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Translationship: Examining the Creative Process Between Authors & Translators (NYPL World Literature Festival)

An all-star cast of writers and translators discuss the joys and challenges of translation.

An all-star cast of writers and translators discuss the joys and challenges of translation. 

Relationships between authors and their translators are each unique in their own way, moving across time and over many miles in a special conversation that invokes a sharing of feeling and culture. As our global connectivity expands, translated works are becoming highly sought after by both independent and mainstream publishers in many countries, and even more so in places where censorship and restrictions on speech and expression exist.

Please join Annelise Finegan, Director of Graduate Studies in Translation and Interpreting at NYU; Antonina W. Bouis, award-winning translator and cultural strategy advisor; and Ernesto Mestre-Reed, Guggenheim Fiction Fellow in conversation with Karen Phillips, the Executive Director of Words Without Borders, as they discuss their creative process and how translation promotes greater cultural awareness and representation.

This World Literature Festival event is co-presented with Words Without Borders, the premier destination for a global literary conversation. 

To join the event in person | Please register for an In-Person Ticket. Doors will open 45 minutes before the program begins. For in-person events, we generally overbook to ensure a full house. Please arrive early to avoid disappointment; we will do our best to accommodate everyone. Booked seats that have not been claimed will be released shortly before start time, and seats may become available then. A standby line will form 30 minutes before the program.

To join the event online | Please register for an Online Ticket. This event will be streamed on Zoom. To receive a Zoom link, please be sure to register! The link will be shared with registrants shortly before start time.



The New York Public Library’s World Literature Festival (April 15-30, 2024) celebrates books and writers from around the world and reflects the languages spoken in our communities. Discover what our patrons are reading in different languages, resources the Library offers, free events, book recommendations, and more.


Now in its twentieth year, Words Without Borders is the premier destination for a global literary conversation. WWB’s mission is to cultivate global awareness by expanding access to international writing and creating a bridge between readers, writers, and translators. WWB organizes free events with international authors, translators, and critics, providing a space for readers to engage directly with the perspectives of published authors. For more informatioin visit


Karen M. Phillips serves as executive director and publisher at Words Without Borders, where she is focused on expanding access to international literature. Prior to joining WWB, Karen worked at the Americas Society, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and as a consultant to international cultural organizations including Germany’s UNESCO Commission. She holds an MPA from NYU’s Wagner School of Public Service and a BA from Smith College, where she studied Spanish literature. A lifelong student of languages, Karen speaks fluent Spanish and is conversant in French, Portuguese, and German.

Annelise Finegan, PhD, is clinical associate professor of translation and directs the graduate program in translation and interpreting at NYU. Her translations from Chinese include novels, plays, short fiction, and non-fiction by contemporary and historical authors. She has also worked for academic and textbook publishers as an acquisitions editor, publishing coordinator, bilingual copy editor, and project manager.

Called “one of the best translators at work today” by the Wall Street Journal in 2016, Antonina W. Bouis has done over a hundred translations. Her most recent work is devoted to Sergei Lebedev, published by New Vessel Press: Oblivion (chosen as one the 10 best books of the year by the Wall Street Journal), The Year of the Comet, The Goose Fritz (“brilliantly translated” Financial Times), Untraceable, A Present Past, and Lady of the Mine, coming in 2025. Other authors include Yevgeny Yevtushenko, Sergei Dovlatov, and Solomon Volkov. She lives in NYC.

Ernesto Mestre-Reed was born in Guantánamo, Cuba, and lives in New York City. He is the author of the novels The Lazarus Rumba, The Second Death of Única Aveyano, and Sacrificio. He is a Guggenheim Fiction Fellow and a MacDowell Fellow and teaches at Brooklyn College. He has also translated many novels from Spanish, including Laura Esquivel’s Malinche.



  • You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation or CART (Communication Access Real-Time Translation) captioning service by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email
  • This venue is fully accessible to wheelchairs.


  • Live captioning will be provided.
  • You can request a free ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation by emailing your request at least two weeks in advance of the event: email