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Europa Carnivale

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Europa Carnivale

Featuring eight writers - eight women - from six countries - from the Basque coast at Donostia, to Slovakia, to Romania, to Germany, to Turkey and from Wales - the Parthian Europa Carnivale project represents a collection of new European fiction and poetry, written by some of the most talented contemporary female authors writing today.

The eight books we have chosen tackle a number of extremely important or relevant themes, some of them universal despite their foundations in differing languages, histories and cultures. These writers have woven the tales of a number of extraordinary women challenged by religion, health, love, war and politics; from The Equestrienne’s feeble Karolina, whose passion for trick-riding is threatened by the goliath that is capitalism, to My Mother’s Hands’s Nerea, who must battle more intimate, personal demons in the face of her mother’s amnesia, each story, be it long or short, showcases a masterful depiction of the human spirit in the face of adversity and oppression.

PEC, which began with the publication of Goldfish Memory  by Monique Schwitter in Spring 2015, has eight books either published or in the process of translation, with new voices being discussed for 2017. The books already released have garnered critical acclaim and a wealth of prestigious prizes, including the PEN International/New Voices Award, the Beterriko liburua, the Rotahornpreis and, most recently, the PEN Translates Award.

 

The Titles


Düğümlere Üfleyen Kadınlar (Women Who Blow on Knots) by Ece Temelkuran

To be translated by: Alexander Dawe

Date of publication: Spring / Summer 2017

Original language: Turkish

Winner of a PEN Translates award

A phenomenon in Turkey with 120,000+ copies sold, Düğümlere Üleyen Kadınlar chronicles a voyage reaching from Tunisia to Lebanon, taken by three young women and septuagenarian Madam Lilla. Although the three young women embark on the road for different reasons – for each holds a dark secret – it is only at the journey's point of no return that Lilla's own murderous motivations for the trip become clear...

Unique and controversial in its country of origin for its political rhetoric and strong, atypically Muslim female characters, Temelkuran weaves an empowering tale that challenges us to ponder not only the social questions of politics, religion and women in the Middle East, but also the universal bonds of sister- and motherhood.

Ultimately, the novel begs the reader to mediate on the greatest problem women face today – can the power we hold make us happy, and how?

'If you cannot think of a better road story with heroines other than Thelma & Louise, you should read this novel. Temelkuran opens a battle against uniformed Muslim literary female characters.' —Özlem Ezer – Professor of Literature, Literary Critic

'This is an extraordinary novel, a stunning road story, a bitter fairytale and an awakening dream.'

—Gülenay Börekçi – Literary Critic

'I applaud Temelkuran for creating this piece of world literature which is ultimate magic.' —Onur Bilge Kula – Professor of Literature

 

Krasojazdkyňa (Working title: The Equestrienne) by Uršuľa Kovalyk

To be translated by: Julia and Peter Sherwood

Date of publication: Summer-autumn 2016

Original language: Slovak

It is 1984 and a small town somewhere in the east of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic is in the firm grip of totalitarianism. Karolina, a teenage girl who never knew her father and who grew up in an untraditional family full of strange women, is moving with her mother to an ugly prefabricated housing estate. Although she has a clumsy, weedy body for which she is ridiculed at school, she still manages to see what is the real essence of people – their souls. At school she can’t stand the socialist brainwashing and the vile canteen food, while at home she hates being witness to her mother’s sexual adventures with strange men.

One day, after catching her mother with a lover in the bathroom, she runs away. By chance she discovers a riding school on the edge of town where Romana, a physically disabled equestrienne, shows her how in spite of her handicap she can exercise on Sesil, a fat old horse grazing in the enclosure. The two girls become inseparable friends, and every day they go to see Sesil at the riding school. Soon, they are discovered by Matilda, a rider and trainer, who begins to coach them. At that time trick riding is an almost unknown sporting discipline, which Karolina compares to circus riding. They found a trick riding team, train and achieve fantastic success in competitions.

However, their career as trick riders and their personal lives are marked by the fall of the Iron Curtain and the arrival of capitalism in 1989. The dictatorship of the proletariat is replaced by the dictatorship of money. The team has to turn professional and the girls are expected to be absolutely perfect in their performances. All of a sudden there is no room there for the physically handicapped Romana and the unruly Karolina…

Krasojazdkyňa is a novel about the desire to realise one’s girlish dreams in spite of totalitarianism; it is a celebration of friendship between women and also a bitter acknowledgment that the desire for power can destroy any relationship.

 

Amaren eskuak (Working title: My Mother's Hands) by Karmele Jaio

To be translated by: Kristin Addis

Date of publication: Summer-autumn 2016

Original language: Basque

Winner of a PEN Translates award

One often has the feeling of not truly knowing those closest to oneself. This is exactly what happens in Amaren eskuak, which tells the story of a mother and her daughter, two women of different generations who nevertheless share much more than they believe. The precarious balance in the life of Nerea, a thirty-something journalist, breaks down when her mother, Luisa, is hospitalised with total amnesia. Nerea, who feels guilty for not having recognised the symptoms that afflicted her mother, now finds a person almost unknown to her, but notices the parallelism of two existences that at first seem to have very little in common. Amaren eskuak is an examination of the deepest human bonds and a beautiful and moving tribute to life.

Originally published in Basque in February 2006, Amaren eskuak is Jaio's debut novel, and remains one of the bestselling books in the Basque literary scene in recent years. The novel has been adapted for the big screen, filmed by Mireia Gabilondo, and presented at the Donostia Zinemaldia, the San Sebastián International Film Festival. It was the bestselling book in Basque at the Donostia-San Sebastián and Bilbao Book Fairs in 2006, and as a result won the Euskadi Plata and Zazpi Kale prizes. It received, moreover, other awards such as the Seventh Igartza Prize, the Beterriko liburua (an annual distinction which readers award the best book in Basque), Hontza, JUUL and Iparraguirre. It achieved both public and critical praise.

'It is a very well structured novel. Karmele Jaio has successfully revealed a very specific reality. For a moment, the outside and inner world of the mother – the world of memories and oblivion become one as do the past and present of her daughter. The worlds of the mother and the daughter are different, but for a moment blend into one under the light; the Light of life.' —Felipe Juaristi Diario Vasco (3-3-2006)

'Karmele Jaio reveals writing skills and purpose in her first novel. Firm writing skills further developed by her in her profession as a journalist. She takes the readers by the hand, almost without the latter realizing it, leading them through short phrases and texts imbued with personal inner dialogues and monologues. Yes, Jaio is undoubtedly a very skilful narrator (...) The book ends so fast!' —Iñigo Roque, Gara (18-03-2006)

'It is a novel full of feelings but the author does not get pulled into sentimentality. She has found another way to express feelings based on visual metaphors and comparisons.' —M. Egimendi, Aizu (01-04-2006)

 

Kristalezko begi bat (Working title: A Glass Eye) by Miren Agur Meabe

To be translated by: Amaia Gabantxo

Date of publication: Summer-autumn 2016

Original language: Basque

'The eye is not a miner, says Virgina Woolf, not a diver, not a seeker after buried treasure. The eye floats us smoothly down a stream.'

MARGUERITE YOURCENAR

'To be able to say how much love, is love but little.'

PETRARCH

'But what if we are all fictioneers? What if we all continually make up the stories of our lives? (…) Our life-stories are ours to construct as we wish, within or even against the constraints imposed by the real world…' J.M. COETZEE

A middle-aged woman retreats to Landes in France for a while, fleeing from her own suffering after the break-up of a relationship. Little by little, she finds solace in writing about the losses in her life, about her person, and about indifference and freedom, and in sharing the doubts that arise in her creative process with a 'you' whom she imagines to be on the other side of the paper. The glass eye, a self-referential element of the author-protagonist and metaphor for pain and transcendence, also represents the literary concept of the work, a private notebook where fiction imitates and replaces a fragmented reality.

The novel garnered acclaim, and recently won two very important prizes: Beterriko Liburua saria, the readers prize, and Premio Zazpikale, the prize of Bilbao book fair.

 

Goldfish Memory (Goldfischgedächtnis) by Monique Schwitter

Translated by: Eluned Gramich

Date of publication: March 2015

Original language: German

What does it mean to have a connection with someone?

Everyday you see tens and hundreds of faces and overhear countless conversations. Everyday you pass people by – on the street. In the office. In the car. In cafes and bars. Down the corridors of department stores and hotel rooms. But what makes one person a stranger, and another a friend, an accomplice, even a lover?

A traveller shuts himself up in his hotel room, with no one but room service to talk to; a teenager stalks her long-lost father; a journalist interviews a great poet with a dark past; a woman pursues a doomed liaison with an anonymous man she meets once a month at the casino; a bar lady locked in with the regulars at night... These are just some of the tales exploring the mysterious and random side of human relationships.

From the winner of the prestigious Robert Walser First Novel Award and Switzerland's Schiller Foundation Writers Prize, Goldfish Memory is the first translation of Monique Schwitter's form-breaking work. With a contemporary style that's cool, quick and funny, this collection is a refreshing new voice, not to be missed.

'One of the most delightful [works] that our literature has brought forth in recent times.' —Zurich Tages-Anzeiger

'In her prose style, Monique Schwitter succeeds in creating masterworks of the short form.' —Klaus Zeyringer, Der Standard

'The fatalist power of these stories is enormous.' —Michael Braun, Basler Zeitung

'This extraordinary book throws the reader against a wall.' —Helmut Schodel, Suddeutsche Zeitung

 

Clown's Shoes by Rebecca F. John

Date of publication: October 2015

Onstage again, you stare down at your feet, imagining you see the bright, painted curves of a pair of clown's shoes... It helps to pretend you are a clown, hidden inside baggy trousers, your true face invisible behind splashes of red lipstick and pale powder...

A dazzling, ambitious debut collection from a young talent (stories collected within it have been shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and won the PEN International/New Voices Award 2015), these critically acclaimed stories dip into the shadows and spotlights of life. From the pale waking hours to the darkling places, Clown's Shoes introduces a cast of lost characters trying to find their way, and asking whether everyone really does come salting home in the end?

Since the Devil visited the glove maker, she has found herself in the asylum counting out days instead of stitches. At the dog track, hidden amongst the rowdy punters, a woman bets on underdogs, life, and love. Onstage, a desperate mother performs a nightly striptease, whilst, in a small Welsh town, a young Korean immigrant tells her secrets to the sway of the sea.

The people who populate the exciting and intriguing world of Clown's Shoes have stories that enthrall the imagination.

'These stories come from a deep, soul-like place of vitality, warmth and beauty... a prodigious writer of great intelligence and talent.' —Roshi Fernando, author of Homesick

'This first collection of stories features a wonderfully diverse array of characters... Behind each colourful backdrop lies the inner turmoil of depression, grief and loss, which Rebecca F. John explores with touching empathy and a profound humanity.' —Francesca Rhydderch, author of The Rice Paper Diaries

 

Washing My Hair with Nettles by Emilia Ivancu

Translated by: Diarmuid Johnson

Date of publication: September 2015

Original language: Romanian

I picked young nettles while an April moon shone

And while the trees sang cradle-song for the shy grass and

The first lizards bathed in sunlight after a long eclipse.

‘The poetry of Emilia Ivancu invites us to discover a culture largely unknown to readers of Western literature. Here, in the greater Danube basin east of Budapest, a world of myth and symbolism remains intact. And while history will tell us that the open plains and remote mountains of the Balkans were the stage on which the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian empires fought, in the literatures of the region we find other mysteries, and the thread of narratives that reach back not centuries but millenia.’ —Diarmuid Johnson

In Washing My Hair with Nettles, Emilia Ivancu describes a natural world that lives as profoundly and passionately as the people who inhabit it. The landscape of her poetry resonates with soul and animism: mountains dream of music, wild creatures heal wounds, and women tread the thin line between modern day reality and traditional myth with delicate respect.

Dark mythology, our pagan roots and the duality of nature, in both its destructive and its nourishing forces, are all here in this evocative, unsettling poetry collection. Emilia Ivancu uses words and rhythm with a precision that reaches through verse to invocation.

‘Throughout this collection, Ivancu goes to places that only “shamans and poets” can. Beautiful, seductive, bewitching.’ —Jemma L King, Dylan Thomas Prize nominee

 

Pigeon by Alys Conran

Translated by: TBC

Date of publication: June 2016

Original language: English (to be translated into Welsh)

An incongruous ice-cream van lurches up into the Welsh hills through the hail, pursued by a boy and girl who chase it into their own dark make-believe world, and unfurl in their compelling voices a tale which ultimately breaks out of childhood and echoes across the years.

Pigeon is the tragic, occasionally hilarious and ultimately intense story of a childhood friendship and how it's torn apart, a story of guilt, silence and the loss of innocence, and a story about the kind of love which may survive it all.

 

The Authors

Ece Temelkuran

Works to be translated: Düğümlere Üfleyen Kadınlar (Working title: Women Who Blow on Knots)

To be translated by: Alexander Dawe

Biography: Ece Temelkuran is one of the Turkey’s best known novelists and political commentators. She has lived in several countries such as Lebanon and Tunisia to write her novels. Her investigative journalism books broach subjects that are highly controversial in Turkey, such as the Kurdish and Armenian issues and freedom of expression. The winner of numerous awards, including the Pen for Peace Award and Turkish Journalist of the Year, she has been widely published by outlets such as The Guardian, Newstatesman, New Left Review and Le Monde Diplomatique. She was a visiting fellow at the University of Oxford Saint Anthony’s College, and has recently given the “Freedom Lecture” as a guest of Amnesty International and Prince Claus Foundation. She has been invited to London by English PEN and the Freeword Centre for residency.

Temelkuran published her first book, the prose poem Bütün Kadınların Kafası Karışıktır (Women Are All Confused), in 1994. She has since written three novels - Muz Sesleri (Banana Sounds),  Düğümlere Üfleyen Kadınlar (The Women Who Blow on Knots) and Devir (Time of The Mute Swans), as well as several books of non-fiction. Parthian are due to publish the English translation of Düğümlere Üfleyen Kadınlar, which has been named the recipient of a PEN Translates award and has sold over 120,000 copies throughout Europe, in 2017. The working title is currently Women Who Blow on Knots - an adaptation of the title of the German-translated edition.

Ece Temelkuran's official website can be found here. You can also follow her on Twitter@ETemelkuran and on Facebook here.

 

Uršuľa Kovalyk

Works to be translated: Krasojazdkyňa (Working title: The Equestrienne)

To be translated by: Julia and Peter Sherwood

Biography: Uršuľa Kovalyk is a poet, fiction writer, playwright and social worker. She was born in 1969 in Košice, eastern Slovakia and currently lives in the capital, Bratislava. She has worked for a women’s non-profit focusing on women’s rights and currently works for the NGO Against the Current, which helps homeless people.  She is the director of the Theatre With No Home, which features homeless and disabled actors.

Kovalyk has written and staged 10 theatre plays and has published two collections of short stories, Neverné ženy neznášajú vajíčka (Unfaithful Women Lay No Eggs, 2002) and Travesty šou (Travesty Show, 2004). She has also published two novels, Žena zo sekáča (The Second-hand Woman, 2008) and Krasojazdkyňa (The Equestrienne, 2013). The latter has been shortlisted for the Anasoft Litera 2014.

Kovalyk’s early stories are set in Czechoslovakia of the 1970s and 1980s, while her more recent work, for example the novel The Second-hand Woman, depict post-communist society gripped by rampant consumerism. Most of her writing focuses on women and although Kovalyk dislikes labels (saying she prefers them on fridges) she does not mind being referred to as a feminist writer. What feminism means for her is “an urge to seek out female models in history, to write about women’s experiences and to criticize men and women who abuse power”.

 

Karmele Jaio

Works to be translated: Amaren eskuak (Working title: My Mother's Hands)

To be translated by: Kristin Addis

Biography: Karmele Jaio Eiguren (Vitoria-Gasteiz, 1970) is the author of three books of short stories –Hamabost zauri (Fifteen Wounds, Elkar, 2004), Zu bezain ahul (As Weak as You, Elkar, 2007) and Ez naiz ni (I’m Not Me, Elkar, 2012)– and two novels –Amaren eskuak (My Mother’s Hands, Elkar, 2006) and Musika airean (Music in the Air, Elkar, 2010).

Her first novel, Amaren eskuak, was originally published in Basque in February 2006 and remains one of the bestselling books in the Basque literary scene in recent years. In 2008, a Spanish translation of this work, Las manos de mi madre (Ttarttalo), was published, followed by a German translation, Mutters hande (Pahl-Rugenstein), in 2009. These editions were presented by the author herself at the Frankfurt Book Fair and at Guadalajara Book Fair. The novel has also been adapted for the big screen, filmed by Mireia Gabilondo, and presented at the Donostia Zinemaldia, the San Sebastián International Film Festival. It was the bestselling book in Basque at the Donostia-San Sebastián and Bilbao Book Fairs in 2006, and as a result won the Euskadi Plata and Zazpi Kale prizes. It received, moreover, other awards such as the Seventh Igartza Prize, the Beterriko liburua (an annual distinction which readers award the best book in Basque), Hontza, JUUL and Iparraguirre. It achieved both public and critical praise.

Her short stories and the novel Musika airean have also been translated into Spanish: Heridas crónicas (Ttarttalo, 2010) and Música en el aire (Ttarttalo, 2013). A Russian translation of the latter was published in 2014.

Her short stories have also been adapted for the stage: in 2010, the director Ramón Barea directed the play Ecografías (Ultrasounds), based on a short story of the same name by the author. Her short stories have also been selected for a number of anthologies, including Antología Narrativa Vasca (Pamiela), Pommes Perdudes: Antología Narrativa Moderna (Tigre de Paper) and Haginetako mina (Txalaparta).

You can follow Karmele Jaio on Wordpress here, on Facebook here, and on Twitter@karmelejaio.

 

Miren Agur Meabe

Works to be translated: Kristalezko begi bat (Working title: A Glass Eye)

To be translated by: Amaia Gabantxo

Biography: Miren Agur Meabe was born in Lekeitio in 1962. She qualified as a teacher, specialising in sociology, and later gained a degree in Basque philology. She taught at a Basque school (ikastola) in Bilbao for some years, and since 1990 she has been an editor at the Giltza-Edebé publishing house - where she is senior editor today. In 1986 she published Uneka... Gaba (Momentarily... Night), a short story collection, and four years later she was awarded first prize in the Lasarte-Oria poetry competition for the collection Oi, ondarrezko emakaitz! (Oh, Wild Woman of Sand!), which was published in 1999 in the magazine Idatz & Mintz. In 1997 she received the Imagine Euskadi prize for the volume Ohar Orokorrak (General Notes). Meabe revisited poems from those two collections in her most important work to date: Azalaren Kodea (The Code of the Skin - Susa, 2000).

In 2001 Meabe received the Critic's Prize for The Code of the Skin. In 2002 she received the Euskadi Prize for children's literature for her Itxaslabarreko etxea (The Cliff House - Aizkorri, 2001). Since then, she has published several books for children and young people: Bisita (The Visit - Gara, 2001), Joanes eta Bioletaren bihotza (Joanes and Bioleta's Heart - Elkar, 2002), Etxe bitan bizi naiz (I Live in Two Houses - Elkar, 2003), Nola zuzendu andereño gaizto bat (How to Mend the Ways of an Evil Teacher - Giltza, 2003), Amal (Gara, 2003).

Her 2013 novel, Kristalezko begi bat (Susa), focuses on a middle-aged woman who retreats to France following the break-up of a relationship, where she finds solace in writing about the losses in her life. It garnered acclaim, and recently won two very important prizes: Beterriko Liburua saria, the readers prize, and Premio Zazpikale, the prize of Bilbao book fair. It is due to be translated into English by Amaia Gabantxo, arguably the most prestigious Basque-English translator working today.

 

Monique Schwitter

Works translated: Goldfischgedächtnis (Goldfish Memory)

Translated by: Eluned Gramich

Biography: Monique Schwitter was born in 1972 in Zurich and now lives and works in Hamburg. Between 1993 and 1997 she studied acting and directing at the Mozarteum University of Dramatic Arts in Salzburg and went on to perform in Zurich, Frankfurt and Graz. In 2005 she published her first volume of short stories, Wenn’s schneit beim Krokodil (When It Snows At the Crocodile’s), for which she was awarded the 2006 Robert Walser Prize for the best literary debut of the year and the Förderpreis der Schweizer Schillerstiftung (2006). Her novel Ohren haben keine Lider (Ears Have No Lids) was published in 2008, and her collection of short-stories Goldfischgedächtnis was awarded the Rotahornpreis in 2011. This collection was translated into English by Welsh-born, German-based translator Eluned Gramich, and published by Parthian in 2015.

 

Rebecca F. John

Biography: Rebecca F. John was born in 1986 and grew up on the South Wales coast. She holds a BA in English and an MA in Creative Writing from Swansea University. She has been published in Parthian's Nu: Fiction & Stuff, and the Terry Hetherington Award anthologies Cheval 4 and 5. Her short story, ‘The Dog Track’, was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2013, and she was highly commended in the 2014 Manchester Fiction Prize. In 2015, her short story 'The Glove Maker's Numbers' was shortlisted for the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award and her short story 'Moon Dog', also in the collection, won the PEN International / New Voices Award 2015.

Her first short story collection, Clown's Shoes, was published by Parthian in October 2015.

Rebecca works as a ski instructor and, when she is not writing, she enjoys reading, sketching, riding horses, watching tennis and playing music.  Rebecca lives in Swansea.

Rebecca John's official website can be found here. You can follow her on Twitter @Rebecca_Writer.

 

Emilia Ivancu

Works translated: Washing My Hair with Nettles

Translated by: Diarmuid Johnson

Biography: Emilia Ivancu is a poet, translator, and researcher. At present she lives and teaches Romanian language and literature in Poznan, Poland, and holds a position at the University of Alba Iulia, Romania.

She has translated Angharad Price’s novel Oh, Tyn y Gorchudd from Welsh into Romanian as well as the work of Diarmuid Johnson. Her collection of poetry Jocul de a nu fi mai mult decât sunt/Gra w to, aby nie być więcej niż jestem was published bilingually in Romanian and Polish (2012) (transl. by Tomaszk Klimkowski), and Șamanii și poeții (2014) is her latest volume of poems, both published by Eikon Publishing House.

Her doctoral dissertation is a contribution to the discipline of Postcolonial Studies. Her other publications include Travels with Steinbeck in Search of America and Dictionary of Lucian Blaga’s Theatrical Characters (co-author). In winter, when she writes poetry, she dreams of the Welsh seawaters and the island Enlli, where she believes she will get some day.

Emilia Ivancu and Diarmuid Johnson (Wales), together with Tomasz Klimkowski (Poland) are co-founders of ARADOS (2009), a Society for the appreciation of poetry and lyric traditions in the Celtic, Romanian, and Polish languages.

 

Alys Conran

Works to be translated: Pigeon

To be translated by: TBC

Biography: Alys Conran's fiction, poetry, and translations have been placed in several competitions, including The Bristol Short Story Prize and The Manchester Fiction Prize. Having previously studied Literature at Edinburgh, she completed her MA in Creative Writing at Manchester. She also ran projects to increase access to creative writing and reading among traditionally excluded groups in North Wales. She was recently awarded a scholarship to write a second novel.

You can follow Alys Conran on Twitter@alysconran.

The Translators

Alexander Dawe

Works to be translated: Düğümlere Üfleyen Kadınlar (Working title: What Good Is A Revolution If I Can’t Dance?) by Ece Temelkuran (Turkish)

Biography: Alexander Dawe was born in New York and currently lives in Istanbul, Turkey. He has graduated from Oberlin Conservatory and College with degrees in Classical Guitar Performance (BM) and French Literature (BA) and has received the Cambridge ESL Diploma. He has worked for the British Council, the French Pharmaceutical company Servier as well as Robert College and Üsküdar Academy in Istanbul. Since 2001 he has been actively involved in TV and film work in Turkey, acting in domestic and international films, and doing a wide range of voice over work. For the past several years he has devoted the majority of his time to the translation of Turkish literature into English. Works include The Time Regulation Institute (co-translation with Maureen Freely), Efsane: The Legend of Barbarossa, Endgame and A Useless Man: Selected Stories by Sait Faik (co-translation with Maureen Freely). In 2010 he received the PEN Translation Fund award for his English translation of short stories by Ahmet Hamdi Tanpınar. For the past two summers he has attended the Cunda International Workshop for Translators of Turkish literature.

 

Julia and Peter Sherwood

Works to be translated: Krasojazdkyňa (Working title: The Equestrienne) by Uršuľa Kovalyk (Slovak)

Biography: Julia Sherwood was born and grew up in Bratislava, then Czechoslovakia. After emigrating to Germany in 1978 she studied English and Slavonic languages and literature at universities in Cologne, London and Munich, before settling in the UK, where she spent more than twenty years working for Amnesty International. She travelled widely in Eastern and Central Europe and the former USSR following the changes in 1989, deepening her knowledge of the languages and literatures of the region. In 2008 she moved to Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and started working as a freelance translator from English, Czech, Slovak, German, Polish and Russian into Slovak and English. Her translations of essays, feuilletons and literary criticism have been published in Forum, Eurozine, OpenDemocracy Russia, Aspen Review, Visegrad Insight, the weekly supplement to Slovakia’s most widely-read daily, SME. She is a regular contributor to the internet magazine www.salon.eu.sk, which aims to promote quality writing on cultural and political topics across Eastern and Central Europe  and from 2009 to 2013 she was responsible for its English version. She is editor-at-large for Slovakia with the international online literary journal Asymptote and administers the Facebook group Slovak Literature in English Translation, and has edited the forthcoming Words Without Borders feature on women writers from Slovakia (due in February 2015). She is now based in London, UK and chairs the NGO Rights in Russia.

Born in Hungary in 1948, Peter Sherwood was educated at Manchester Grammar School in the north of England and at the University of London, where he studied Hungarian and linguistics. Appointed lecturer at his alma mater, the School of Slavonic and East European Studies (now part of University College London) in 1972, he taught there until 2007. In 2008 he was the first appointee to an endowed chair in the US, the László Birinyi, Sr., Distinguished Professorship of Hungarian Language and Culture in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he taught until his retirement and return to the UK in the summer of 2014. His first translations from Hungarian appeared in 1967, while he was still at secondary school, and he has been translating from a wide range of Hungarian genres ever since. More recently he has also been collaborating with his wife, Julia Sherwood, in the English translation of contemporary Slovak, Czech, and Polish prose, including Peter Krištúfek's Dom hluchého (The House of the Deaf Man) for Parthian in 2014.

 

Kristin Addis

Works to be translated: Amaren eskuak (Working title: My Mother’s Hands) by Karmele Jaio (Basque)

Biography: Kristin Addis holds a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish with a minor in linguistics from the University of Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa), and a Master’s degree in Basque Linguistics and a Doctorate in Spanish Linguistics from Cornell University (Ithaca, New York). Before turning exclusively to editing and translation, she tutored for and taught university-level Spanish language and linguistics courses for nearly two decades, and taught Spanish and English language classes for children for many years. She has worked for fifteen years as a copy editor, specialising in scientific articles in English written by non-native speakers of English, and for twenty-five years as a translator. She translates primarily between Spanish or Basque and English, and is one of few who translate directly from Basque into English. She specialises in literary translation, which she especially enjoys, and has translated short stories (see, for example, An Anthology of Basque Short Stories, edited by M.J. Olaziregi; Our Wars, edited by Mikel Ayerbe Sudupe; Transcript 20: Basque, available at www.transcript-review.org), novels (And the Serpent Said to the Woman, by M.L. Oñederra; The Red Notebook, by Arantxa Urretabizkaia), and poetry (Interpretation of Tremors and Flexible is the Night, by Harkaitz Cano). She has also translated various works about the Basque language and culture (The Basques, by Julio Caro Baroja; Robert Laxalt: The Voice of the Basques in American Literature, by David Río). Ms. Addis has spent many years in the Basque Country; she currently resides in Iowa with her family.

 

Amaia Gabantxo

Works to be translated: Kristalezko begi bat (Working title: A Glass Eye) by Miren Agur Meabe (Basque)

Biography: Born in the Basque Country, where she grew up bilingually, speaking Basque and Spanish, Amaia was a gifted polyglot, mastering English and French at a young age before moving to and attending university in the UK. While studying for a BA in English and Irish literature at the University of Ulster, she graduated top of her class despite being the only foreigner in her year, and shortly after completed an MA in Literary Translation at the University of East Anglia, Norwich. Basque-to-English literary translations were uncharted territory at this point in time, and Amaia has since become the leading translator of Basque literature into English, translating works by every canonical Basque author. Decorated for her work, she has been a Wingate Scholar, received an NAE grant and an Emerging Artist grant (in the US) and been one of the winners of the BCLA John Dryden Literary Translation Competition. Her translations of Basque literary works have been published both in the UK and in the US, by publishing houses such as Archipelago Books, Graywolf Press and the University of Nevada Press in the US, and Arc Publications and Parthian in the UK, as well as magazines on both sides of the Atlantic such as Poetry London, The Rialto, Stand, Brick, Two Lines and more. Her own short stories (written in English) have been published in anthologies and magazines, and she has contributed innumerable literary reviews to the TLS and The Independent in the UK. Recognised as the current leading literary translator of Basque literature, Amaia Gabantxo has lectured and read her work, sometimes alone, sometimes along the authors she translates, in events taking place all over the world: at the Royal Festival Hall, the Edinburgh Book Festival, the Dublin Writers Festival, the BCLT Summer School, the London Book Fair, the Istanbul Book Fair, and in many universities all over the UK, US and Spain. She was recently awarded a place at the prestigious OMI Translation Lab, where she will discuss the translation of Basque literature into English.

 

Eluned Gramich

Works translated: Goldfischgedächtnis (Goldfish Memory) by Monique Schwitter (German)

Biography: Eluned Gramich was born in Haverfordwest. She studied English at Oxford and Creative Writing at UEA, before moving to live and work in Japan on a Daiwa scholarship. She has recently translated a collection of German short stories into English, and is currently working on her first novel. She was awarded third prize in the 2015 Terry Hetherington Award, and in the same year published Woman Who Brings the Rain: A Memoir of Hokkaido, Japan, which won the New Welsh Writing Award. She lives and works in Germany.

 

Diarmuid Johnson

Works translated: Washing My Hair with Nettles by Emilia Ivancu (Romanian)

Biography: Forthcoming.


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