English PEN Translated Literature Book Club

The English PEN Translated Literature Book Club was set up in 2015 by former bookseller Jonathan Ruppin, a member of English PEN’s Writers in Translation committee. Monthly Book Club meetings take place on the first Monday of the month (with occasional exceptions) at the Free Word Centre in London.

Most books are chosen by Book Club members, but some books are selected for the opportunity to be joined by relevant translators, publishers and even authors. We pick books from around the world, so members have the opportunity to read and discuss as wide a range of writing as possible.

The Book Club is open to new members. Anyone wanting to join should email Jonathan at englishpenbookclub@gmail.com. Membership of English PEN is not required, though of course it is recommended!

You can follow the Book Club on Twitter and join the Facebook group too.

What we’ve read so far:

• SYRIA: The Silence and the Roar by Nihad Sirees, trans. by Max Weiss
• SOUTH KOREA: The Vegetarian by Han Kang, trans. Deborah Smith (GUEST: Deborah Smith)
• ICELAND: The Whispering Muse by Sjon, trans. Victoria Cribb
• MEXICO: Signs Preceding the End of the World by Yuri Herrera, trans Lisa Dillman
• ANGOLA: Our Musseque by José Luandino Angolan, trans. Robin Patterson
• BRAZIL: The House in Smyrna by Tatiana Salem Levy, trans. Alison Entrekin
• UZBEKISTAN: The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov, trans. Andrew Bromfield (GUESTS: Hamid Ismailov & publisher Meike Ziervogel)
• RUSSIA: Subtly Worded by Teffi, trans. Anne Marie Jackson, Claire Kitson, Robert Chandler & Natalia Wase
• CHINA: The Last Over by Can Xue, trans. Annelise Finegan Wasmoen
• SLOVENIA: Dry Season by Gabriela Babnik, trans. Rawley Grau (GUEST: Gabriela Babnik)
• ARGENTINA: The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares, trans. Ruth LC Simms
• SOUTH KOREA: The Vegetarian & Human Acts by Han Kang, trans. Deborah Smith (GUEST: Man Booker International chair of judges Boyd Tonkin)
• POLAND: Chasing the King of Hearts by Hanna Krall, trans. Philip Boehm
• MEXICO: Sidewalks by Valeria Luiselli, trans. Christina MacSweeney
• GALICIA: The Winterlings by Cristina Sanchez-Andrade, trans. Samuel Rutter (GUESTS: Cristina Sanchez-Andrade & publisher Henry Rosenbloom)
• ALGERIA: The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud, trans.John Cullen
• MESOPOTAMIA: The Epic of Gilgamesh, trans. Andrew George

• RUSSIA: Second-Hand Time by Svetlana Alexievich, trans. Bela Shayevich
• RWANDA: Our Lady of the Nile by Scholastique Mukasonga, trans. Melanie Mauthner (GUEST: Melanie Mauthner)
• ITALY: Six Characters in Search of an Author by Luigi Pirandello, trans. Stephen Mulrine
• JAPAN: The Diving Pool by Yoko Ogawa, trans. Stepehn Snyder
• VARIOUS: Multiples, ed. Adam Thirlwell, trans. various
• MEXICO: Things We Lost in the Fire by Maria Enriquez, trans. Megan McDowell
• ISRAEL: A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman, trans. Jessica Cohen (GUEST: Man Booker International judge Daniel Hahn)
• DR CONGO: Tram 83 by Fiston Mwanza Mujila, trans. Roland Glasser (GUEST: Roland Glasser)
• SWEDEN: Wilful Disregard by Lina Andersson, trans, Sarah Death
• ESPERANTO: Croatian War Nocturnal by Spomenka Štimec, trans. Sebastian Schulman
• ANCIENT GREECE: Antigone by Sophocles. trans. various

• ARGENTINA: Fever Dream by Samanta Schweblin, trans. Megan McDowell
• TURKEY: Women Who Blow on Knots by Ece Temelkuran, trans. by Alexnader Dawe
• JAPAN: A Quiet Place by Seicho Matsumoto, trans. by Louise Heal Kawai
• SYRIA: Freedom Hospital by Hamid Sulaiman, trans. Francesca Barrie (GUESTS: Francesca Barrie & editor Clare Bullock)
• FRANCE: The End of Eddy by Edouard Louis, trans. Michael Lucey
• CHILE: Multiple Choice by Alejandro Zambra, trans. Megan McDowell
• POLAND: Flights by Olga Tokarczuk, trans. Jennifer Croft (GUEST: Man Booker International judge Tim Martin)
• CZECH REPUBLIC: War with the Newts by Karel Čapek, trans. Marie & Robert Weatherall
• SLOVAKIA: Fleeting Snow by Pavel Vilikovský, trans. Julia & Peter Sherwood (GUEST: Julia Sherwood)
• SUDAN: Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih, trans. Denys Johnson-Davies


You can keep in touch with what the Book Club is up to and find out about translated literature news and events by joining our Facebook group or following us on Twitter.

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