Meet the World: Talking Stories: New Translation from Korea, Switzerland and Vietnam
Our two translators in residence at Dragon Hall, Clare Richards and Soobin Kim, will chat about the translation process with reference to their participation in IYAGI (meaning ‘story’ or ‘talk’): the exciting new chapbook series of Korean short stories, edited with Anton Hur, and due for publication through Strangers Press in autumn 2022. IYAGI and the translation residencies are generously supported by the Literature Translation Institute of Korea.
Swiss author Julie Guinand will talk about her new chapbook, Survivor, translated by Rosie Eyre and published as part of the new SVIZRA series of Swiss chapbooks from Strangers Press.
They will be joined by two special guests from France and Vietnam, Thuận and Nguyễn An Lý, who will be talking about An Lý’s translation of Thuận’s Chinatown. This novel, an unfinished love story, humorous and haunting, of diasporic lives in Vietnam and France, is published by Tilted Axis Press in June.
Join us at Dragon Hall for an in-depth discussion about bringing voices from Vietnam and Korea to an English-speaking audience, chaired by Sarah Bower.
Pay what you can: £5, £7, £10.
Sarah Bower is the author of three novels and many short stories, and her work has been translated into ten languages. Her first novel, The Needle in the Blood, won the Susan Hill Award 2007 and her second, The Book of Love, was a Toronto Globe and Mail bestseller. Her short fiction and non-fiction has been published in MsLexia, QWF, Spiked, The Yellow Room, Unthology and Writing in Education among others. She lectures in creative writing at the Open University and mentors fellow novelists for The Literary Consultancy Chapter and Verse Scheme. She holds an MA in creative writing from the University of East Anglia, and was shortlisted for the Curtis Brown scholarship in 2001. She is currently reading for a PhD in creative and critical writing at the Open University, for which she is writing an historical novel about hot air balloons, Moon landings and needlework. For ten years, alongside founder Daniel Hahn, she helped to run the Emerging Literary Translators Mentoring Scheme.
Born under the bombs that the US let fall on the North of Vietnam, Thuận grew up first in Hanoi, then Saigon, where she studied Vietnamese literature at school and read Hugo, Balzac and Flaubert at home. Soviet Russia took her in as an 18-year-old and gave her five years of college education, but it was only at la Sorbonne that she discovered Boris Pasternak, Marina Tsvetaeva and Mikhail Bakhtin. Writing ensnared her the moment she arrived in Paris, in the form of short stories which were all discarded a few years later when she threw herself into the work of a novelist. She has just finished her tenth novel, B-52.
Nguyễn An Lý lives in Vietnam and co-edits the online, independent, open-access Zzz Review. Her translations, mostly from English into Vietnamese, include works by authors such as Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro, George Orwell, and Amos Oz, as well as the poetry in The Lord of the Rings. Chinatown by Thuận, winner of an English PEN Translates award, is her first translation into English.
Julie Guinand was born in 1989. She has published a collection of short stories and two novels. The latest of these, Survivante, received a literature prize from the cantons of Bern and Jura. She is a founding member of the writing collective AJAR, which has been an active part of the Swiss literary scene since its creation in 2012. Alongside her fiction writing for adults she works with children as a nursery practitioner, and likes to write for them too.
Soobin Kim is an investigative journalist. She won the IYAGI competition hosted by Strangers Press and was selected to translate a short story by the legendary Korean writer Park Wan-suh.
Clare Richards is a neurodivergent literary translator based in London. She first began translating in 2018 and was later selected for the 2020-21 NCW Emerging Translators Mentorship in Korean. In 2021, Clare’s translation of Kim Keum Hee’s Half of His Egg Muffin was awarded the Korea Times Modern Korean Literature Translation Commendation Prize in fiction. Her upcoming publications include Kang Hwagil’s gothic thriller Another Person (Pushkin Vertigo, 2023), and Park Minjung’s short story Like a Barbie (Strangers Press, 2022). She has a particular interest in feminist fiction, and as an elected member of the Translators Association Committee, is passionate about furthering discussions of accessibility in translation.
Meet the World
Our Meet the World series aims to celebrate our ongoing connections with international writers and translators by sharing their writing and ideas with new readers.