Join Festival Neue Literatur for an intimate conversation about literature in translation with NYC’s celebrated literary editors, translators, and writers, who will discuss the importance of translating the voices of marginalized writers including LGBTQ individuals, people of color and women, as well as voices of writers from countries affected by the U.S. immigration ban. Featuring: Susan Bernofsky, Rivka Galchen, John Keene, Sara Khalili, Michel Moushabeck, Valeria Luiselli and John Freeman. Moderated by translator and Guggenheim Fellow Tess Lewis.
Susan Bernofsky is an author and translator and directs the program Literary Translation at Columbia in the MFA Writing Program at the Columbia University School of the Arts. Among her many published translations are retranslations of Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha (Modern Library, 2006), Franz Kafka's classic black comedy of nightmarish transformation, The Metamorphosis (Norton, 2014), and Jeremias Gotthelf's 19th century tale of horror, The Black Spider (NYRB Classics, 2013). She specializes in the work of the great Swiss-German modernist author Robert Walser – she has translated eight of his books, including Microscripts, Berlin Stories, The Walk, and Looking at Pictures. Her 2014 translation of Jenny Erpenbeck’s novel The End of Days won the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, The Schlegel-Tieck Translation Prize, the Ungar Award for Literary Translation, and the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize. Her most recent translation is the novel Memoirs of a Polar Bear by Yoko Tawada. She blogs about translation at www.translationista.com and is currently at work on a biography of Robert Walser for Yale University Press.
Rivka Galchen was born in Toronto but grew up largely in Oklahoma, where her father was a professor of meteorology at the University of Oklahoma and her mother, a computer programmer at the National Severe Storms Laboratory. Her writing, both fiction and nonfiction, has been published in The New Yorker, Harper's, the New York Times, and elsewhere. Her debut novel, Atmospheric Disturbances (2008) was a finalist for the Mercantile Library's John Sargent Sr. First Novel Prize, the Canadian Writers' Trust's 2008 Fiction Prize, and Canada's Governor General's Award, and was awarded the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Galchen's short-story collection, American Innovations, was published in 2014 and received the Danuta Gleed Award for Short Stories. Galchen lives in New York, where she teaches writing at Columbia University.
John Keene is Chair of African American and African Studies and Associate Professor of English and AAAS at Rutgers University-Newark. A former member of the Dark Room Writers Collective of Cambridge and Boston and a Graduate Fellow of Cave Canem, he is author of the novel Annotations, the poetry collection (with artist Christopher Stackhouse) Seismosis, the art book (with photographer Nicholas Muellner) GRIND, and the poetry chapbook Playland. His most recent work of fiction, Counternarratives, received an American Book Award and a Lannan Literary Award in Fiction in 2016.
Sara Khalili is an editor and translator of contemporary Iranian literature. Her translations include Censoring an Iranian Love Story by Shahriar Mandanipour, The Pomegranate Lady and Her Sons by Goli Taraghi, The Book of Fate by Parinoush Saniee, and Rituals of Restlessness by Yaghoub Yadali. She has also translated several volumes of poetry by Forough Farrokhzad, Simin Behbahani, Siavash Kasraii, and Fereydoon Moshiri. Her short story translations have appeared in The Kenyon Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, EPOCH, GRANTA, Words Without Borders, The Literary Review, PEN America, Witness, and Consequence.
Michel S. Moushabeck is a writer, editor, publisher, and musician of Palestinian descent. He is the founder of Interlink Publishing, a 30-year-old, Massachusetts-based, independent publishing house specializing in fiction-in-translation, history, cultural guides and award-winning international cookbooks. He is the author of several books including Kilimanjaro: A Photographic Journey to the Roof of Africa (The Armchair Traveller, London, 2011), and A Brief Introduction to Arabic Music (Saqi Books, London, 2017). Most recently, he co-edited the winter issue of the Massachusetts Review focusing on Mediterranean literature and contributed a piece to Being Palestinian: Personal Reflections on Palestinian Identity in the Diaspora (Edinburgh University Press, 2016). He is the recipient of NYU’s Founder’s Day Award for outstanding scholarship (1981), the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Alex Odeh Award (2010) and The Palestinian Heritage Foundation Achievement Award (2011). He serves on the board of directors of Media Education Foundation and on the board of trustees of The International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), an annual literary prize administered by the UK’s Booker Prize Foundation. He is also a founding member of the Boston-based Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble. He has performed at concert halls worldwide and plays riqq, tabla and daff on the music soundtrack of an award-winning BBC documentary on Islam, which aired as part of the series The People's Century. His recording credits include two albums: Lost Songs of Palestine and Folk Songs and Dance Music from Turkey and the Arab World. He teaches percussion at Amherst College and lectures frequently on Arabic music and literature-in-translation. He plays music almost daily; is an avid hiker and mountain climber; and is a rather obsessive collector jazz and world music, world percussion instruments, books, old maps, and contemporary art.
Valeria Luiselli was born in Mexico City and grew up in South Africa. She is the author of Sidewalks, a book of essays; and two novels, Faces in the Crowd and The Story of My Teeth. The latter novel, which was written in installments for workers in a juice factory, won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. She lives in Harlem.
John Freeman is the founder of Freeman's. He has written two books of nonfiction, The Tyranny of Email and How to Read a Novelist, and a collection of poems, Maps, forthcoming in the fall. In 2014 he edited Tales of Two Cities, an anthology about inequality in New York, as a benefit for Housing Works. A follow-up volume, Tales of Two Americas, will be out in May. The former editor of Granta, he lives in New York where he is Writer in Residence at NYU and teaches at The New School. His work has been translated into more than 20 languages.
Tess Lewis' translations from French and German include works by Maja Haderlap, Peter Handke, Alois Hotschnig, Melinda Nadj Abonji, Philippe Jaccottet, and the painter Anselm Kiefer. Her recent awards include a Max Geilinger Award, the Austrian Cultural Forum NY Translation Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She also serves as an Advisory Editor for The Hudson Review and writes essays on European literature for a number of journals and newspapers including The New Criterion, The Hudson Review, World Literature Today, The American Scholar, and Bookforum.