On our latest episode of The Writing Life we welcome translator and editor Anam Zafar in conversation with poet, novelist and translator Meena Kandasamy. Anam was mentored by Meena on NCW’s Emerging Translator Mentorships programme 2020/21, and it was supported by our Visible Communities programme. Together, Anam and Meena discuss translation as a kind of activism.
Anam Zafar is literary and commercial translator working from Arabic and French into English. As a literary translator, she translates the voices that tell their own stories on their own terms. Anam is the winner of the 2021 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation and was longlisted for the 2021 John Dryden Translation Competition. She was an ALTA 2021 Virtual Travel fellow, and was mentored by Meena Kandasamy on NCWs 2020/21 Emerging Translators Mentorship scheme. Anam was also the Centre’s translator in residence in May 2021. She volunteers for the World Kid Lit Project, and deliver creative translation workshops in schools through the Stephen Spender Trust.
Meena Kandasamy is an anti-caste activist, poet, novelist and translator. Her writing aims to deconstruct trauma and violence, while spotlighting the militant resistance against caste, gender, and ethnic oppressions. She explores this in her poetry and prose, most notably in her books of poems such as Touch (2006) and Ms. Militancy (2010), as well as her three novels, The Gypsy Goddess (2014), When I Hit You (2017), and Exquisite Cadavers (2019). Her latest work is a collection of essays, The Orders Were to Rape You: Tamil Tigresses in the Eelam Struggle (2021). Her novels have been shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction, the International Dylan Thomas Prize, the Jhalak Prize and the Hindu Lit Prize.
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