2013 ALTA Travel Fellowship Awards

February 7th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

ALTA logo

Six years ago now (in 2007) I was one of the lucky young translators to get an ALTA Travel Fellowship. It was good money, huge encouragement at a precarious and impressionable time, and a great entrée into the world of literary translation by way of a conference that still manages to gather many of the country’s best literary translators each year for shoptalk, drinks, fascinating panels, and general comradery.

Applications are now being accepted for the 2013 ALTA Travel Fellowship Awards.  If you’re a newcomer to translation, no matter your age, you should try your hand! Each year, four to six fellowships in the amount of $1,000 are awarded to beginning (unpublished or minimally published) translators to help them pay for travel expenses to the annual ALTA conference.  (When I applied, I had two lit mag credits and a handful of comics to my name.) The 2013 conference will be held October 16–19 in Bloomington, Indiana, where UI has an impressive library with translators’ papers.

At the conference, ALTA Fellows will give readings of their translated work at a keynote event, thus providing them with an opportunity to present their translations to a large audience of other translators, as well as to publishers and authors from around the world.  ALTA Fellows will also have the opportunity to meet experienced translators and to find mentors.

If you would like to apply for a 2013 ALTA Travel Fellowship, please e-mail if possible a cover letter explaining your interest in attending the conference; your CV; and no more than ten double-spaced pages of translated text (prose or poetry) accompanied by the original text to maria.suarez@utdallas.edu.

If you have difficulties with e-mail, please mail the above documents to:

2013 ALTA Travel Fellowship Awards
c/o The University of Texas at Dallas

800 West Campbell Road.  JO51
Richardson, TX  75080-3021

Applications must be received by May 15, 2013 in order to be considered for this year’s fellowships.  Winners will be notified at the end of August. For more information, please visit ALTA’s website (www.literarytranslators.org) or contact Maria Rosa Suarez (maria.suarez@utdallas.edu, 972-883-2093).

February is Comics Month at Words Without Borders

February 5th, 2013 § 2 comments § permalink

Now up at Words Without Borders: their annual comics issue, chock full of goodies for the perusing, including quite a number from France. I have a chapter up, entitled “Tongue-Tied,” from Li-Chen Yin’s memoir Formosa (Ça et Là, 2011).

As this is my blog, and I get to say what I want, I’ll say it: the author’s choice of font to replace her original hand-lettering looks awful, and nearly ruins the piece. But the Li-Chen Yin is still a creator of potent metaphorical images, and her exploration of the politics of language education and its effects on children still packs a punch.

Don’t miss a bouquet of OuBaPo strips curated and translated by Matt Madden (currently enjoying a residency in Angoulême), especially “Palindrome” from my perennial favorite, professional wit François Ayroles, whose piece “I’m So Happy…” I translated for Two Lines XV and have been trying to get into print ever since. I reproduce a page from it below:


"I'm so happy..."

The Guardian reviews We Won’t See Auschwitz

February 3rd, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Rachel Cooke gives Jérémie Drès’s We Won’t See Auschwitz a winning review in The Guardian:

Jérémie is wryly honest about this episode, just as he is about the fact that they concoct, for the benefit of the Zelechów archivist, a cock-and-bull story about how they’re searching for a friend’s relative rather than their own – and it’s this kind of honesty, I think, that makes We Won’t See Auschwitz so enjoyable. For all that they are terribly serious about their quest, there are times when they just can’t wait to get away from all the proselytising rabbis and obsessive genealogists and head to the nearest restaurant for gefilte fish and marinated herrings. We Won’t See Auschwitz is Dres’s first book, but it reminds me strongly of the brilliant travelogues of the French-Canadian cartoonist, Guy Delisle (Burma Chronicles, Jerusalem): a little bit of history; a little bit of politics; the occasional joke. Both men refuse to be weighed down by the complexity of a situation – and their comics cut through the silt of the opinions of thousands of others gracefully, and with seemingly astonishing ease.


February 1st, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink


  • Critic Christine Bini did me the favor of translating my essay on Châteaureynaud’s story “Delaunay the Broker,” on her blog at Le Nouvel Observateur—according to Wikipedia, “the most prominent French general information magazine in terms of audience and circulation.” The piece was first published in English on the Kepler’s Bookstore blog, Well-Read Donkey.
  • For the second time (spring 2011 was the first), novelist and professor John Gregory Brown will be teaching A Life on Paper in his course The Fantastic in Fiction at Sweet Briar College. Over the course of the semester, students will read the entire book and blog on every story, in the context of work by Steven Millhauser, Kij Johnson, and Gabriel Garcia-Marquez. Seeing these young readers’ reactions was one of Châteaureynaud’s favorite parts of 2011, a sentiment I can only echo.

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