European Jewish Writers in Translation

The 2021 Cohort

Following the success of the inaugural Jewish Writers in Translation workshop in 2019, Jewish Book Week will again be working with Jewish writers from five European countries to introduce their work to a wider audience. The writers, from France, Germany, Poland, Spain and the Netherlands will work with a dedicated translator on translating a short piece of their work into English. The aim is to showcase the variety of Jewish experiences in contemporary Europe.

The writers will work remotely with their translator throughout April / May 2021 and a selection of the participants will be invited to participate in an event at Jewish Book Week in London in 2022. Their translated piece will also appear in an anthology, together with the successful writers from the 2019 workshop.

This project is supported by the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe

Media Partner: Jewish Review of Books

 

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Writers:

France – Daniella Pinkstein trained as a linguist and has worked as a journalist, consultant in French and European political and institutional firms, translator and editor. Following a doctoral scholarship, she moved to Hungary to study the history of Hungarian Jews. As a writer. Que cherchent-ils au Ciel, tous ces aveugles ? (Editions MEO) examined the collapsed hopes of Europe, while her next novel (to be published in May by Biblieurope), Jérusalem, par une rosée de lumières, (Jerusalem in a Dew of Lights) secretly dreams of an unheard-of future. She is a regular contributor to the Institute Elie Wiesel (Paris), and the European Jewish Cultural and Academic Centre (Espace Culturel et Universitaire Juif d’Europe – Paris), for whom she organizes colloquiums and conferences on Jewish writers, poets and thinkers. She contributes to various literary or Jewish journals, including Etudes du CRIF.

Germany – Tomer Dotan-Dreyfus is an Israeli-born author, poet and translator. Although Hebrew is his native language, he has lived in Berlin for over a decade and writes mainly in German. He holds a BA and MA degrees from the Free University of Berlin, both in Comparative Literature and Philosophy, his thesis presented a research into the singularities of the letter O. His recent translations from German to Hebrew include Walter Benjamin, Vilem Flusser and Mascha Kaleko, recent publications of original poetry include five poems in the anthology Was Es Bedeuten Soll (2019) and five poems in the 21st edition of the journal Triëdere (2020). Dotan-Dreyfus received a working stipend of the Berliner Senate for German-language writers in 2020 for his first novel Birobidzhan.

The Netherlands – Femmetje de Wind studied both Law and Comparative Art History at the University of Amsterdam. She is an author, publisher, and journalist. She is also the founder of Jackie magazine, which she edited for seven years. Her debut novel Rivka, published in (2015) which is partially based on her father’s experiences during the second world war, received much praise. Het Beloofde Leven (The Promised Life) is her second novel.

Poland – Patrycja Dolowy is an artist, writer and activist.  For the last 13 years she has been interested in the problems of memory and Jewish heritage. She bases her projects on oral history and testimonies, interviewing witnesses to history and their descendants. She is the author and co-author of books, essays and performances. Since 2011 she has conducted on-going performance in public spaces called “Views: Memory of the City/Memory of the Body”. She is a lecturer at Artes Liberales, Warsaw University and is the head of the Centre for Innovative Science Education in Warsaw.

Spain – Dory Sontheimer was born in Barcelona and was raised Catholic. She subsequently learnt that she was Jewish and that her family had escaped from Nazi Germany. Following the discovery of seven boxes in her former home containing photos, letters and documents about her family, Dory has written two books, Les Set Caixes (Angle Editorial, 2014) and La Vuitena Caixa (Capital Books, 2017) about her family and their fate.

Translators:

Anna Blasiak is a poet, translator, journalist and literature co-ordinator of the European Literature Network. Anna writes poetry in Polish and in English. Her bilingual poetry and photography book (with Lisa Kalloo) Kawiarnia przy St James’s Wrena w porze lunchu / Café by Wren’s St-James-in-the-Fields, Lunchtime is out from Holland House Books. Lili. Lili Stern-Pohlmann in conversation in Anna Blasiak is also out now.

Vineet Lal is a literary translator of French novels and a conference interpreter. Based in Edinburgh, he has an MSc in Translation and Conference Interpreting from Heriot Watt University (Edinburgh). He attended the British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT) Summer School, and was awarded one of the first-ever BCLT/Translators Association’s Emerging Translator Mentorships with the prizewinning translator Sarah Ardizzone. His publications include Lacrimosa by Régis Jauffret, as well as a collection of short stories by emerging French children’s authors, Rising Stars!.

Alice Tetley-Paul translates from Dutch and German. She holds an MA in Literary Translation from UEA and is currently the Translator in Residence for the New Dutch Writing campaign. She recently co-translated My Name is Selma, the memoir of Jewish Resistance fighter and Ravensbrück survivor Selma van de Perre.

Rachel Toogood is a freelance translator and producer. Her most recent translations are Shopping Centre Paradise and The Glass Ceiling:Anne & Sylvia both by Laura Rubio Galletero, and Rongo, The Unknown Story of Easter Island by Patricia Štambuk, published by Pehuén. She has also worked as a producer and project manager for several internationally renowned organisations and festivals such as the Southbank Centre, the Royal Court Theatre, Japan Now and New Dutch Writing.

Chantal Wright teaches literary translation in the Warwick Writing Programme at the University of Warwick, and translates from German and French into English. She was awarded the inaugural Cliff Becker Book Prize in Translation, was twice shortlisted for the Marsh Award for Children’s Literature in Translation, and has been a recipient of a PEN/Heim Translation Grant. She has a particular interest in the work of writers who adopt a literary language other than their mother tongue.

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2019  JEWISH BOOK WEEK / BEIT VENEZIA PRIZE FOR NEW WRITING

The pilot Young Jewish European Writers in Translation Workshop took place in partnership with Beit Venezia in Venice in September 2019. Its objective was to introduce emerging writers to a wider audience. With support from the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe, four writers, from Poland, Hungary, Sweden and Italy, worked with their translators on translating a short piece on the subject of identity.

An event featuring participants of the translation programme took place at Jewish Book Week 2020.

In February 2020 Granta.com published Swedish author Channa Riedel’s History is a Music Box, translated by Sarah Death

Writers

Hungary – Timea Gulisio is a Hungarian poet & writer. She is a member of the National Association of Hungarian Creative Artists (MAOE), the Hungarian Society of Writers, Critics, and Literary Translators, József Attila Circle Literary Association (JAK) and Hungarian Young Writers Association. Her short story The Dollhouse (A babaház) was made into a film by Aron Krebsz in 2017.

Anti-Semitic Jews? Oh Yes, There Are!

Italy – Adam Smulevich – https://jewishbookweek.com/angela-and-the-survivor/

Poland – Ewa Cieplińska-Libner is a writer. She holds a Master’s Degree in Italian Philology from the University of Warsaw. She collects stories about intertwining fates of Poles and Jews. She is also interested in the Polish perspective of memory in Polish-Jewish relations. Currently she is studying for postgraduate Polish-Jewish Studies at The Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences.

In the Name of the Father

Sweden – Channa Riedel is a writer, poet and musician. She holds a bachelor’s degree in music from the Academy of Music and Drama, University of Gothenburg. The debut album of her septet Beloveds was released in October 2019 with lyrics by poets such as Juliana Spahr and Vladimir Mayakovsky. She is now studying for a master’s degree in Literary Composition at HDK-Valand Academy of Art and Design, and is currently working on her first collection of poems.

https://granta.com/history-is-a-music-box/

https://belovedsorchestra.bandcamp.com/releases

Translators

Anna Bentley is a British translator of Hungarian literature based in Budapest since 2000. In 2019, her translation of Ervin Lázár’s children’s classic, Arnica the Duck Princess was published by Pushkin Children’s Press and her translation of Anna Menyhért’s study of five forgotten Hungarian women writers, Women’s Literary Tradition and Twentieth-Century Hungarian Writers was published by Brill. Several stories by Gabi Csutak recently appeared in Anna’s translation in Trafika Europe’s online journal. She is currently working on Zoltán Halasi’s portrayal of Jewish life in Poland before and during the Warsaw Ghetto, his response to Itzhak Katzenelson’s poem Song of the Murdered Jewish People.

Anna Blasiak is a poet, translator, journalist and literature co-ordinator of the European Literature Network. Anna writes poetry in Polish and in English. Her bilingual poetry and photography book (with Lisa Kalloo) Kawiarnia przy St James’s Wrena w porze lunchu / Café by Wren’s St-James-in-the-Fields, Lunchtime is out from Holland House Books. Lili. Lili Stern-Pohlmann in conversation in Anna Blasiak is also out now.

Sarah Death has been a literary translator for over thirty years and has worked on texts of many eras and genres. Among the authors she has translated are Lena Andersson, Kerstin Ekman, Tove Jansson, Selma Lagerlöf, Astrid Lindgren, Sven Lindvist, Göran Rosenberg and Steve Sem-Sandberg. She was the editor of Swedish Book Review for twelve years and is a director of Norvik Press. In 2014 she was awarded the Royal Order of the Polar Star for services to Swedish language and literature.

Alta Price

“This was an all-round amazing experience for me – it gave me a chance to meet some emerging Jewish European writers, to work on the translation of a very interesting Polish writer whom I didn’t know before, but also to explore Jewish writing and culture in such a wonderful place like Venice. And to be able to immerse myself in all this fully and unhurriedly, that’s a really rare and precious thing.”  Anna Blasiak

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Beit Venezia weaves Jewish culture into the larger fabric of Venetian cultural life, serving both the local Jewish community and a general Italian and international audience. It organizes conferences, lectures, performances, and has promoted several residencies for writers, musicians and visual artists.

This project is supported by the Rothschild Foundation Hanadiv Europe