Bridging Cultural Gaps Through Literary Translation – ONLINE

Date – Thursday 29 July, 6.30pm-7.30pm
Venue: Zoom
Ticket price: Free
Age guidance: 16+

Host of the Desi Books podcast, Jenny Bhatt, discusses the trends, ethics and politics of South Asian book translations. With Arunava Sinha and Jayasree Kalathil. Translation introduces diverse works to readers across generations, cultures, and geographic regions. In recent times, we’ve been seeing some improved trends in literary translations from and in South Asia.

How can works in translation expand readers’ understanding and appreciation of different literary and cultural traditions? What are some of the ethics and politics of translating cultural biases responsibly? How is globalization playing a role: is there better visibility, awareness, access, etc. for South Asian translations or are these works falling through the cracks because of social media echo chambers and big publisher hype machines?

As literary translators, what is or could be our role within the publishing ecosystem beyond the works we put out there: both in countering industry gatekeeping problems/biases and pushing for a more inclusive canon of global literature?

Jenny Bhatt is a writer, literary translator, and reviewer. She is the host of the Desi Books podcast, which includes literary news, awards, submissions calls and events information, alongside readings and discussions from desi writers. Jenny teaches creative writing at Writing Workshops Dallas. Her debut short story collection, Each of Us Killers: Stories, launched with 7.13 Books in September 2020. Her literary translation from Gujarati to
English,  Ratno Dholi: The Best Stories of Dhumketu , launched in October 2020 with HarperCollins India.

Arunava Sinha is the translator of Panty, Abandon and The Yogini. He has translated over 50 books from Bengali. Winner of the Crossword translation award, for both Sankar’s Chowringhee and Anita Agnihotri’s Seventeen, and of the Muse India translation award for Buddhadeva Bose’s When The Time Is Right, his translation of Chowringhee was also shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize.

Jayasree Kalathil’s translation of N Prabhakaran’s novellas Diary of a Malayali Madman won the Crossword Books Jury Award for Indian Language Translation in 2019. The book was also longlisted for the Mathrubhumi Book Award 2020. Her translation of S Hareesh’s Moustache was published in 2020. Kalathil is the author of The Sackclothman, a children’s book that has been translated into Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi. Outside literary pursuits, she is a researcher and activist working in mental health and human rights and has published widely in this area.


Jul 29 2021


6:30 pm - 7:30 pm

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