International authors Andrés Barba, Jonas T. Bengtsson, Andrej Blatnik, Nicolás Casariego, Maylis de Kerangal, Drago Jančar, Yan Li, Valerie Miles, Fuminori Nakamura and Martin Solotruk present selections from their most recent works. Evan Munday hosts.
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.
Andrés Barba is a novelist, essayist, translator, scriptwriter and photographer. He is the author of a total of 12 books of literary fiction, non-fiction, photography, arts and children’s literature. He has been awarded the Premio Torrente Ballester de Narrativa, the Premio Anagrama de Ensayo and the Premio Juan March de Narrativa. In 2010, he was named one of Granta’s 22 best young Spanish-language writers. Barba’s works have been translated into 10 languages. He presents Rain Over Madrid, a book comprised of four novellas that tackle death, the inability to communicate feelings, the sudden eruption of love and the fear of happiness.
Jonas T. Bengtsson was born in 1976. He is the author of the critically acclaimed and prize-winning debut Amina’s Letters, which won the BG Bank First Book Award and was a finalist for the Weekendavisens Litterature Prize. His second novel, Submarino, was awarded the PO Enquist Literary Prize and was adapted into a film by Thomas Vinterberg. Bengtsson presents his third novel, A Fairy Tale, an unforgettable story about the profound love between a father and son. It was a finalist for the Danish Radio Literature Prize for Best Novel of the Year.
Andrej Blatnik is a writer of both fiction and criticism. He has also worked as a translator, translating the work of Paul Bowes, among others. Blatnik presents Law of Desire, an expansive collection of 16 stories about “urban nomads” lost in a labyrinth of pop culture.
Nicolás Casariego (Spain) has written fiction, essays, children’s books and travel articles, and is the co-scriptwriter of several feature films. Cazadores de luz, his second novel, was a finalist for the Premio Nadal Award. He is also the author of Carahueca, a movie tie-in of the screenplay he co-wrote for Intruders. In 2008 he was awarded the Writers Omi residence fellowship for international writers at Ledig House, New York. Casariego presents Antón Mallick Wants to Be Happy, a refreshing and funny novel about a man who wants to end his woeful days and have a more positive outlook on life.
Maylis de Kerangal is the author of several novels in French, including Je marche sous un ciel de traîne and Réparer les vivants, which won the Grand Prix RTL-Lire. She has also published a collection of short stories, Ni fleurs ni couronnes, and a novella, Tangente vers l’est. She presents her first novel to be translated into English, Birth of a Bridge (Naissance d’un pont). The winner of the Prix Franz Hessel and Prix Medicis in 2010, it is a literary saga of a dozen men and women who are charged with building a bridge somewhere in a mythical and fantastic California.
Drago Jančar is one of Slovenia’s best-known writers at home and abroad. He is the recipient of Slovenia’s highest literary honour, the Prešeren Award, and was awarded the European Prize for Literature. Jančar presents his latest novel, The Tree with No Name. Shifting between Slovenia’s post-communist present and its wartime occupation by the Axis, it is a compelling and universally significant story of an individual confronting the constraints on truth set by his—and every—culture.
Yan Li was born in Beijing, where she worked as a teacher, translator and journalist before coming to Canada in 1987. She is the director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Waterloo and the coordinator of the Chinese language programme at Renison University College. She is also a bilingual author. Li presents her latest novel, Lily in the Snow, which provides a unique perspective on the universal tale of intergenerational conflict, and explores the Chinese immigrant experience in Canada with humour and insight.
Valerie Miles is a writer, translator, editor and co–founder of Granta en español. She worked first as publishing director at Emecé Editores (Planeta) before moving to Alfaguara (Santillana), where she founded The New York Review of Books classics collection in Spanish. In 2013, the Buenos Aires Book Fair voted her one of the “Most Influential Professionals in Publishing.” Miles presents A Thousand Forests in One Acorn, perhaps the greatest cross-section of contemporary Spanish-language literature to be anthologized. She brings to this collection original interviews with every author, along with biographic prefaces before each, in order to best introduce the reader to the author’s entire oeuvre and his or her literary impact.
Evan Munday is the author and illustrator of the acclaimed book series for young readers The Dead Kid Detective Agency. Both The Dead Kid Detective Agency and its sequel, Dial M for Morna, were nominated for the Silver Birch® Fiction Award. The third book, Loyalist to a Fault, will be in bookstores this September. He has also worked as a book publicist, freelance illustrator, ebook designer and soda jerk. He lives in Toronto.
Fuminori Nakamura is a graduate of Fukushima University. He has won numerous prizes for his writing, including the Oe Prize, Japan’s largest literary award, and the prestigious Akutagawa Prize. The Thief, his first novel to be translated into English, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. Translated from the Japanese by Allison Markin Powell, Nakamura presents Last Winter We Parted, winner of the 2014 David L. Goodis Award for Noir Fiction. Nakamura’s novel is a dark and twisting house of mirrors that philosophically explores the violence of aesthetics and the horrors of identity.
Martin Solotruk was born in Bratislava in 1970. He graduated from Comenius University, where he now teaches. Solotruk's first book of poetry, Tichévojny, won a Slovak Literary Fund award. His poems have appeared in numerous international anthologies, and he has read at festivals and events around the world. He also translates poetry from English, for which he has won several awards. Solotruk is Director of ArsPoetica International, a poetry festival and publishing house.