Books Across Borders
Amid an increasingly inward-looking political environment, American readers are nonetheless reaching out, searching for new and diverse perspectives from around the world, especially in translation. John Freeman, editor of Freeman’s, has been at the head of the trend, promoting work that reaches across boundaries of nationality. Join him and some of the illustrious founders of the translator collective Cedilla & Co., Jeremy Tiang, Allison Markin Powell, and Heather Cleary, as they talk about translators as artists and advocates, and how to bring more international voices to American readers.
John Freeman is the editor of Freeman’s, a literary biannual. He is the author of two books of nonfiction, The Tyranny of Email and How to Read a Novelist, and editor of two anthologies on inequality, Tales of Two Cities: The Best of Times and Worst of Times in Today's New York, and Tales of Two Americas: Stories from a Divided Country. A book of poems, Maps, was published last year. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, the Paris Reviewand The New York Times, and been translated into twenty-two languages. The executive editor at Lit Hub, he lives in New York and is writer in residence at NYU.
Heather Cleary’s translations include Roque Larraquy’s Comemadre, Sergio Chejfec’s The Dark (nominee, National Translation Award 2014) and The Planets (finalist, BTBA 2013), and a selection of Oliverio Girondo’s poetry for New Directions. She has served as a judge for the BTBA and the PEN Translation Award, forms part of the Cedilla & Co. translators collective, and is a founding editor of the digital, bilingual Buenos Aires Review. She teaches at Sarah Lawrence College.
Allison Markin Powell, a literary translator, editor, and publishing consultant in New York City, is translator of The Nakano Thrift Shop, a novel by the Japanese writer Hiromi Kawakami. Her other translations include works by Osamu Dazai, Fuminori Nakamura, and Kanako Nishi. She maintains the database Japanese Literature in English and is a founding member of the translators collective Cedilla & Co..
Jeremy Tiang's translations from Chinese include novels by Yeng Pway Ngon, Chan Ho-Kei and Li Er, and most recently, Jackie Chan's memoir. He also writes and translates plays. His novel State of Emergency recently won the Singapore Literature Prize. Jeremy is the Managing Editor of Pathlight journal and a founding member of the translators collective Cedilla & Co.