Three distinguished editors of translations
Drenka Willen, Barbara Epler & John Siciliano
discuss acquisitions, editing, and promotion
Friday, November 4, 2011, 7:00 PM
17 East 47th Street (between Fifth and Madison)
New York, NY 10017
Drenka Willen joined Harcourt as a translator and freelance editor in the 1960s. In 1981, she took over day-to-day duties for the Helen & Kurt Wolff Books imprint, and she has been a senior editor at the company, now Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, since then. Four of the authors she has edited have won the Nobel Prize: Günter Grass, José Saramago, Wisława Szymborska, and Octavio Paz. Her distinguished list also includes Umberto Eco, Italo Calvino, Amos Oz, A.B. Yehoshua, Charles Simic, Cees Nooteboom, Tomaž Šalamun, Danilo Kiš, Bohumil Hrabal, Ryszard Kapuściński, Yehuda Amichai, and Stanislaw Lem, among others. She is the recipient of the Maxwell E. Perkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in the Field of Fiction and the London Book Fair Lifetime Achievement Award.
Barbara Epler grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and started working at New Directions after graduating from Harvard in 1984; she is now the editor-in-chief and publisher. She has acquired works by W.G. Sebald and Roberto Bolaño, as well as Tomas Tranströmer,
László Krasznahorkai, Victor Pelevin, Inger Christensen, Yoel Hoffmann, Yoko Tawada, and Javier Marías. She was a contributing editor to Grand Street and has acted as a judge for the PEN/Nelson Algren Prize, the Bobst Emerging Fiction Prize (at NYU Press), and the PEN Translation Fund Awards.
John Siciliano is a senior editor at Penguin Group (USA). He publishes writers from around the world—classic and contemporary, famous and forgotten and first-time—for the Viking, Penguin, and Penguin Classics imprints. He has published books from China, Japan, Turkey, Macedonia, Russia, Sweden, Iceland, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Argentina, Brazil, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Morocco, and Kenya. Recent books he has worked on include Lydia Davis’s translation of Madame Bovary, the Finnish writer Arto Paasilinna’s novel The Year of the Hare, and Ludmilla Petrushevskaya’s There Once
Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby.