By Katherine E. Young Talasbek Asemkulov’s A Life at Noon, translated into English by Shelley Fairweather-Vega, is an artistically risky enterprise. Billed as the first post-Soviet novel from Kazakhstan to appear in English, A Life at Noon is a lightly fictionalized autobiography of one of Kazakhstan’s leading artists. Author Talasbek Asemkulov (1955-2014) was known as […]

By Stiliana Milkova Last year I read Elena Ferrante’s new novel The Lying Life of Adults (La vita bugiarda degli adulti) in Bulgarian, in Ivo Yonkov’s translation from Italian. It was September 2020, it had just been released by Ferrante’s Bulgarian publisher, Colibri, and I was in Bulgaria myself. I went to Helikon, the largest […]

By Dorothy Potter Snyder I have learned that the lines we draw to contain the infinite end up excluding more than they enfold. I have learned that most things in life are better and more beautiful not linear but fractal. Love especially. – Maria Popova What’s the sum total of anything – food, gasoline, hope, or […]

By Rebecca DeWald It’s been a peculiar experience to discover the German poet Peter Huchel (1903-1981) in this lockdown year, when we were all forced to stay indoors and grapple with the loss of our social lives, while paying closer attention to the details and routines of our everyday lives. For some, this experience may […]

By Brandy Harrison It all began with youthful audacity. When someone asked me one day, “What are you reading?,” the answer was War and Peace. There was a pause, a faint flicker of confusion in the face hovering above my own, and then a slower, more tentative second question: “Why . . . are you […]

By Jeannine Marie Pitas “And time ah time that disjunctive / factor that almost runs out here / and therefore impedes us / from reaching the great why / and the superhow of this thing / almost holy / so tam tam almost holy / so almost almost / almost so holy,” states Argentine poet […]

Stories with Pictures draws attention to the communal nature of artistic endeavors, made even more collaborative with the additional presence of the translator.

By Conor Bracken Although from a red barn by Víctor Rodríguez Núñez and translated by Katherine M. Hedeen (co•im•press, 2020) was originally published in Spanish in 2014, it comes to an Anglophone public at an opportune time. Consisting of 77 sonnets, it immediately invites itself to the table that Terrance Hayes’s American Sonnets for My […]

By Robin Munby “Maybe some of that night’s fear and fleeing had been passed on to the part of her that once gave her life” (274), the ex-guerrilla at the heart of Slash and Burn reflects, towards the end of the novel. She has returned to the place she fled to many years ago, when […]

By Brian Robert Moore On the first page of Esther Kinsky’s Grove, a book translated by Caroline Schmidt which explores bereavement against the backdrop of a trip through Italy, the narrator details a Romanian mourning ritual: “In Romanian churches believers light candles in two separate places. It might be two niches in the wall, two […]

Anne Milano Appel is the award-winning translator of over three dozen books and 2021 marks her twenty-fifth year translating Italian literature. Her translations include works by Antonio Scurati, Paolo Maurensig, Claudio Magris, Primo Levi, Luce D’Eramo, Goliarda Sapienza, Paolo Giordano, Andrea Canobbio, Roberto Saviano, and numerous others in periodicals such as Chicago Review, Asymptote, Guernica, […]

By Emma Jones This past year was a year of disappointment for many of us, but especially for children and adolescents who had their life plans dashed before their eyes. For some, higher education has been postponed, employment has proved difficult to find or keep, and the world seems like an altogether darker and unfriendlier […]

By Natalia Ginzburg Translated by Minna Zallman Proctor There are people who think that writers make the best translators. I don’t agree. Sometimes writers produce excellent translations, but not always. Translating a beloved text can be a nourishing, invigorating, and vital practice for a writer. As long as the writer thinks of it as a […]

By Minna Zallman Proctor In 1963, Natalia Ginzburg’s seminal, miraculous, autobiographical novel, Lessico famigliare (Family Lexicon), came out in Italy and was an instant hit—selling over 86,000 copies that first year and going into five reprints. Then ten years passed before Caro Michele (Happiness, As Such). The decade-long gap between novels is not the result […]

Jenny McPhee is an accomplished translator of Italian literature––she has translated works by Anna Banti, Anna Maria Ortese, Fausta Cialente, Natalia Ginzburg, Curzio Malaparte, and Primo Levi, among others. She received a Guggenheim fellowship in 2020. In this interview, which is part of the special issue “Reading Natalia Ginzburg,” we focus on her translation of Ginzburg’s 1963 novel Family Lexicon (Lessico […]