Read Women! In Translation!
A tiny fraction of the literature published in English each year—under 5 percent—is written by authors writing in other languages, and a mere 25 percent of that 5 percent (1.25%) is written by women. The good news is, people are working for change.
Translators are pushing for greater parity, and some great presses are publishing more women in translation. Last year saw the launch of the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation, which explicitly aims to address the gender imbalance in translated literature. Readers, translators, and publishers are paying more attention to the women who write in languages underrepresented in translation, and working to promote LGBTQ writers, writers with disabilities, writers from working-class backgrounds, and writers who work in genres less often translated, such as sci-fi, thrillers, romance, young adult, and graphic novels.
We are proud to host our second annual celebration of Women in Translation Month (#WiT), created by Meytal Radzinski of the blog Biblibio in 2014. The goals for 2018, Radzinski says, “remain simple: Read, review, and discuss books by women writers in translation! Support women writers in translation! Try to find solutions for the lack of women writers in translation!”
Many readers have little idea about how translators work and what role they play in the publishing and promotion of books. This evening, organized in collaboration with Jenny Wang Medina and Alex Zucker, features translators reading from works by women they translate, sharing from behind the scenes about what they bring to the books, and discussing with readers what else can be done to help end gender disparity.
Katrina Dodson’s translation of Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories won the 2016 PEN Translation Prize. She is currently adapting her Lispector translation journal into a book and translating the Brazilian modernist classic Macunaíma, the Hero Without Character, by Mário de Andrade. Dodson recently edited a translation of Ana Cristina Cesar’s poetry collection At Your Feet.
Allison Markin Powell, a literary translator, editor, and publishing consultant in New York City, is translator of The Nakano Thrift Shop, a novel by the Japanese writer Hiromi Nawakami. Markin Powell’s other translations include works by Osamu Dazai and Fuminori Nakamura. She maintains the database Japanese Literature in English.
Tim Mohr is translator of the novel Baba Dunja’s Last Love, by the Russian-born German writer Alina Bronsky. He has cowritten best-selling memoirs by Duff McKagan of Guns n' Roses and Paul Stanley of KISS. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Book Review, Inked, and Daily Beast. Tim spent the 1990s as a DJ in Berlin.
Jenny Wang Medina, assistant professor of Korean studies at Emory University, is the translator of The Bird, by Oh Jung-hee. She will be moderating the event, and discussing Sora Kim-Russell’s translation of The Hole, by Hye-young Pyun, winner in the novel category of the 2017 Shirley Jackson Awards, for outstanding achievement in horror, psychological suspense, and dark fantasy fiction.
Government warnings about radiation levels in her hometown (a stone’s throw from Chernobyl) be damned! Baba Dunja is going home. And she’s taking a motley bunch of her former neighbors with her. With strangely misshapen forest fruits to spare and the town largely to themselves, they have pretty much everything they need and they plan to start anew.
From the author of Strange Weather in Tokyo comes this funny, heartwarming story about love, life, and human relationships that features a delightfully offbeat cast of characters.
Winner of the 2017 Shirley Jackson Award
Named One of the Top 10 Thrillers to Read This Summer by Time Magazine.
In this tense, gripping novel by a rising star of Korean literature, Oghi has woken from a coma after causing a devastating car accident that took his wife's life and left him paralyzed and badly disfigured.