New essay collection celebrates decade of English PEN’s support for translation

Life from Elsewhere: Journeys Through World Literature (ISBN: 978-1782271895) will be published in November 2015, as a B-format paperback and simultaneous e-book, both priced at £7.99.

Contributors to the anthology are drawn from across the globe and include Man Booker International finalist Alain Mabanckou, One Night, Markovitch author Ayelet Gundar- Goshen, accalimed novelist and activist Elif Şafak, and PEN Pinter Prize winner Samar Yazbek. These highly personal essays reflect on the movement of people and their stories from many different angles: what happens to identity in a multicultural world? How can art confront us, unite us and divide us? How does our ‘mother tongue’ change when we move elsewhere?

The book, which is funded by Bloomberg, includes an introduction by novelist and critic Amit Chaudhuri, winner of the Commonwealth Writers Prize, the Encore Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize among other awards and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Amit Chaudhuri said:

The ‘world’ has been relegated for two decades now to being a poor suburb of the ‘global’. Yet, as this book proves, it’s where the real action is – the bold encounters with complex sensations and ideas, comprising an antidote to globalisation’s timorous homogeneity.’

Jo Glanville, director of English PEN, said:

We’re delighted to be celebrating our anniversary with Pushkin Press. These outstanding authors represent the very best in international literature and include writers whom we’ve been honoured to support over the past ten years in our translation programme. This has been a decade in which the profile of translators and literature in translation has transformed, and English PEN is pleased to have been at the centre of helping to create a vibrant new culture along with our many partners.

Adam Freudenheim, publisher and managing director of Pushkin Press, said:

As a long-time supporter of English PEN I’m particularly excited that Pushkin is publishing this thought-provoking collection of essays by a diverse range of acclaimed international writers to celebrate the cultural importance of translation and PEN’s commitment to it.


  • Asmaa al-Ghul – Palestine
  • Chan Koonchung – China
  • Mahmoud Dowlatabadi – Iran
  • Ayelet Gundar-Goshen – Israel
  • Hanna Krall – Poland
  • Andrei Kurkov – Ukraine
  • Alain Mabanckou – Congo/France
  • Andrés Neuman – Argentina
  • Elif Şafak – Turkey
  • Samar Yazbek – Syria


  • Philip Boehm
  • Nick Caistor
  • Amanda Love Darragh
  • Elisabeth Jaquette
  • Ahmad Karimi-Hakkak
  • Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp
  • Sondra Silverston
  • Helen Stevenson

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