Stephen Snyder & Allison Markin Powell, Thursday, February 21

Translators from Japanese

Stephen Snyder & Allison Markin Powell

Snyder Powell joint 2

Reading their translations of the work of Yoko Ogawa, Hiromi Kawakami, and more

Thursday, February 21, 7PM

McNally Jackson Books/ 52 Prince Street, NY NY

Stephen Snyder is Kawashima Professor of Japanese Studies at Middlebury College in Vermont. His most recent translation is Yoko Ogawa’s Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales (Picador, January 2013). He has translated works by Ogawa, Kenzaburo Oe, Ryu Murakami, and Miri Yu, among others. His translation of Kunio Tsuji’s Azuchi Okanki (The Signore) won the 1990 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission translation prize. His translation of Natsuo Kirino’s Out was a finalist for the Edgar Award for best mystery novel in 2004. His translation of Yoko Ogawa’s Hotel Iris was short-listed for the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2011. He is the author of Fictions of Desire: Narrative Form in the Novels of Nagai Kafu and co-editor of Oe and Beyond: Fiction in Contemporary Japan, and he is currently working on a study of publishing practices in Japan and the United States and their effects on the globalization of Japanese literature.

Allison Markin Powell is a literary translator and editor. She has translated works by Motoyuki Shibata, Osamu Dazai (Schoolgirl, published by One Peace Books in 2011), and Hiromi Kawakami, among others, and was the guest editor for Words Without Borders’ first Japan issue. Her translation of Kawakami’s novel The Briefcase (Counterpoint, 2012) has been shortlisted for the 2012 Man Asian Prize.

This event is co-sponsored by the Asian American Writers’ Workshop.

Revenge Briefcase strip 2

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Lorenz, Novey & Epler on Clarice Lispector, Weds 1/23

Johnny Lorenz
Idra Novey

together with New Directions publisher

Barbara Epler

 read & discuss their translations of Brazilian author

Clarice Lispector

Wednesday, 23 January, 2013 7:00 PM
The Center for Fiction
17 E. 47th Street New York, NY 10017
(btw Grand Central & Lexington/53rd)

Please RSVP
212-755-6710 or


In 2012, New Directions published five books by the Brazilian author Clarice Lispector. One of the most exciting literary publishing events of the year, the project includes four books edited by Benjamin Moser, author of the recent Lispector biography Why This World: Near to the Wild Heart (translated by Alison Entrekin); A Breath of Life (translated for the first time by Johnny Lorenz); Agua Viva (translated by Stephan Tobler); and The Passion According to G.H. (translated by Idra Novey). These were preceded by a new translation by Moser of Lispector’s Hour of the Star. The Bridge Series is excited to present two of the project’s New York-based translators, Johnny Lorenz and Idra Novey, who will read from their work and discuss the project together with New Directions publisher Barbara Epler.

Johnny Lorenz received his doctorate in English from the University of Texas at Austin and is an associate professor at Montclair State. He has published poetry in Rattapallax, Massachusetts Review and Luso-American Literature, and scholarly articles in Interventions, Brasil/Brazil and Luso-Brazilian Review. Recipient of a 2003 Fulbright Scholarship to translate Brazilian poetry, he has published translations in Metamorphoses, Washington Square, Bomb, and Granta’s The Best of Young Brazilian Novelists. His translation of Clarice Lispector’s novel A Breath of Life was published in 2012 by New Directions.

Idra Novey is the author of Exit, Civilian, selected for the 2011 National Poetry Series, and The Next Country. Her poetry has been featured on NPR’s All Things Considered, in Poetry Magazine, Slate, and elsewhere.  Her most recent translation is Clarice Lispector’s novel The Passion According to G.H. She currently teaches at NYU and in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University.

Barbara Epler grew up in Evanston, Illinois, and joined New Directions as an editorial assistant after graduating from college in 1984. She became Editor in Chief in 1995 and in 2008 she was named Publisher and in 2011 the President.

Clarice Lispector (1920-1977) was a Brazilian journalist, translator and author of fiction. Born in Western Ukraine into a Jewish family who suffered greatly during the pogroms of the Russian Civil War, she was an infant when her family fled for Rio de Janeiro. At twenty-three, she became famous for her novel Near to the Wild Heart and married a Brazilian diplomat. She spent much of the forties and fifties in Europe and the United States, helping soldiers in a military hospital in Naples during World War II and writing, before leaving her husband and returning to Rio in 1959. She completed several novels including The Passion According to G.H. and The Hour of the Star before her death in 1977 from ovarian cancer.


The Bridge Series is the first independent reading and discussion series in New York City devoted to literary translation. It aims to promote public awareness about the art of translation by serving as a regular venue for readings, by both well-established and emerging translators and authors, and discussions on a range of issues related to this important literary art and practice. To receive regular updates, email “subscribe” to:

The Center for Fiction, founded in 1820 as the Mercantile Library, is the only organization in the United States devoted solely to the vital art of fiction. The mission of The Center for Fiction is to encourage people to read and value fiction and to support and celebrate its creation and enjoyment. With all our resources, including our exceptional book collection, our beautiful reading room, our expanding website, and our ever-growing array of creative programs, we seek to serve the reading public, to build a larger audience for fiction, and to create a place where readers and writers can share their passion for literature. For more information and for a schedule of events, visit

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Suzanne Jill Levine & Stephen Kessler, Monday, November 26, 7PM

Translators from Spanish

Suzanne Jill Levine & Stephen Kessler

On Borges, translation as subversion, and outsider writers of all stripes

Monday, November 26, 7pm

McNally Jackson Books

52 Prince Street (between Lafayette & Mulberry)

New York, NY  10012

Suzanne Jill Levine has received many honors for her translations of Latin American literature, most recently the 2012 PEN Center USA Literary Award for Translation, for The Lizard’s Tale, by José Donoso. She has long been the translator for the work of Manuel Puig and Adolfo Bioy Casares, and she was the general editor for the Penguin Classics Borges series, including the volumes Poems of the Night, The Sonnets, On Writing, On Argentina, and On Mysticism. She’s also the author of a biography of Puig, Manuel Puig and The Spider Woman: His Life and Fictions, a book on translating Latin American fiction, The Subversive Scribe, and a new chapbook, Reckoning. She is the founding editor of Translation Studies Journal at UCSB. More information can be found at her website:

Stephen Kessler is a poet, prose writer, translator, and editor. His version of Desolation of the Chimera by Luis Cernuda was selected by Edith Grossman for the 2010 Harold Morton Landon Translation Award of the Academy of American Poets. His other recent books include The Tolstoy of the Zulus: On Culture, Arts & Letters (essays), The Sonnets by Jorge Luis Borges (as editor and principal translator), The Mental Traveler (novel), and Burning Daylight (poems). He is also the editor of the quarterly literary newspaper The Redwood Coast Review. His translation of Poems of Consummation by 1977 Nobel laureate Vicente Aleixandre will be published in early 2013 by Black Widow Press. More about Stephen Kessler is available on his website,

This event was funded in part by Poets & Writers, Inc. through public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.

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“Passageways” launch, Wednesday, October 24, 7PM

The NYC launch of the new issue of Two Lines


with readings by

Erica Mena

Rachel Morgenstern-Clarren

Naja Marie Aidt

Wednesday, October 24, 7PM

McNally Jackson Books

52 Prince Street (between Lafayette & Mulberry)

New York, NY  10012

wine & cheese to follow

Erica Mena is a poet, translator, and letterpress printer. Her work has appeared in Vanitas, The Iowa Review, The Kenyon Review, Words Without Borders, Two Lines, and Asymptote, among others. She is the founding editor of Anomalous Press, and poetry reviews editor for The Quarterly Conversation. She holds an MFA in literary translation from the University of Iowa and is an MFA candidate in poetry at Brown University. For “Passageways,” she has translated, from Spanish, two poems by Puerto Rican poet Rafael Acevedo.

Rachel Morgenstern-Clarren is a writer, translator, and visual artist, and the blog editor for Words without Borders. Her translations from Brazilian Portuguese have appeared in Guernica, Two Lines, and Asymptote. She holds a BA in English and creative writing from the University of Michigan and is currently working towards her MFA degree in poetry and literary translation at Columbia University. “Passageways” features her translations of three poems by Brazilian poet Flávio de Araújo.

Naja Marie Aidt is the author of ten books of poetry and three collections of short stories, including the acclaimed Baboon. She’s received the Nordic Council Literature Prize, among other honors. In the United States, her work has appeared in Words Without Borders, Best European Fiction 2010, Copenhagen Noir, Zen Monster, Ecotone, and International Poetry. She is represented in “Passageways” by a short story, “Blackcurrant,” translated from Danish by Denise Newman.

About “Passageways”

“Passageways” is the nineteenth volume of Two Lines, an anthology put out yearly by the Center for the Art of Translation. Edited by award-winning translator Daniel Hahn and lauded poet Camille Dungy, it offers new, never-before-in-English writing from a dozen languages and more than 15 countries, and features international powerhouses—Quim Monzo, Fanny Rubio, Yves Bonnefoy, and Naja Marie Aidt—alongside work from emerging talents. Translators with work in the volume include Forrest Gander, Lydia Davis, Peter Bush, Julia Sherwood, Alexis Levitin, Alison Entrekin, Stefan Tobler, Margaret Jull Costa, and Brenda Hillman, among many others.

“Passageways” is capped off by the latest, freshest new fiction and poetry from that literary giant known as Brazil. Handpicked by the leading Portuguese translators, this parade of all-stars reveals the breathtaking writing coming out of one of South America’s most dynamic scenes.

For more information about the issue, go to Copies are available for sale on the Center’s website and also through the University of Washington Press, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and at independent bookstores nationwide.

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Schwartz, Shishkin & Post, Thursday, June 7, 7PM

A joint translator-author-editor event


Marian Schwartz, Mikhail Shishkin & Chad Post


discussing Maidenhair (Open Letter, 2012)

Thursday, June 7, 7 PM

McNally Jackson Books

52 Prince Street (between Lafayette and Mulberry)

New York, NY 10012  (212-274-1160)

Marian Schwartz translates Russian fiction, history, biography, and criticism. She is the principal English translator of the works of Nina Berberova and she translated the New York Times bestseller The Last Tsar, by Edvard Radzinsky, as well as classics by Mikhail Bulgakov, Ivan Goncharov, Yuri Olesha, and Mikhail Lermontov. Her most recent book translations are Andrei Gelasimov’s Thirst (AmazonCrossing), Valery Panyushkin’s 12 Who Don’t Agree (Europa Editions), and Olga Slavnikova’s 2017 (Overlook Press). Her translations of Mikhail Bulgakov’s White Guard and Ivan Goncharov’s Oblomov are now out in paperback from Yale University Press. Translations of hers that will appear in 2012 include pieces in St. Petersburg Noir (Akashic Books) and Subtropics, as well as Andrei Gelasimov’s The Lying Year (AmazonCrossing) and Mikhail Shishkin’s Maidenhair (Open Letter). She is the recipient of two National Endowment for the Arts translation fellowships and is a past president of the American Literary Translators Association. Her website is:

Mikhail Shishkin was born in Moscow in 1961. His first short story, “Calligraphy Lesson”, was published in Znamya magazine in 1993. In 1995, he moved to Switzerland, where he worked as a Russian and German translator for asylum seekers. His novels include Всех ожидает одна ночь (One Night Befalls Us All), 1993; Взятие Измаила (The Taking of Izmail), 1999, winner of the Russian Booker Prize; and Pismovnik (Letter Book), 2010, winner of the Big Book Award. His novels have been translated into fourteen languages, though Maidenhair is his first novel to be translated into English. Published in Russia in 2005, Maidenhair was awarded both the National Bestseller Prize and the Big Book Award. Shishkin splits his time between Moscow and Zurich.

Chad Post is the director of Open Letter Books, a press at the University of Rochester dedicated to publishing contemporary literature from around the world. In addition, he is the managing editor of Three Percent, a blog and review site that promotes literature in translation and is home to both the Translation Database and the Best Translated Book Awards, and the author of The Three Percent Problem: Rants and Responses on Publishing, Translation, and the Future of Reading. His articles and book reviews have appeared in a range of publications including The Believer, Publishing Perspectives, The Wall Street Journal, Bookforum, Rolling Stone, and Quarterly Conversation, among others.

More information about Maidenhair can be found at the Open Letter website:

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Dalkey Archive Translators, Monday, May 14, 7PM

Celebrating the Translators
of Dalkey Archive Press’s National Literatures Series

A Reading and Discussion with

Todd Hasak-Lowy, Mary Ann Newman,
Burton Pike & Damion Searls

moderated by

Joshua Cohen

Monday, May 14, 7 PM

McNally Jackson Books

52 Prince Street (between Lafayette & Mulberry)
New York, NY 10012

Joshua Cohen is the author, most recently, of Witz (Dalkey, 2010). A collection of short stories, Four New Messages, will appear this August. He has written for Bookforum, Harper’s Magazine, the London Review of Books, the New York Times Book Review, and other publications.

Todd Hasak-Lowy is the author of Here and Now: History, Nationalism, and Realism in Modern Hebrew Fiction (Syracuse University Press, 2008), a short story collection (The Task of This Translator, Harcourt, 2005), and a novel (Captives, Spiegel & Grau, 2008). He has a PhD in comparative literature from UC Berkeley, and from 2002-2010, he was a professor of Hebrew Literature at the University of Florida. His translation of Asaf Schurr’s Motti was published by Dalkey in 2011. He is currently at work on a translation of Dror Burstein’s memoir Netanya.

Mary Ann Newman, former Director of the Catalan Center at New York University, is a translator, editor, and independent scholar who specializes in Catalan culture. Her most recent translation was Quim Monzó’s Gasoline (Open Letter, 2010); she has also translated such renowned Catalan writers as Xavier Rubert de Ventós, Joan Maragall, and Narcis Comadira, among others. She is currently working on a novel by Marta Rojals, Spring, Summer, Etc. In 1998, Ms. Newman was awarded the Creu de Sant Jordi, the highest distinction bestowed by the Catalan government.

Burton Pike is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Literature and German at the CUNY Graduate Center. He edited and co-translated Robert Musil’s The Man Without Qualities (Vintage, 1996) and a book of Musil’s essays, Precision and Soul (University of Chicago Press, 1990), as well as Goethe’s The Sorrows of Young Werther (Modern Library, 1993). For Dalkey, he has translated Rilke’s The Notebooks of Malte Laurids Brigge and Gerhard Meier’s Isle of the Dead. His translations of prose and poetry from German and French have appeared in Fiction, Grand Street, Conjunctions, Chicago Review, and other magazines. He’s been the recipient of Guggenheim and Fulbright fellowships, and he is currently a member of the PEN Translation Committee.

Damion Searls is a translator from German, French, Dutch, and Norwegian, mostly recently of Nescio’s Amsterdam Stories (New York Review Books, 2012) and a biography of Martin Kippenberger, Kippenberger: The Artist and His Families (J&L Books, 2012). He has received a Guggenheim Fellowship, and his 2010 translation of Hans Keilson’s Comedy in a Minor Key (FSG, 2010) was a New York Times Notable Book and National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. Dalkey has published Searls’s book of short stories, What We Were Doing and Where We Were Going, and his translation of Jon Fosse’s novel Aliss at the Fire.

Dalkey Archive Press, founded in 1984, is a distinguished independent press based at the University of Illinois. It is committed to publishing work that has been ignored by mainstream publishing, and its list includes William Gass, Harry Mathews, Henry Green, David Markson, Ben Marcus, Gilbert Sorrentino, Flann O’Brien, Djuna Barnes, and many others. In their National Literature series, Dalkey publishes two to four books per year from a specific country over a period of five years; Hebrew, Catalan, Norwegian, Slovenian, and Swiss series are currently underway.

With the support of the Office of Cultural Affairs, Consulate General of Israel in New York

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Ted Goossen & Michael Emmerich, Monday, March 19, 7PM

translators from the Japanese

Ted Goossen & Michael Emmerich

a reading & discussion

Monday, March 19, 7 PM

McNally Jackson Books

52 Prince Street (between Lafayette & Mulberry

New York, NY 10012 (212-274-1160) 

Theodore (Ted) Goossen is Professor of Humanities at York University in Toronto, and a founding member of the Department of Contemporary Literary Studies at the University of Tokyo. He has written extensively on Japanese literature and film, and has published translations by numerous authors including Hiromi Kawakami, Yoko Ogawa, Masuji Ibuse, Naoya Shiga, Yukio Mishima, and Haruki Murakami. He is editor of The Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories and is presently co-editor, with Motoyuki Shibata, of Monkey Business International, the first Japanese literary magazine to be made available in an English version.

More information about Monkey Business

Michael Emmerich’s translations include a number of novels by Banana Yoshimoto (The Lake, Hardboiled & Hard Luck, Moonlight Shadow, Goodbye Tsugumi and Asleep), Manazuru (Counterpoint, 2010) by Hiromi Kawakami, The Apprenticeship of Big Toe P (Kodansha, 2009) by Rieko Matsuura, Vibrator (Soft Skull, 2007) by Mari Akasaka, Sayonara, Gangsters (Vertical Inc., 2004) by Genichiro Takahashi, and First Snow on Fuji (Counterpoint, 1999) by Yasunari Kawabata. He has edited and translated collections of contemporary Japanese short stories, including Short Stories in Japanese (Penguin, 2011) and Read Real Japanese Fiction (Kodansha, 2008). Among many other activities, he has contributed articles and translations to Words Without Borders and Monkey Business, and in 2011 he ran a Japanese-to-English workshop at the British Centre for Literary Translation. Honors he has received include a Fulbright Scholarship, an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship, and the 2010 Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission Prize for a Translation of Japanese Literature, for Manazuru. He is currently assistant professor of Premodern Japanese Literature and Cultural Studies at University of California, Santa Barbara, where his research is focused on translations of The Tale of Genji.

Read the Quarterly Conversation interview with Michael Emmerich

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