Podcast: Elisabeth Jaquette on Translating Sudanese Fiction

Translator Elisabeth Jaquette speaks to managing editor Emily Everett about four stories she translated from Arabic for Issue 19 of The Common magazine. These stories appear in a special portfolio of fiction from established and emerging Sudanese writers. In this conversation, Jaquette talks about the delights and difficulties of translating from Arabic, as well as her thoughts on form, style, and satire in literature from the Arab world. She also discusses translating Minor Detail by Adania Shibli, which is currently a finalist for the National Book Award for Translated Literature. 

Elisabeth Jaquette and Issue 19 cover

Elisabeth Jaquette is a translator from Arabic and Executive Director of the American Literary Translators Association (ALTA). Her work has been shortlisted for the National Book Award for Translated Literature and TA First Translation Prize, longlisted for the Best Translated Book Award and Warwick Prize for Women in Translation, and supported by the Jan Michalski Foundation, PEN/Heim Translation Fund, and several English PEN Translates Awards. Jaquette has taught translation at Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference, among other places, and was a judge for the 2019 National Book Award in Translated Literature. She has an MA from Columbia University, a BA from Swarthmore College, and was a CASA Fellow at the American University in Cairo. She is also a member of the translators’ collective Cedilla & Co.

Read “The Creator” and other stories translated by Elisabeth Jaquette at thecommononline.org/tag/elisabeth-jaquette.

Find out more about Elisabeth Jaquette at elisabethjaquette.com. Read her introduction to Words Without Borders’ Arabic young adult literature feature here.

Learn more about the American Literary Translators Association:

ALTA’s Crowdcast page: online programming from the ALTA43 conference, some free

ALTA’s Emerging Translator Mentorship Program

If you require a transcript or other accessible format, please contact us at [email protected].

The Common is a print and online literary magazine publishing stories, essays, and poems that deepen our collective sense of place. On our podcast and in our pages, The Common features established and emerging writers from around the world. Read more and subscribe to the magazine at thecommononline.org, and follow us on Twitter @CommonMag.

Emily Everett is managing editor of the magazine and host of the podcast. Her stories appear in the Kenyon Review, Electric Literature, Tin House Online, and Mississippi Review. She holds an MA in literature from Queen Mary University of London, and a BA from Smith College. Say hello on Twitter @Public_Emily.

Listen to more podcast episodes here.

Podcast: Elisabeth Jaquette on Translating Sudanese Fiction

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