Martin Aitken

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“I was thinking about a whole load of names, the likes of Hamsun, Dostoevsky, Kafka...authors whose writing would be completely unfamiliar to us if it weren’t for the transformative, transcendental power of translation.” Martin Aitken—who has translated numerous Scandinavian authors including Helle Helle, Josefine Klougart, Karl Ove Knausgaard, and Dorthe Nors—accepts the 2019 PEN Translation Prize for his translation from the Norwegian of Hanne Ørstavik’s novel Love (Archipelago Books, 2018).

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Les Misérables

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Tom Shankland has directed a new television series adaptation of Les Misérables, Victor Hugo’s classic 1862 historical fiction novel, for Masterpiece on PBS. The cast of characters includes a young working woman Fantine, her daughter Cosette, and police inspector Javert, who chases after fugitive Jean Valjean. Ellie Bamber, Lilly Collins, David Oyelowo, and Dominic West star in the lead roles.

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Angel by Kathleen Flenniken

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“I am hovering over a 1950s America: chrome fins, picnic tables, hydroelectric power.” In this installment of Joseph Fasano’s Unamuno Poem Project, which presents pairings of poem recitations in English and Spanish, Kathleen Flenniken’s poem “Angel” is read by Clarissa Watson in English and Javier O’Donnell reads his translation in Spanish.

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Khaled Khalifa

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Khaled Khalifa talks with Renée Ragin at Duke University about questions of Arab and Syrian identity, the relationship between his writing and war, and themes of death and difficult journeys in his fifth novel, Death Is Hard Work (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2019). The novel, translated from the Arabic by Leri Price, is featured in Page One in the March/April issue of Poets & Writers Magazine.

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Benedict Wells

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“Carson McCullers is probably the author I feel the strongest connection to, in the way of empathy and seeing the world.” Benedict Wells, whose fourth novel, The End of Loneliness (Penguin Books, 2019), translated from the German by Charlotte Collins, is featured in Page One in the January/February issue of Poets & Writers Magazine, talks about his writing process, how he began as a writer, and some of the authors who have inspired him.

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The Girl in the Spider’s Web

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The Girl in the Spider’s Web is a film adaptation of David Lagercrantz’s crime novel, translated from the Swedish by George Goulding, which continues the Millennium series originated by the late Stieg Larsson. Directed by Fede Alvarez, the film sees the return of the two primary characters in the series: computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, played by Claire Foy, and journalist Mikael Blomkvist, played by Sverrir Gudnason.

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Maryse Condé

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In this 2002 interview, Guadeloupean novelist Maryse Condé talks with Ann Armstrong Scarboro, who wrote the afterword to Condé’s novel I, Tituba: Black Witch of Salem (University of Virginia Press, 2009), translated from the French by Richard Philcox, about uncovering truth in her writing. Condé is the winner of the inaugural New Academy Prize in Literature, which was established this year as an alternative to the Nobel Prize in Literature.

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My Brilliant Friend

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My Brilliant Friend (Europa Editions, 2012), the first novel in the Neapolitan Quartet by Elena Ferrante, translated from the Italian by Ann Goldstein, has been adapted into HBO’s first foreign-language series. Directed by Saverio Costanzo, the eight-episode miniseries stars Elisa Del Genio, Gaia Girace, Margherita Mazzucco, and Ludovica Nasti.

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Dorthe Nors and Helena Kelly

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“There are so many women who are not married, and don’t have children, out there; there are so many of us but it’s still a bit provocative to write about.” In this interview for BBC News, Dorthe Nors talks about Jane Austen, writing about women, and her novel Mirror, Shoulder, Signal (Graywolf Press, 2018), with Helena Kelly, author of the biography Jane Austen, the Secret Radical (Knopf, 2017).

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