Diego Marani, Abdellah Taïa and Rui Zink weigh in on contemporary literature in Europe and share what it means for them to have their work translated into English. Hosted and moderated by Martha Baillie.
This event is part of Found in Translation, a yearly Festival focus on the art of literary translation with the goal of increasing Canadian awareness of international talent.
Diego Marani works as a senior linguist for the European Union in Brussels and writes columns for various European newspapers about current affairs in Europanto, a language that he invented. He has written a short story collection in Europanto and seven novels in Italian, including the highly acclaimed New Finnish Grammar. His upcoming novel, God's Dog, will be published in 2014. Marani presents The Last of the Vostyachs, which won two literary prizes in Italy and tells the story of young Ivan, who becomes the last remaining speaker of the mysterious Vostyach language when his father is murdered in front of him.
Abdellah Taïa is the first Moroccan and Arab writer to publicly declare his homosexuality. The French Éditions du Seuil has published five of his books, including L'armée du salut, which was translated into English in 2009 under the title Salvation Army. His novel Le jour du Roi was awarded the prestigious French Prix de Flore in 2010. He has just finished his first full-length movie as a director, Salvation Army, an adaptation from his eponymous novel. Taïa presents his autobiographical novel of self-discovery, An Arab Melancholia, about an openly gay man who lives between cultures in Egypt and France.
Rui Zink is a writer, translator, university lecturer and cultural commentator. He has published 10 novels, including O Destino Turístico (The Tourist Destination), which was included in Best European Fiction 2012. Zink presents The Boy Who Did Not Like Television, a children’s book that contains a heartfelt message about the dangers of television and the benefits of spending time with family.