27 September 12 | Chad W. Post

Continuing the series of ALTA preview posts (for those of you who are coming, or who wish you could be here), here’s a list of choice events from Thursday afternoon (which is only one week from now!). Also, just as a reminder, we’ll be videotaping a bunch of these events, so if you see one that intrigues you, stay tuned—you might be able to watch it online by the end of next month.

Thursday, October 4th
1:45 – 3:00 pm

History, Myth & Language in Francophone Literature

In Francophone countries, French is still often the language of literature and thus of the very literate, creating a distance from the indigenous languages of myth, folklore, and the everyday. The way, then, that a Francophone writer chooses to bend and subvert French to reflect his/her experience as a member of an ex-colony is telling. What are the ways in which the translator recognizes and respects these subversions?

Addie Leak: Moderator
David Ball: “Why Translating ‘Francophone’ Writers Means Translating French”
Marjolijn de Jager: “Freedom with French or Freedom from French”


To MFA or Not to MFA: The Translation Question

More and more universities are now offering certificates and degrees in literary translation, and many creative writing MFA programs include translation courses among their regular offerings. What is the status of translation within the creative writing program? Should it be its own track, or program? Can thinking about teaching writing in general make us better teachers of translation?

Susan Bernofsky: Moderator
Geoffrey Brock: “Translation as Creative Writing”
Becka Mara McKay: “Getting MFA Students Involved with Translation”
Russell Valentino: “As Opposed to What?”
Sidney Wade: “The Importance of Imagination in the Pedagogy of Translation”


3:30 – 4:45 pm

Literary Translation & Creative Nonfiction

This panel will consider the ways in which nonfiction writing might serve as a productive
analog for translators. To what extent do literary translation and creative nonfiction share similar “genre” concerns? Can creative nonfiction serve as a feasible alternative to commercial translation for literary translators? And to what extent can translation itself be practiced as a form of creative nonfiction writing?

Annie Janusch | Jennifer Zoble | Lina Maria Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas
Rachael Small | Anne Posten | Janet Hendrickson


The Marketing Toolkit: How Translators Can Make Their Work Matter

A translator’s work isn’t over when the manuscript is submitted. This roundtable will offer a nuts-and-bolts approach to helping your publisher market your work, and to helping the media respond to it and to you. This roundtable is part of an ongoing series of events convened by the PEN Translation Committee as it updates its online Handbook for Literary Translators.

Minna Proctor (Moderator) | Margaret Carson | Tom Roberge |
Ira Silverberg | Matvei Yankelevich

And remember, you can download the entire schedule here.


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I Remember Nightfall
I Remember Nightfall by Marosa di Giorgio
Reviewed by Talia Franks

I Remember Nightfall by Marosa di Giorgio (trans. From the Spanish by Jeannine Marie Pitas) is a bilingual poetry volume in four parts, consisting of the poems “The History of Violets,” “Magnolia,” “The War of the Orchards,” and “The Native. . .

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Joyce y las gallinas
Joyce y las gallinas by Anna Ballbona
Reviewed by Brendan Riley

This review was originally published as a report on the book at New Spanish Books, and has been reprinted here with permission of the reviewer. The book was originally published in the Catalan by Anagrama as Joyce i les. . .

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Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World by Ella Frances Sanders
Reviewed by Kaija Straumanis

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The Size of the World
The Size of the World by Branko Anđić
Reviewed by Jaimie Lau

Three generations of men—a storyteller, his father and his son—encompass this book’s world. . . . it is a world of historical confusion, illusion, and hope of three generations of Belgraders.

The first and last sentences of the first. . .

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Island of Point Nemo
Island of Point Nemo by Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès
Reviewed by Katherine Rucker

The Island of Point Nemo is a novel tour by plane, train, automobile, blimp, horse, and submarine through a world that I can only hope is what Jean-Marie Blas de Roblès’s psyche looks like, giant squids and all.

What. . .

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The Truce
The Truce by Mario Benedetti
Reviewed by Adrianne Aron

Mario Benedetti (1920-2009), Uruguay’s most beloved writer, was a man who loved to bend the rules. He gave his haikus as many syllables as fit his mood, and wrote a play divided into sections instead of acts. In his country,. . .

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I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World
I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World by Kim Kyung Ju
Reviewed by Jacob Rogers

Kim Kyung Ju’s I Am a Season That Does Not Exist in the World, translated from the Korean by Jake Levine, is a wonderful absurdist poetry collection. It’s a mix of verse and prose poems, or even poems in the. . .

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Kingdom Cons
Kingdom Cons by Yuri Herrera
Reviewed by Sarah Booker

Yuri Herrera is overwhelming in the way that he sucks readers into his worlds, transporting them to a borderland that is at once mythical in its construction and powerfully recognizable as a reflection of its modern-day counterpart. Kingdom Cons, originally. . .

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The Invented Part
The Invented Part by Rodrigo Fresán
Reviewed by Tiffany Nichols

Imagine reading a work that suddenly and very accurately calls out you, the reader, for not providing your full attention to the act of reading. Imagine how embarrassing it is when you, the reader, believe that you are engrossed in. . .

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A Simple Story: The Last Malambo
A Simple Story: The Last Malambo by Leila Guerriero
Reviewed by Emilee Brecht

Leila Guerriero’s A Simple Story: The Last Malambo chronicles the unique ferocity of a national dance competition in Argentina. The dance, called the malambo, pushes the physical and mental limits of male competitors striving to become champions of not only. . .

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The next few events from our Translation Events Calendar: See More Events >