English PEN celebrates translation decade

English PEN celebrates translation decade

Lydia Cacho, Masha Gessen and Elif Shafak are among the writers taking part in a year of events to mark the 10th anniversary of English PEN’s Writers in Translation programme, with the celebrations launching at Foyles tonight (18th March).

The Writers in Translation programme has supported more than 100 in nearly 50 languages through its grants, funded by Bloomberg and Arts Council England.

During the coming year there will be events dedicated to international writers at London Book Fair, Cambridge Literary Festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival and Edinburgh International Book Festival among others.

The celebrations will culminate in an all-day event focused on contemporary Muslim European and Middle Eastern writing at Rich Mix London.

Maureen Freely, president of English PEN, said: “During its 10 years of supporting translation, English PEN has transformed the literary landscape, greatly enriching our monolingual world. Publishers that might have shied away from even the most interesting world fictions now know that we can help with the costs of translation and the even trickier job of connecting with readers. With our many allies in the translation networks, we have, in addition, raised the profile of the profession, ensuring fair contracts and the highest literary standards. All this when market forces were pushing us all the other way. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our funders for making this quiet, beautiful revolution possible.”

Mexican journalist and activist Cacho, author of Slavery Inc.: The Untold Story of International Sex Trafficking (Portobello Books), will talk to Gaby Wood from the Daily Telegraph on 16th April at the Free Word Centre in London, in an event in association with the British Council and London Book Fair.

Details of other events are to be confirmed.