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May, 2015

2015 Man Booker International Prize Finalists at Words without Borders

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The Man Booker International Prize, given every two years, recognizes writers whose work as appeared in English or been translated into English for literary achievement over the duration of their careers.  Among the eight finalists for the 2015 Man Booker Prize International who write in a language…...

2015 Man Booker International Prize Questionnaire: Hoda Barakat

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Hoda Barakat was born in Beirut in 1952 and brought up in Bsharré, Lebanon. She has worked in teaching and journalism, and has published five novels, two plays, a book of short stories and a book of memoirs, as well as contributing to books written in French. Her work has been translated into…...

2015 Man Booker International Prize Questionnaire: Ibrahim al-Koni

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Born in 1948 in Ghadames Oasis, Ibrahim al-Koni was brought up on the tradition of the Tuaregs, popularly known as "the veiled men" or "the blue men." Mythological elements, spiritual quest, and existential questions mingle in the writings of al-Koni, who has been hailed as magical realist,…...

2015 Man Booker International Prize Questionnaire: Katherine Silver

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Katherine Silver is an award-winning translator of literature from Spanish and is the co-director of the Banff International Literary Translation Centre (BILTC) in Alberta, Canada. Her most recent translations include works by Martín Adán, Daniel Sada, Horacio Castellanos Moya, César…...

2015 Man Booker International Prize Questionnaire: Michiel Heyns

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Michiel Heyns attended school in South Africa, in Thaba Nchu, Kimberley, and Grahamstown, and studied at the universities of Stellenbosch (B.Comm., MA, D. Litt.) and Cambridge (MA). He served as professor of English at Stellenbosch University from 1987 until 2002, when he took early retirement to be…...

2015 Man Booker International Prize Questionnaire: William Maynard Hutchins

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William Maynard Hutchins (b.1944) was the principal translator of The Cairo Trilogy by Naguib Mahfouz. He has been awarded National Endowment for the Arts grants for literary translation for both 2005-2006 and 2011-2012, each time for a different novel by Ibrahim al-Koni. His recent translations…...

2015 Man Booker International Prize Questionnaire: Marilyn Booth

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Marilyn Booth is visiting associate professor at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in the Program in Comparative and World Literature. Author most recently ofMay Her Likes Be Multiplied: Biography and Gender Politics in Egypt, she has also translated fiction and autobiography from Egypt…...

The Week in Translation

GO what: China-America Literary Symposium 2015: Reading Contemporary China when: Wednesday, May 27, 5:30-8:30pm where: SUNY's Confucius Institute for Business  more info: http://ow.ly/N4oI2 SUBMIT what: The Guardian's 2015 Stephen Spender Prize for Poetry in Translation submission…...

2015 Man Booker International Prize Questionnaire: Maryse Condé

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Maryse Condé was born in Guadeloupe in the French Caribbean. She studied at the Université de Paris III (Sorbonne Nouvelle), where she took her doctorate in comparative literature (1975). Her research was on black stereotypes in Caribbean literature. For twelve years, she lived in West…...

2015 Man Booker International Prize Questionnaire: Richard Philcox

Richard Philcox is the translator of 2015 Man Booker Prize International finalist Maryse Condé and Franz Fanon. Words without Borders: It must be gratifying to see the writer you translate honored as a finalist for the Man Booker. What is it that drew you, as a translator,…...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Freedom to Write Lecture

For complete coverage of the 2015 PEN World Voices Festival, click here It’s no small coincidence that this year’s PEN World Voices Festival theme was “On Africa.” Given the films celebrated at this week’s African Film Festival, and the literature, food, fashion, and…...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: Translation Bloggers

Blogger Michael Orthofer grew up reading book reviews in print newspapers and admiring the variety of books written by authors around the world. But throughout the mid-90s and early 2000s, he noticed less and less space was being devoted to reviews, especially of books by international authors. At Albertine…...

2015 Man Booker International Prize Questionnaire: George Szirtes

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George Szirtes is a poet and translator. He was born in Budapest in 1948 and came to England as a refugee in 1956, following the Hungarian Uprising. His thirteen books of poetry, which include New and Collected Poems (2008), have won the Faber Prize, the Cholmondeley Award, and a number…...

2015 Man Booker International Prize Questionnaire: László Krasznahorkai

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László Krasznahorkai was born in 1954. He gained considerable recognition in 1985 when he published Satantango which he later adapted for the cinema in collaboration with the filmmaker Bela Tarr.  In 1993, he received the German Bestenliste Prize for the best literary work…...

The City and the Writer: In Cochabamba with Rodrigo Hasbún

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Special Series/The Palestinians 2015 If each city is like a game of chess, the day when I have learned the rules, I shall finally possess my empire, even if I shall never succeed in knowing all the cities it contains.                 …...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: Women’s Voices in Translation

Saturday afternoon, writers, translators, editors, and publishers, gathered above Albertine bookstore to discuss the gender bias in literary translations published in the United States. “Where are the women authors in translation?” the panel of experts wanted to know—and considering…...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: “Édouard Glissant: Everything Scatter, Scatter”

The celebration of the late Martinican poet, writer, and cultural commentator began as moderator Christopher Winks set the room in a trance by reading some of Édouard Glissant’s poetry in its original French. Winks admitted that there is no panel that can sufficiently excavate the life and…...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: “Headscarves and Hymens”

Photo: Beowulf Sheehan/PEN American Center Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution is the title of Mona Eltahaway’s new book, described by the publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux as “a passionate manifesto decrying misogyny in the Arab world.” Eltahaway,…...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: “In and Out of Africa”

Photo: Molly Leon/PEN American Center Regular attendees at PEN World Voices know that the advertised theme of a panel may have little relation with what you end up hearing from the participants. The more participants there are, the more this may be true. “In and Out of Africa,” held…...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: “The Arrivants”

Photo: Beowulf Sheehan/PEN Word Voices Festival of International Literature To celebrate Kamau Brathwaite’s The Arrivants, Teju Cole, Nathalie Handal, and Binyavanga Wainaina spoke about the poet’s life and read from his work. The discussion was moderated by Brent Hayes Edwards at the Crosby…...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: “Queer Futures”

Photo: Beowulf Sheehan/PEN World Voices Festival On May 6, 2015, the PEN World Voices Festival brought together South African visual activist Zanele Muholi, Nigerian social entrepreneur Kehinde Bademosi, and Kenyan writer Binyavanga Wainaina for a panel discussion on “Queer Futures”…...

PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: “African Poets: The New Generation”

On Thursday evening at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, an eager crowd settled in to hear a discussion about Eight New-Generation African Poets, a box set of chapbooks just released last month. Although editor Chris Abani had been unexpectedly waylaid and was unable to make the event, editor Kwame Dawes was…...

The PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: “Divine Punishment”

            Photo: Elsa Ruiz When the award-winning thriller Castigo Divino was first published in 1988, its author Sergio Ramirez was three years into his term as vice president of Nicaragua. The manuscript for the English translation of the novel was completed soon afterward,…...

2015 PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature: Coverage at Words without Borders

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The PEN World Voices Festival of International Literature returns for an eleventh year, this time focusing on the literatures of Africa. Words without Borders will be be covering many of the events here on our Dispatches blog. Check back daily for ongoing coverage of events. …...

The PEN World Voices Festival As It Happened: “Armenian Genocide: A Dark Paradigm”

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In 1915, 1.5 million Armenians perished. Much of the world has yet to acknowledge the systematic killing, torture, and displacement of the Armenians as genocide. On May 6, 2015, PEN scholars gathered to pay tribute to eighty-two writers and cultural leaders who were among the dead. The event was not…...

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