BKBF Bookend: PEN Translation Committee & WORD Present "Banned But Translated"

09/14/2016 - 7:00pm

This event takes place at our Brooklyn location.

Members of the PEN America Translation Committee read from translations of books that have been banned in other countries, to raise awareness about free expression and translation. Literary translators Alex Zucker, Allison Markin Powell, Chip Rossetti, Daniella Gitlin, and Jenny Wang Medina read from the works of authors Naawal El Saadawi (Egypt), Orhan Pamuk (Turkey), Yan Lianke (China), Magdy El Shafee (Egypt), and Anna Politkovskaya (Russia)-- translated, respectively, by Sherif Hetata, Maureen Freely, Carlos Rojas, Chip Rossetti, and Arch Tait.  An open discussion will follow, and audience members are invited to bring banned texts that they would like to hear read.  

Allison Markin Powell is a literary translator, editor, and publishing consultant in New York City. She has worked in the editorial departments of American and Japanese book and magazine publishing, and has translated works by Osamu Dazai, Hiromi Kawakami, and Fuminori Nakamura, among others. She currently serves as cochair of PEN America’s Translation Committee, and maintains the database www.japaneseliteratureinenglish.com.

Alex Zucker has translated novels by many Czech authors, including, most recently, Josef Jedlička, Tomáš Zmeškal, and Magdaléna Platzová. He currently serves as cochair of the PEN America Translation Committee. More information at alexjzucker.com.

Chip Rossetti has translated a number of Arabic texts, including Beirut, Beirut by Sonallah Ibrahim, the sci-fi novel Utopia by Ahmed Khaled Towfik, and the graphic novel Metro by Magdy Shafee. He received a PEN/Heim grant for his translation of Mohamed Makhzangi's short story collection, Animals in our Days. He is the editorial director of the Library of Arabic Literature series and is completing a PhD at the University of Pennsylvania.

Daniella Gitlin's English translation of Rodolfo Walsh's 1957 book-length work of investigative journalism, Operación Masacre, was published by Seven Stories Press in 2013. Her translations and writing have also appeared in Asymptote Journal, Huffington Post, and CineAction, among other publications. She is a member of PEN American's Translation Committee and serves as the chair of its subcommittee on free expression.

Jenny Wang Medina earned her Ph.D. in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, Columbia University. She is an adjunct lecturer of East Asian Literature and Asian American Studies at Rutgers University and Columbia University. Her translations include Oh Jung-hee’s The Bird and Choi In-hoon’s The Tempest.

RSVP is encouraged, but not required. Seating available on a first come, first serve basis.

Putin's Russia: Life in a Failing Democracy Cover Image
ISBN: 9780805082500
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Holt Paperbacks - January 9th, 2007

A searing portrait of a country in disarray, and of the man at its helm, from "the bravest of journalists" (The New York Times)

Metro: A Story of Cairo Cover Image
By Magdy El Shafee, Chip Rossetti (Translated by)
ISBN: 9780805094886
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Metropolitan Books - June 5th, 2012

When Shehab, a young software designer, runs afoul of a loan shark, all avenues of escape in Mubarak's corrupt, chaotic Egypt seem to be closed to him. Getting help from the bank is impossible without connections, and Shehab's uncle abroad wants nothing to do with his troubles.

The Four Books Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802124692
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grove Press - March 8th, 2016

In the ninety-ninth district of a sprawling reeducation compound, freethinking artists and academics are detained to strengthen and affirm their loyalty to Communist ideologies.

Woman at Point Zero Cover Image
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ISBN: 9781783605941
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Zed Books - November 15th, 2015

Nawal El Saadawi’s highly acclaimed feminist novel, Woman at Point Zero, follows the life of Firdaus, an Egyptian peasant girl, from her childhood of incomprehensible cruelty and neglect to her end in a grimy Cairo prison cell.

The Black Book (Vintage International) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781400078653
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Vintage - July 11th, 2006

A New Translation and Afterword by Maureen Freely