40. WAAT Session: Mithu Sanyal & Alta L. Price on Author-Translator Collaboration

The WAAT Sessions is a new series of video conversations about literary translation. In WAAT Session 01, the German author Mithu Sanyal and the literary translator, Alta L. Price discuss their author-translator collaboration process for Alta's English translation of Mithu's novel, Identitti.

38. Your favorite translated book that deserves more attention?

Please share your favorite translated work that isn't as well-known as it should be and deserves more attention. And what small step could you perhaps take to bring more attention to it? Also, read recommendations from other readers, writers, and translators about their favorite translated works that are still relatively unknown.

35. ‘The 100’: a Practice for Writers and Translators

I get asked often about how I manage all my reading and writing. Honestly, even with all the reading and writing I do for the workshops I teach, Desi Books, book-reviewing, work-in-progress translation, and work-in-progress novel, I'm not always able to fill my personal tank. This practice of 'The 100' is mostly about filling our personal tanks and cultivating a more disciplined and sustainable practice of reading, writing, and translating. And, as we all do, I've sometimes fallen off the wagon but I always get back on.

34. On Foreignization and Domestication

Earlier this week, I read a book review where the reviewer applauded the translator's choices to domesticate certain cultural references in a recent book to ensure that English readers who were not from the source culture would still be able to get the humor. If you've been following me for a while, you know that, as a fiction writer myself, I'm not at all keen on watering down or hyping up cultural references in any kind of writing. That is to say, I'm not for sanitization to appease readers who may be unfamiliar with a particular culture and I'm not for exoticization to appeal to readers who love to see certain tired tropes and stereotypes in particular cultures (see my 2021 roundup of #mangodiscourse.) So, when I asked a question on Twitter about foreignization versus domestication, I knew it was a sensitive issue among fellow translators that would bring out a range of responses.

33. On the Translator’s Note or Introduction

Long before the idea of even becoming a literary translator professionally had occurred to me, my idea of what exactly being a literary translator meant came from reading the notes or introductions to translated novels. Looking back now, I see how much the good ones were like masterclasses in themselves. If you're a reader of translated works, you will likely have your own favorites. I'll share a handful of mine below but let's talk very briefly about why these matter at all.

32. Salman Rushdie on Literary Translation

I had other plans for this week's topic. But the news of this morning about the attack on the author, Salman Rushdie, has left me a bit shaken. No, I don't know him and I've never met him. But I've probably read every book, every essay, and every interview of his. And all his tweets from 2017-onward when I started following him there. It's curious how a writer can have so much impact on your reading and writing life. I wouldn't even say he was among my top three favorite writers (although, among desi or South Asian writers, he's definitely at the top.)

30. Vincent van Gogh and the Art of Translation

Vincent van Gogh's translations of Millet's paintings were about a "profound and sincere admiration for Millet", to make Millet more accessible to the "ordinary general public", and to recognize how the Impressionist trends of his time were linked to past artistic traditions.