University of Rochester

Open Letter Announces Fall Events for Reading the World Conversation Series

August 25, 2010

Details on the fall portion of the 2010-2011 Reading the World Conversation Series (RTWCS) were announced earlier this week by Open Letter Books, and include an event dedicated to Swiss author Robert Walser, a special collaboration with the Ledig House for International Writers, and a roundtable on the state of international publishing.

The RTWCS launched in spring 2008 with readings by Salman Rushdie and Umberto Eco and the mission of bringing international authors and translators to Rochester. "Literature is one of the best ways to learn about cultures from around the world," said Open Letter publisher Chad W. Post, who also organizes the RTWCS. "And hearing an author read from his/her work is one of the best ways to get interested in a particular book."

Every year, the RTWCS features six events (three in the fall, three in the spring). They are sponsored by the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Rochester, Open Letter, the New York State Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and PEN America. Past events have included authors such as Dubravka Ugresic, Bragi ”lafsson, Jan Kjśrstad, and Jorge Volpi. The series also features internationally renowned translators, such as Charlotte Mandell, Martha Tennent, Alfred Mac Adam, Edward Gauvin, and Michael Emmerich.

"This fall's schedule is a perfect example of the balance we've tried to achieve with the RTWCS," Post continued. "We're bringing four authors from around the world to read together, highlighting one of the greatest authors of the 20th century and his translator, and hosting a roundtable to discuss all of the interesting developments going on in the world of publishing. It's this sort of diversity of programming that keeps the RTWCS fresh and fun."

All events listed below are free of charge and open to the public, and will be recorded and made available on the Three Percent website ( Open Letter Books is the University's press for translated literature. For more information, contact Chad Post at or 585.319.0823.

Thursday, Sept. 23, 6 p.m.
Welles-Brown Room, Rush Rhees Library

Robert Walser and His "Microscripts"
Susan Bernofsky, translator of Walser, Yoko Tawada, and more, will talk with Barbara Epler, publisher of New Directions, about the legendary Swiss author Robert Walser and his recently deciphered "microscripts," published in English translation by New Directions.

Thursday, Oct. 28, 6 p.m.
Hawkins-Carlson Room, Rush Rhees Library

The State of International Publishing
Yana Genova, translator from Next Page Foundation, Steve Dolph, translator from CALQUE publisher, and Chad W. Post, publisher of Open Letter, will discuss the ins and outs of publishing translations, touching on a host of topics from international funding to eBooks.

Tuesday, November 9, 6 p.m.
Hawkins-Carlson Room, Rush Rhees Library

Ledig House Roundtable
Four International Writers in Residence at the Ledig House will read from their works and discuss literary trends from around the world.