Last Thursday, we held our final Reading the World Conversation Series event of the fall, featuring a group of four international writers and translators in residence at Ledig House — an international writers residency in New York that specializes in hosting authors and translators from around the world.
Now, the video of the event is available. Contained within this eight-part playlist is some reading, some commentary, some strong opinions on translating, and some Q&A:
And here are some more specifics about the event, Ledig House, and our four guests:
November 5, 2009 – Ledig House International Writers Residency is one of the only residences of its type in the United States. Since its creation in 1992, Ledig House has hosted hundreds of writers and translators from roughly 50 countries around the world.
At this event, Chad Post (Director of Open Letter at the University of Rochester) leads a panel of writers and translators from around the world—all of whom are currently in residence at Ledig House. The panel includes readings and discussion from:
Kathrin Aehnlich (Germany): Her first novel, published 2007, became a bestseller in Germany.
Tom Dreyer (South Africa): His second novel received the Eugene Marais Prize. His third was shortlisted for the M-Net Prize.
Linda Gaboriau (Canada): She is an award-winning translator of Quebecs most prominent playwrights.
Pravda Miteva (Bulgaria): She has worked as a literary translator since 1994, and owns a small publishing house.
(This event is hosted by Open Letter and University of Rochester Arts & Sciences. It is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts.)
The biggest issues with books like The Subsidiary often have to do with their underpinnings—when we learn that Georges Perec wrote La Disparition without once using the letter E, we are impressed. Imagine such a task! It takes a high. . .
Following The Infatuations, Javier Marías’s latest novel seems, like those that have preceded it, an experiment to test fiction’s capacity to mesmerize with sombre-sexy atmospheres and ruminative elongated sentences stretched across windowless walls of paragraphs. Thus Bad Begins offers his. . .
Death by Water, Kenzaburo Oe’s latest novel to be translated into English, practically begs you to read it as autobiography. Like The Changeling, as well as many other works not yet released in English, Death by Water is narrated in. . .
Jocelyne Saucier’s Twenty-One Cardinals is about the type of unique, indestructible, and often tragic loyalty only found in families. For a brief but stunningly mesmerizing 169 pages, Twenty-One Cardinals invited me in to the haunting and intimate world of the. . .
We know so very little; so little that what we think to be knowledge is hardly worth reckoning with at all; instead we ought to settle for being pleasantly surprised if, on the edge of things, against all expectations, our. . .
Many of Virginie Despentes’s books revolve around the same central idea: “To be born a woman [is] the worst fate in practically every society.” But this message is nearly always packaged in easy-to-read books that fill you with the pleasure. . .
Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s La Superba is appropriately titled after the Italian city of Genoa, where, after escaping the pressures of fame in his own country, the semi-autobiographical narrator finds himself cataloguing the experiences of its mesmerizing inhabitants with the intention. . .
It took reading 44 pages of Intervenir/Intervene before I began to get a sense of what Dolores Dorantes and Rodrigo Flores Sánchez were up to. Recurring throughout these 44 pages—throughout the entire book—are shovels, shovel smacks to the face, lobelias—aha!. . .
As presaged by its title, contradiction is the theme of Peter Stamm’s novel, All Days Are Night. Gillian, a well-known television personality, remains unknowable to herself. And Hubert, a frustrated artist and Gillian’s lover, creates art through the process of. . .
It’s a rare and wonderful book that begins and ends with violence and humor. At the start of Etgar Keret’s The Seven Good Years, Keret is in a hospital waiting for the birth of his first child while nurses, in. . .