstore is...

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: It’s Mo Yan

The Nobel Prize in literature goes to Chinese writer Mo Yan. From the citation: “Through a mixture of fantasy and reality, historical and social perspectives, Mo Yan has created a world reminiscent in its complexity of those in the writings of William Faulkner and Gabriel...

Book Review: Moshe Dor’s \“Scorched by the Sun\”

The poems in Scorched by the Sun, a collection from Israeli writer Moshe Dor, reveal a lyrical author who writes passionately and beautifully about love, nature, national identity, and war. The poems are short and free verse. They fully engage the senses, and the metaphors are often...

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: Down to the Wire

We're down to the wire. The Academy has confirmed that the Nobel Prize in Literature will be announced Thursday, and the speculation, oddly muted to date, has picked up a tad. Ladbrokes continues to show Haruki Murakami as frontrunner, now at 2:1, with Péter Nádas...

The Week in Translation

GO what: Festival de la Palabra in NY when: Thursday, October 11, 7pm where: Queen Sofia Spanish Institute/684 Park Ave at 68th street/New York, NY admission fee: FREE for Americas Society and Queen Sofia Spanish Institute Members; $10.00 for non-members. more...

Translation Roundup

READ Honors and Awards Congratulations to the 2012 ALTA Fellows: Janet Kim Ha, Hai-Dang Phan, Claire Van Winkle, Alexandra Berlina, and WWB contributor Joshua Daniel Edwin! Interiews, Articles, Reviews The well-beloved and prolific translator Michael Henry Heim passed away this...

The Week in Translation

GO what: 15-stop book tour for poets and WWB contributors Ghassan Zaqtan and Fady Joudah when: October 1-October 29 where: venues across the U.S. more info: http://ow.ly/e6xSc what: Istanbul Tanpinar Literature Festival: City and Fear, featuring over 60 authors from 22...

September, 2012

Michael Henry Heim, 1943–2012

The incomparable Michael Henry Heim died September 29. Translator of scores of books from a dozen languages and professor of Slavic at UCLA for forty years, he did perhaps more than anyone to advance translation in the US. Michael shaped both theory and practice across the field,...

The Translator Relay: Erica Mena

Our "Translator Relay" series features a new interview each month. This month's translator will choose the next interviewee, adding a different, sixth question. First up: poet, editor, and Spanish translator Erica Mena, whose translations from Héctor Germán...

Google, Chess, and the Art of Letting Go

I don’t play chess. I can name the pieces, I can just about remember how they move, but that’s about it. And yet here I am translating Shota Iatashvili’s My Story of Chess. Does it matter?  Not knowing much about chess certainly doesn’t affect my enjoyment of...

Translation Roundup

READ Interviews, Articles, Reviews An old Ethiopian farmer's story about an ant inspired a lifetime of collecting and translating children's books for New Zealand-born writer Elizabeth Laird. In a recent interview on World Literature Today, she talks about Ethiopia's...

The 2012 Nobel Prize in Literature: Round Two

Resuming our earier conversation, the speculation continues. Britain's suspiciously accurate Ladbrokes (remember, last year they had Tomas Transtromer in the top five) bets on Haruki Murakami at 5:1, followed by Bob Dylan (per an earlier commenter: oh, honestly) at 10:1, Mo Yan and...

The Week in Translation

GO what: Pole Position: Polish Book Autumnfest 17 events in 2 months, at 15 venues across 10 different cities, featuring 7 key Central European writers when: events run from September 19-November 7 where: various locations more info: http://ow.ly/dVGb8

Translation Roundup

READ Awards and Honors The Man Booker shortlist was recently announced. The top six books were written by British, Indian, and Malaysian writers. The 2012 prize winner will be revealed on October 16. Congratulations to the 2012 winners of the PEN Literary Awards, including...

The Week in Translation

GO what: SYMBIOSIS: AN EVENING OF ASIAN AND ASIAN AMERICAN POETRY with Monica Ferrell, Kimiko Hahn, Timothy Liu, and Angela Veronica Wong when: Thursday, September 20, 7:00pm where: Museum of Chinese in America/215 Centre Street, New York, NY more...

Translating Jami: The Impossible Task

I came across the fifteenth century Persian mystic poet, Jami, almost by accident.  A composer friend wrote a piece for piano and soprano based on Jami’s book-length allegorical poem, Salaman and Absal.  He asked me to read the sections of the poem he had not set to song,...

Translation Roundup

READ Awards and Honors Congratulations to Dubravka Ugresic, whose novel Karaoke Culture ( reviewed here by WWB) recently won the Jean Améry Award for Essay Writing! Interviews, Articles, Reviews On English PEN's Atlas, novelist Krys Lee confronts an audience...

Remembering the Departed Spirits: Liu Xiaobo’s \“June Fourth Elegies\”

“Let the darkness transform into rock across the wilderness of my memory.” — From “Fifteen Years of Darkness,” June Fourth Elegies Every year since the Tiananmen Square Massacre on June 4, 1989, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo has written poetic...

Fun in German, or How Much Glue Is In This Glühwein?

I am extremely fortunate to count Dagmara Kraus, the poet whose work I translate, as a friend. Dagmara was born in Poland, lives in Germany, and speaks four languages fluently (English among them). We communicate regularly by email and Skype, discussing work, publication, penury, and...

The Week in Translation

GO what: A Season in Poetry: Translator and WWB contributor Nathalie Handal, Rigoberto González, and Rodrigo Toscano read at the Bronx Botanical Garden when: Saturday, September 15, 4:00pm where: New York Botanical Garden/Bronx River Parkway at Fordham Road more...

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