from the February 2008 issue
Translation of "Une Enfance Heureuse." Copyright Mazen Kerbaj. By arrangement with the author. Translation copyright 2008 by Edward Gauvin. All rights reserved.
Mazen Kerbaj, born in 1975, lives and works in Beirut. His main activities are comics, paintings, and music. He has published eleven books and many short stories and drawings in anthologies, newspapers, and magazines in throughout the world. Kerbaj is also one of the founders of the Lebanese free improvisation scene, both as a trumpet player and as an active member in the MILL association, which organizes the annual Irtijal festival (www.irtijal.org) in Beirut since 2001. In 2005 he launched Al Maslakh, the first label for this music in the region (www.almaslakh.org). In 2009, after fruitful collaborations with Lebanese cult punk rock band Scrambled Eggs, he launched a new sublabel, Johnny Kafta’s Kids Menu (www.johnnykafta.com), to produce alternative and experimental rock music from Lebanon. Between 2000 and 2011, Mazen Kerbaj played solo and with various groups in the Middle East, all around Europe, and in the USA.
Translated from French by Edward Gauvin
A full-time freelance translator since 2006, Edward Gauvin has made a living by translating almost exclusively creative work in various fields from film to fiction, with a personal focus on contemporary comics (BD) and post-Surrealist literatures of the fantastic. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s, and World Literature Today, and twice placed in the British Comparative Literature Association’s John Dryden Translation Competition. It has also been shortlisted for several major awards—the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize, the Albertine Prize, the Best Translated Book Award, the National Translation Award—and twice nominated for French-American Foundation Translation Prize. He has received fellowships from the NEA, PEN America, the Fulbright program, and the Centre National du Livre, as well as residencies from Ledig House, the Lannan Foundation, the Banff Centre, and the Belgian government. A multiple grantee of the French Voices program from the French Embassy, he is a frequent contributor to their cultural initiatives. As a translation advocate, he has written widely, spoken at universities and festivals, and taught at the Bread Loaf Translation Conference. The translator of over 350 graphic novels, he is a contributing editor for comics at Words Without Borders.
Photo credit: Quitterie de Fomervault-Bernard © 2016.