English PEN member and Foyles employee Jonathan Ruppin has set up a new book club to celebrate translated literature.
The English PEN Translated Literature Book Club will host monthly meetings at the Free Word Centre in London, and the first book under discussion will be The Silence and the Roar by exiled Syrian writer Nihad Sirees, translated from Arabic by Max Weiss (Pushkin Press).
September’s book will be The Vegetarian by South Korean writer Han Kang, translated into English by Deborah Smith (Portobello Books), and October’s title will be from Iceland, with book club members choosing which book it will be.
Ruppin said the book club will be a “truly global tour” of the world of literature. “Translated literature is in a period of development that appears to be unprecedented in my couple of decades in the book trade, for reasons ranging from our increasingly globalised culture to the willingness of publishers to look further afield.
“So it seemed like the ideal time to set up the English PEN Translated Literature Book Club, as well as being something I could do to complement the work of English PEN.”
There will be eight or nine meetings per year and at each one a guest speaker- an editor, translator, author or expert in a related field – will be invited.
Ruppin has also set up a Facebook group and a Twitter account to share news and reviews of the books under discussion.
More information about how to join the club is on the English PEN website.