Writers, Translators, and Artists of the Center for Writers and Translators
Daniel Albright teaches in the Comparative Literature, English, and Music departments at Harvard University. Most of his work concerns the interactions of artistic media, particularly music, poetry, and painting: how (in multi-media works) they reinforce one another, or counterpoint one another, or struggle against one another; how (in works in a single medium) one medium can dissemble itself, feign the techniques or themes of an alien medium. He hopes to write a general introduction to the theory and practice of Comparative Arts, in order to encourage further study in this interdisciplinary realm, oddly neglected in the modern academy.
"Evasions" (The Cahier Series, vol.15. Sylph Editions, February 2011)
Keith Botsford was born in Brussels of an Italian mother and an expatriate American father, and was educated first in England and after 1939 in the United States at Yale University and the University of Iowa, with further study in music, the law, and Japanese. He has subsequently taught Comparative Literature, History, and Journalism at Bard College, the University of Puerto Rico, the University of Texas, and Boston University. He has worked extensively in film and television, has been Deputy Secretary of International PEN, Director of the Ford Foundation’s National Translation Center, and a correspondent and columnist for The Sunday Times, The Independent, and La Stampa. His publications include eleven novels and collections of stories, and six works of non-fiction, as well as many translations. He has edited nine magazines, three of them with his lifelong friend, Saul Bellow, and is currently Editor of The Republic of Letters. His most recent books include Death & the Maiden, Collaboration, and Fragments I, the first of three autobiographical memoirs covering his first twenty years. He lives in Cahuita, Costa Rica.
"Józef Czapski: A Life in Translation" (The Cahier Series, vol.10. Sylph Editions, June 2009)
Keith Botsford's personal website
Linda Bree is Literature Publisher at Cambridge University Press, with a commissioning remit across monographs, reference and text books, and scholarly editions, and across British, European and world literature. Her publications include the first full-length scholarly study of the eighteenth-century writer Sarah Fielding; her most recent project is a scholarly edition of Jane Austen’s manuscripts, co-edited with Janet Todd, which completes The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jane Austen.
Bella Brodzki is Professor of Literature at Sarah Lawrence College. She works in critical and cultural theory, gender studies, postcolonial studies, translation studies, autobiography, and modern and contemporary fiction. Selected scholarly publications include essays in PMLA, MLN, Yale French Studies, and in collections such as Borderwork: Feminist Engagements with Comparative Literature; Women, Autobiography, and Fiction: A Reader; Critical Cosmos: Latin American Approaches to Fiction; and Feminism and Institutions: A Dialogue on Feminist Theory. She is author of Can These Bones Live?: Translation, Survival, and Cultural Memory.
Sylvia Brownrigg is the author of three novels, including the recent and much praised The Delivery Room, as well as of a collection of short stories entitled Ten Women Who Shook the World. Her fiction has appeared in publications including frieze and Zoetrope: All story, her critical writings in the Times Literary Supplement, the Guardian, New Statesman, New York Times, and elsewhere. She was raised in England and California and has taught at The American University of Paris.
Sylvia Brownrigg's website
Jerome Charyn was born in the Bronx in 1937. He attended Columbia College and was a founding editor of the Dutton Review and the executive editor of Fiction. He is the author of more than thirty books including The Isaac Quartet, Sizzling Chops & Devilish Spins, and Metropolis: New York as Myth, Marketplace and Magical Land. Charyn is a Guggenheim Fellow whose novel Darlin' Bill received the Rosenthal Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. In 1996 he was named an Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture. His prolific writing career includes 37 published works published in twelve languages.
J.M. Coetzee is the author of more than a dozen novels, of three fictionalised volumes of autobiography, of five books of collected essays, and of numerous translations and reviews. He has won the Booker Prize twice, for his novels Life & Times of Michael K. and Disgrace, and won the Nobel prize for literature in 2003.
Claire Conceison, Professor of Theater Studies at Duke University, is a scholar, translator, and director who teaches courses in intercultural theatre and performance studies. Her research focus is contemporary theatre practice in China. She is author of the books Significant Other: Staging the American in China and Voices Carry: Behind bars and Backstage During China’s Revolution and Reform, the collaborative autobiography of Chinese actor, translator, and politician Ying Ruocheng. She is the translator of Gao Xingjian’s Ballade Nocturne for no.13 in the Cahiers Series. Her current project is a study of the French-language plays of Gao Xingjian.
Vincen Cornu, architect, was born in 1954 in Poitou. He has completed projects of various scales and types including schools, museums, houses, collective housing, urban projects, and furniture. He is the designer of more than forty museum exhibitions, including for shows by Cézanne, Corot, Delacroix, Matisse, Monet, Munch, Picasso, Poussin, Seurat, Turner, Whistler, and on the Vikings. Since 1994 he has taught at the Ecole d’Architecture de Paris (la Villette). He lives and runs his own architecture practice in Paris.
George Craig, Honorary Research Fellow at the University of Sussex, is the chief translator for the Letters of Samuel Beckett. For the four-volume edition he has translated the nearly fifty percent of Beckett’s 15,000 letters that are in French. He regularly meets and advises AUP student interns working on the Beckett Letters Project.
Lydia Davis was born in 1947 and grew up in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New York City. She is the author of one novel and four collections of short fiction, the most recent of which, Varieties of Disturbance (2007), was nominated for a National Book Award. She has translated a number of French novels, memoirs, and volumes of literary criticism, including works by Maurice Blanchot, Pierre Jean Jouve, Michel Butor, Michel Leiris, and most recently Swann's Way by Marcel Proust (2002), which received the French-American Foundation's Annual Translation Prize. Davis was named a Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by the French government for her fiction and translation, and in 2003 received a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. Currently translating Madame Bovary for Penguin Classics, she lives in upstate New York, where she is on the faculty of SUNY Albany and is a Fellow of the New York State Writers Institute.
Isabella Ducrot is a Neapolitan artist who lives and works in Rome, frequently using woven cloth as the basic material or ground of her paintings. Her travels in Asia and her studies of the structure of textile have produced a major collection of antique Asian textiles. In 1993 she showed her work at the Venice Biennale; her textile hanging Rimpianto dei Budda di Bamyan is in the permanent collection at the Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna in Rome; and her painting is on show at the Galleria Comunale d'Arte Contemporanea in Rome. She has complete a series of paintings entitled "Complaint at the Destruction of the Buddhas of Bamian". Two of her monumental mosaics stand in the new Metropolitana in Naples, at the Vanvitelli Station. In January 2008 her new show, entitled Variazioni, opens at the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna in Rome.
Alison Leslie Gold's Holocaust and World War II-related works include Anne Frank Remembered, written with Miep Gies, Memories of Anne Frank: Reflections of a Childhood Friend, A Special Fate, and Fiet's Vase and Other Stories of Survival (the last of which she has said is her farewell to this subject matter). Elie Wiesel wrote of Alison Gold and Anne Frank Remembered: “Without her and her talent of persuasion, without her writer's talent, too, this poignant account, vibrating with humanity, would not have been written”. Her nonfiction work has received tributes ranging from a Best of the Best Award (granted by the American Library Association) to a Notable Book for a Global Society Award to a Christopher Award. She has also published fiction, including Clairvoyant and The Devil's Mistress, the latter being nominated for the National Book Award. She divides her time between Manhattan, Hydra (Greece), and British Columbia.
Jeffrey Greene is the author of four collections of poetry; a book of cross-genre writing; a memoir; and two personalized nature books, with a third under contract. His writing has been supported through fellowships and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, the Rinehart Fund, and Humanities Texas, and he was a winner of the Samuel French Morse Prize, the Randall Jarrell Award, and the "Discovery"/ The Nation Award. His poems, short stories, and essays have appeared numerous publications, including The New Yorker, Poetry, The Nation, Ploughshares, Agni, Southwest Review and the anthology Strangers in Paris. He is the director of creative writing at the American University of Paris.
Jonathan Harvey is known worldwide for his work in electro-acoustic music, in which field he is considered one of the most skilled and imaginative composers of our era. To celebrate the publication of the third of the Cahiers Series of the AUP Center for Writers & Translators, on October 9, 2007, Jonathan Harvey talked at AUP about his new opera Wagner Dream, which premiered this year and was performed in several European countries. He presented his vision of contemporary music and how it relates to Buddhism, to Wagner, and to 'undecideability'. He also played examples from his compositions and presented the work of the IRCAM (which is perhaps the most sophisticated institute for electronic music in the world today).
Cynthia Haven is a literary and cultural journalist who has written for The Times Literary Supplement, The Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, World Literature Today, The Kenyon Review, Georgia Review, and other publications. Her An Invisible Rope: Portraits of Czesław Miłosz was published in 2011 by Ohio University Press/Swallow Press, Czeslaw Milosz: Conversations in 2006, and Joseph Brodsky: Conversations in 2003. Peter Dale in Conversation with Cynthia Haven was published in London, 2005. She was a 2008 Milena Jesenská Fellow in Kraków with Vienna's Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen. She is currently a visiting scholar at Stanford University, working on a biography of René Girard. She blogs at The Book Haven.
Alan Hollinghurst was born in 1954. For 14 years he was on the staff of the TLS. He is the author of five novels, The Swimming-Pool Library, The Folding Star, The Spell, The Line of Beauty (which won the Man Booker Prize in 2004, and was adapted for BBC2 by Andrew Davies), and The Stranger's Child. He lives in London.
Elfriede Jelinek was born in Mürzschlag, Austria, in 1946. She is the author of more than ten novels, among them The Piano Player (later a successful Michael Haneke movie starring Isabelle Huppert) and Children of the Dead. A prolific playwright, Jelinek was named Best Dramatist of the Year by Theater heute in 2007 and 2009, and has won the prestigious Mühlheim Prize for Best Play on four occasions, recently for Rechnitz in 2009 and Winter Journey in 2011. Her translations include works by Christopher Marlowe, Oscar Wilde, Georges Feydeau, and Thomas Pynchon. In 2004, Jelinek was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature.
Alan Jenkins was educated in London and the University of Sussex, and has worked at the TLS since 1981, first as poetry and fiction editor and, for the past twelve years, as Deputy Editor. He has been poetry critic on the Observer and the Independent on Sunday, and has taught creative writing in London, Paris and the USA (Bread Loaf and Princeton and AUP). His books of poetry include In the Hot-House (1988), Greenheart (1990), Harm (1994), which won the Forward Prize for Best Collection that year, The Drift (2000), which was a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, The Little Black Book (2001). A Short History of Snakes, selected poems, was published in 2001 by Grove Press, New York. His latest collection, A Shorter Life, was published in April 2005 and was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Collection. He has published translations from the poems of Valery Larbaud and Bartolo Cataffi. In 2006 he won the Cholmondeley Award, given in recognition of a poet’s body of writing.
Gabriel Josipovici was born in France and educated in Egypt and in England. For many years he taught literature in the school of European studies at the University of Sussex. He has published over a dozen novels, three collections of sort stories, and six critical books, and his plays have been performed on the stage and on radio. His most recent books are A Life, a memoir/biography of his mother, the translator and poet Sacha Rabinovitch, Everything Passes, a 60-page narrative which one reviewer described as 'without doubt the best book published in 2006', and a volume of essays, The Singer on the Shore. Two new novels are scheduled to appear in 2009 and a volume of short stories in 2010. He reviews regularly for the Times Literary Supplement, the Jewish Chronicle and the Irish Times.
László Krasznahorkai was born in Hungary and lived in Japan and China before settling in Berlin. Three of his works have been made into award-winning films by the renowned filmmaker Béla Tarr: Werckmeister Harmonies, Satantango, and The Horse from Turin. He has written seven novels and won numerous prizes, including Best Book of the Year in Germany for his novel The Melancholy of Resistance. About his literary world the German novelist W. G. Sebald wrote: ‘the universality of Krasznahorkai’s vision rivals that of Gogol’s Dead Souls and far surpasses all the lesser concerns of contemporary writing’. American critic Susan Sontag called him ‘the Hungarian Master of Apocalypse’.
Simon Leys (the pen-name of Pierre Ryckmans) is the bilingual author (French and English) of some twenty-odd books, which reflect his love of literature and art, his passion for the sea, and more specifically his interest in the painting, poetry and culture of China. He is the author of: The Life and Work of Su Renshan, Rebel, Painter and Madman (1970); Chinese Shadows (1977); The Death of Napoleon (novel, 1991); The Analects of Confucius (translation and commentary) (1997); The Angel and the Octopus (essays, 1999); The Wreck of the Batavia & Prosper (maritime history and personal memoir, 2005).
Rachel Mikos has been translating Hungarian literature since the mid-1990s. Her most recent volumes are Berlin-Hamlet by Szilárd Borbély (Agite-FRA, 2008) and Lazarus by Gábor Schein (Triton, 2010). She is currently completing Borbély's latest verse collection, To the Body, as well as Schein's latest novel Autobiographies of an Angel. Her critical writings on Hungarian literature have appeared in both Hungarian and English, and her own prose has been published in Czech translation.
Emmanuel Moses was born in Casablanca in 1959. He spent his childhood in Jerusalem and moved to Paris in 1986 where he has been living since. He is a writer and translator, working between Hebrew, German, English, and French. Amongst the authors he has translated are S.Y. Agnon, Yehuda Amichaï, and Raymond Carver. He is the author of twenty books of poetry and fiction, including most recently L'animal, (Flammarion), Le rêve passe (Gallimard), and He and I (translated by Marilyn Hacker and published by Oberlin College Press).
Paul Muldoon was born in 1951 in County Armagh, Northern Ireland, and educated in Armagh and at the Queen's University of Belfast. From 1973 to 1986 he worked in Belfast as a radio and television producer for the British Broadcasting Corporation. Since 1987 he has lived in the United States, where he is now Howard G. B. Clark '21 Professor at Princeton University and Chair of the University Center for the Creative and Performing Arts. Between 1999 and 2004 he was Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Paul Muldoon was given an American Academy of Arts and Letters award in literature for 1996. Other recent awards are the 1994 T. S. Eliot Prize, the 1997 Irish Times Poetry Prize, the 2003 Griffin International Prize for Excellence in Poetry, the 2004 American Ireland Fund Literary Award, the 2004 Shakespeare Prize, and the 2005 Aspen Prize for Poetry. He has been described by the Times Literary Supplement as "the most significant English-language poet born since the second World War." His main collections of poetry are New Weather (1973), Mules (1977), Why Brownlee Left (1980), Quoof (1983), Meeting The British (1987), Madoc: A Mystery (1990), The Annals of Chile (1994), Hay (1998), Poems 1968-1998 (2001) and Moy Sand and Gravel (2002), for which he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize. His tenth collection, Horse Latitudes, appeared in the fall of 2006.
Max Neumann was born in 1949 in Saarbruck, Germany, and lives in Berlin. He studied art in Karlsruhe and Berlin, and has been exhibiting since the late-1970s. He has had more than 150 solo exhibitions and his work is present in numerous national and international private and public collections. He is the recipient of many prizes, including the BDI (German Industry Federation), the Villa Romana Award (Florence), the Dr. Dietrich Schulz Foundation Award (Schleswig), the Award of the City of Iserlohn, and the Grand Prix de S.A.S le Prince Rainier III (Monaco).
John O'Brien, Publisher and Editor, founded the Review of Contemporary Fiction in 1981, Dalkey Archive Press in 1984, and CONTEXT magazine in 1999. He has published over 70 articles, and has served on panels for both the Illinois Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts. He is currently the director of Dalkey Archive Press, which is one of the major publishers in the world for foreign literature in English translation.
Lino Pertile is currently Harvard College Professor, Carl A. Pescosolido Professor of Romance Languages and Literatures, and Master of Eliot House, Harvard University. A graduate of the University of Padua, where he studied Classics and French, before joining Harvard (1995) he taught Italian Literature in France and Italy (1964-68), and in Britain (1968-1995: Universities of Reading '68-'73, Sussex '74-'88, and Edinburgh, '88-'95). He has published essays on the French and Italian Renaissance, in particular on Montaigne and French travelers to Italy. His research has focused on the Latin and Italian Middle Ages (Dante), the Renaissance (Bembo and Trifon Gabriele), and 20th century Italian literature (Pavese and the contemporary novel). He has coedited, and contributed to: The New Italian Novel (Edinburgh University Press 1993, paperback 1997), The Cambridge History of Italian Literature (Cambridge University Press 1996, paperback 1999), In amicizia. Essays in Honour of Giulio Lepschy (The Italianist 1998), and La scena del mondo. Studi sul teatro per Franco Fido, Ravenna, Longo, 2006, 350 pp. He has published extensively on Dante. His books include the critical edition of the 16th century commentary on Dante Annotationi nel Dante fatte con M. Triphon Gabriele (1993), and the volumes La puttana e il gigante: dal Cantico dei Cantici al Paradiso terrestre di Dante (1998, Premio Zingarelli), and La punta del disio. Semantica del desiderio nella Commedia, Firenze, Cadmo, 2005.
Ralph Petty was born in the United States in 1952 and came to Paris in 1976 to work in the etching studio of Stanley Hayter, Atelier 17, since which time he has remained in France. He taught at Parsons School of Design Paris, the Institut d’Etudes Politiques, and since 1990 has taught drawing and painting at The American University of Paris where he is also the University Curator. His paintings and drawings concentrate on the contemporary human figure and landscape. Recent exhibitions include the Haus Kasuya Museum, Kamakura, Japan, the Novosibirsk National Museum, Novosibirsk, Russia, and numerous gallery shows in Japan and France. His book of drawings, Démons quotidiens, with Canadian writer Nancy Huston, was published in 2011. He is also a musician and composer and created the Ralph Trio.
Richard Pevear works mainly as a literary translator, translating from French, Italian, Spanish, and (in collaboration with Larissa Volokhonsky) from Russian. He has published some twenty-six books, including works by Alain, Yves Bonnefoy, and Alberto Savinio, and a series of Russian classics. He has also published two collections of poetry. He has been a recipient of fellowships in translation from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the French Ministry of Culture, and has twice been awarded the PEN Translation Prize, in 1991 for The Brothers Karamazov, and in 2002 for Anna Karenina. In 2003 he was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters by Allegheny College (his alma mater). He has been a visiting professor at the University of Iowa, the Columbia University Graduate School of the Arts, Mt. Holyoke College, and The Cooper Union. In 1998 he joined the faculty of AUP, where he teaches a sequence of three courses in Russian literature and has offered a senior seminar in literary translation.
William Pownall was born in England but spent thirteen formative years in Australia. He studied at the National Art School in Sydney. He also studied music and became a professional jazz musician. In 1963 he visited Greece for the first time, where what he discovered decided him to become a full-time painter. An exhibition in Athens in 1978 led to a meeting with Odysseus Elytis, the Greek poet and Nobel prize winner, who became a collector of his work and who commissioned him to produce the cover and frontispiece for a book of his poetry. Pownall, 'primarily an abstract painter', as he thinks of himself, lives on the island of Hydra. He has exhibited widely, in England, Germany, and Greece.
Born in 1966, Lanfranco Quadrio lives and works in Palermo. He learned engraving with his father Guido and engraved his first etching in 1978. In 1989, he finished his studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Palermo with a thesis on artistic anatomy. In 1992, he was appointed Professor at the School of Art in Palermo. He exhibits regularly in Italy, in Switzerland, and in France.
Damion Searls is the author of What We Were Doing and Where We Were Going (stories) and is currently writing a history of the Rorschach test and the first biography of its artist/inventor, Hermann Rorschach. He edited the abridged edition of Thoreau's The Journal: 1837-1861 and has translated Proust, Rilke, Ingeborg Bachmann, Christa Wolf, Nescio, Thomas Bernhard, and others; his translation of Hans Keilson's Comedy in a Minor Key was a New York Times Notable Book of 2010 and a National Book Critics Circle Award finalist. His forthcoming translations include A Schoolboy's Diary and Other Stories by Robert Walser and a retranslation of Hermann Hesse's Demian. He received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2012.
Olivia E. Sears is the founder and president of the Center for the Art of Translation (CAT), a non-profit organization that promotes international literature through programs in bilingual education (including the award-winning Poetry Inside Out program that teaches young children to translate poetry); through publications such as TWO LINES: World Writing in Translation, an annual anthology of world literature translated into English; and through an acclaimed reading series featuring some of the world’s finest translators. In addition to being the long-time editor of TWO LINES, Olivia is a translator of poetry from the Italian and the author of Self/Cell, a collection of original poetry with photographs by Aline Mare. She is the editor of The Best of Contemporary Mexican Fiction, forthcoming from Dalkey Archive Press as part of the NEA’s international literary exchange, and is also co-translator and co-editor of A Primer of Italian Fascism.
Rachel Shihor has taught philosophy at Tel Aviv University and is an accomplished editor, working for several academic publishers. She has published both fiction and works of scholarship, among which are Lectures on Philosophy and Religion (1987, now in its fifth reprint), and Nietzsche: Thoughts on Western Civilization (1990). Her two published novels are The Vast Kingdom (2005) and The Tel Avivians (2006); her short stories appear regularly in various literary magazines. Days Bygone is her first work of fiction to be translated into English.
Bernard Turle was born in Toulon in 1955. After spending much of his professional life in Paris, he settled back in his family house at the age of forty to become a full-time freelance translator. A former student of the Ecole Normale Supérieure de Saint-Cloud, he was a teacher of English before moving to publishing, helping to start the literary magazine Le Promeneur and the French branch of London-based publisher Thames and Hudson. He started to translate professionally in 1981. He is a recipient of the Prix Coindreau (for best translation of a book of American fiction) and the Prix Baudelaire (for best translation of a book of British fiction). He has translated more than a hundred books and as many articles. He is the official French translator of T.C. Boyle, Peter Ackroyd, Rupert Thomson and André Brink, and in addition specializes in books by authors from the Subcontinent (India and Pakistan), such as V.S. Naipaul, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Sudhir Kakar, Siddharth Dhanvant Shanghvi, Manu Joseph, and Mohammed Hanif. A specialist of India, which he sees as “the republic of translation”, he is the author of Bombay Mix Mumbai Max, an account of his thirty years of travels and friendships in India, seen through the lens of the 2008 bombings in Mumbai. He is currently translating a book of essays by V.S. Naipaul and has been invited to translate Alan Hollinghurt's latest novel, The Stranger's Child.
Lawrence Venuti, Professor of English at Temple University, works in early modern literature, British, American, and foreign poetic traditions, translation theory and history, and literary translation. He is the author of Our Halcyon Dayes: English Prerevolutionary Texts and Postmodern Culture (1989), The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation (2nd ed., 2008), and The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference (1998). He is the editor of the anthologies of essays, Rethinking Translation: Discourse, Subjectivity, Ideology (1992) and Translation and Minority (1998), and of The Translation Studies Reader (2nd ed. 2004), a survey of translation theory from antiquity to the present. His articles and reviews have appeared in such periodicals as the New York Times Book Review, the Times Literary Supplement, Translation and Literature, and Yale Journal of Criticism. He is a member of several editorial boards including The Translator: Studies in Intercultural Communication and Translation Studies. His translations from the Italian include Restless Nights: Selected Stories of Dino Buzzati (1983), I.U. Tarchetti’s Fantastic Tales(1992), Juan Rodolfo Wilcock’s collection of real and imaginary biographies, The Temple of Iconoclasts (2000), Antonia Pozzi’s Breath: Poems and Letters (2002), the anthology Italy: A Traveler’s Literary Companion (2003), Melissa P.’s fictionalized memoir, 100 Strokes of the Brush before Bed (2004), and Massimo Carlotto’s crime novel Death's Dark Abyss (2006). He has won awards and grants from the PEN American Center (1980), the Italian government (1983), the National Endowment for the Arts (1983, 1999), and the National Endowment for the Humanities (1989). In 1999 he held a Fulbright Senior Lectureship in translation studies at the Universitat de Vic (Spain). In 2007 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Ivan Vladislavić is the author of the novels The Folly, The Restless Supermarket, The Exploded View and Double Negative. The last of these appeared initially in TJ/Double Negative, a joint project with the photographer David Goldblatt. Vladislavić has written extensively about Johannesburg, notably in Portrait with Keys (2006). He has edited volumes on architecture and art, and published a monograph on the conceptual artist Willem Boshoff. His early stories were republished in the compendium volume Flashback Hotel in 2010. His work has won many awards, including the Sunday Times Fiction Prize and the Alan Paton Award for non-fiction.
Larissa Volokhonsky was born in Leningrad, attended Leningrad State University, and on graduating joined a scientific team whose work took her to the far-east of Russia, to Kamchatka and Sakhalin Island. She emigrated to Israel in 1973, and to the United States in 1975, where she attended Yale Divinity School and St. Vladimir's Theological Seminary. Soon after settling in New York City, she was married to Richard Pevear, and a few years later they moved to France with their two children. Together, Pevear and Volokhonsky have translated twenty books from the Russian, including works by Leo Tolstoy, Mikhail Bulgakov, Nikolai Gogol, Anton Chekhov and Fyodor Dostoevsky. The latest to be published is Doctor Zhivago, by Boris Pasternak. Their translation of Dostoevsky's The Brothers Karamazov received the PEN Translation Prize for 1991; their translation of Tolstoy's Anna Karenina was awarded the same prize in 2002. In 2006 they were awarded the first Efim Etkind International Translation Prize by the European Graduate School of St. Petersburg.
Edmund White has written some twenty books. He is perhaps best known for his biography of French writer Jean Genet, for which he won the National Book Critics Circle Award. He is also the author of a trilogy of autobiographical novels—A Boy’s Own Story, The Beautiful Room is Empty, and The Farewell Symphony. He has written a brief life of Marcel Proust and a book about unconventional Paris called The Flaneur. His most recent works of fiction are Chaos and Hotel de Dream. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He teaches writing at Princeton and lives in New York City.
Born in Paris in 1981, Sylvia Whitman was educated in Edinburgh, then studied History of Eastern Europe at University College London. For the last five years, she has been running Shakespeare & Company in Paris, perpetuating the spirit of this legendary bookshop. In 2003 she created the first Shakespeare and Company Literary Festival "Lost, Beat and New: Three Generations of Literature in Paris". This was followed in 2006 by « FestivalandCo », a biennial literary festival which focuses on a particular literary genre. After "Travel in Words" in 2006, Sylvia and her team are preparing for "Real Lives: Exploring Memoir and Biography" in June 2008. Sylvia's other passion is acting, and she has been in plays such as Gigi (directed by Caroline Huppert), A Midsummer Night's Dream staged at Shakespeare and Company, The Importance of Being Earnest and L'Auberge Espagnole, a play in French adapted from the film by Cedric Klapisch.
GAO Xingjian was born in China in 1940, graduated from the French department of the Beijing Foreign Languages Institute in 1962, and was employed as a translator from 1962 to 1970, following which he spent five years doing labour in the countryside. After his first play was produced at the Beijing People’s Art Theatre, performances of his second play, Bus Stop, were halted by the authorities in 1983. Gao was granted political refugee status in France in 1989 after writing the play Escape, following the events of Tiananmen Square, and his works have been banned in China ever since. He was named Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 1992 and became a French citizen in 1997. His novels include Soul Mountain and One Man’s Bible and his paintings have been exhibited in Europe, Asia, and North America. In 2000 Gao Xingjian was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature and named Chevalier de l’Ordre de la Légion d’Honneur. He made his first film in 2006 shortly before completing his latest play, Ballade nocturne.