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English PEN presents: International Booker Prize: The Shortlisted Translators in Conversation - Wednesday 5 May 6pm BST

In anticipation of the 2021 International Booker Prize winner announcement on 2 June, English PEN is proud to welcome a panel of the shortlisted translators for an evening of insight into the art of literary translation. 

Joining for a discussion about their shortlisted works will be Martin Aitken, Sasha Dugdale, Megan McDowell, Anna Moschovakis, Mark Polizzotti and Adrian Nathan West.

The event will be chaired by writer, translator, Chair of English PEN and former International Booker Prize judge Maureen Freely.

Register for this free online event here.


Guardian Book Club with Douglas Stuart  – Thursday 6 May 7pm BST

Douglas Stuart, the Booker Prize-winning author of Shuggie Bain, will be joining Guardian Live Book Club. This event is part of the Guardian's online Book Club series, in which The Guardian’s chief books writer, Lisa Allardice, talks to leading writers about their latest novels, creative process and isolation. 

Tickets £5 plus £0.72 booking fee/ £13 with Shuggie Bain.

This event is being streamed globally.

Tickets available to buy here.


Edinburgh International Book Festival

Celebrating the International Booker Prize Shortlist: Six Special Events - Live, Free and Online.  In partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company 

In a weekly series of conversations with the shortlisted authors and translators, this partnership between the Book Festival and the International Booker Prize presents some of the most stimulating and thought-provoking writers and thinkers from across the world who have been published in translation this year.  Three leading actors, with close associations to the RSC, will also read extracts from the six books.  The readings will be used to bring the books to life and will supplement interviews with the six authors and translators in the series of one-off, free online events.
The three actors, who were invited by RSC Artistic Director Gregory Doran as the most evocative voices for each text, are:
  • Ken Nwosu who made a splash with the RSC back in 2015/16 in The Merchant of Venice and The Alchemist, before going on to establish a career in film and TV, in Sticks and Stones and Killing Eve.
  • Lucy Phelps was playing Rosalind in As You Like It, and Isabella in Measure for Measure for the RSC when the theatres closed in March 2020 due to the global pandemic.
  • Long before Killing Eve, Fiona Shaw was closely associated with the RSC in the early years of her career, playing Portia, Beatrice and Katerina, before establishing a hugely successful theatre partnership with director Deborah Warner, in Electra, Richard II and Medea.
The actors were directed by Blanche McIntyre whose RSC directing credits include: The Two Noble Kinsmen, and Titus Andronicus.

Olga Ravn & Martin Aitken with Heather Parry - reading by Lucy Phelps 
Thursday 29 April | 7.30pm BST | Watch live online here
Since she published her debut novel Celestine in 2015, Olga Ravn has come to be regarded as one of the most influential writers in contemporary Danish literature. Her new book, The Employees, is a precisely-constructed jewel that takes readers aboard the Six-Thousand Ship as it hurtles through the far-flung universe in the 22nd century. As humans and humanoids give witness statements in testimony to their life in space, it becomes increasingly clear that the occupants of this spaceship are moving towards an uneasy climax that mirrors our own capitalism-driven existential crisis. Brilliantly translated into English by award-winning translator Martin Aitken, whose own work spans Danish and Norwegian literature, The Employees is a small masterpiece. Ravn and Aitken discuss their work with Scotland-based writer Heather Parry.

Mariana Enriquez & Megan McDowell with Daniel Hahn - reading by Lucy Phelps
Thursday 6 May | 7.30pm BST Watch live online here
Translator Megan McDowell has worked with many of the new generation of Latin American authors – including Mariana Enriquez, Lina Meraune and Samanta Schweblin – to bring their stylish, gothic writing to enthusiastic readers all over the world. This evening, McDowell and journalist, novelist and short story writer Enriquez discuss the explosive collection of short stories, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed. Packed with ghoulish apparitions, uncontrollable desires and weird imaginings, The Dangers of Smoking in Bed is a visceral, fist-clenched, full-throated assault on all the senses – fearless fiction that feels perfectly attuned to our times. In today’s session, Enriquez and McDowell talk with renowned writer, editor and translator Daniel Hahn.

David Diop & Anna Mocschovakis with Philippe Sands - reading by Ken Nwosu
Thursday 13 May | 7.30pm BST | Watch live online here
When we imagine the experiences of those who fought in ‘The Great War’, whose perspective are we taking? Perhaps the majority of histories have taken a Eurocentric view. Not French-Senegalese author David Diop, whose unforgettable short novel At Night All Blood Is Black paints a starkly different picture of the brutal 1914-18 conflict. Anna Moschovakis is a translator who is fascinated by the spaces where ‘languages, forms and subjectivities meet’ and has brought Diop’s elegant, spare prose to English-speaking readers as Diop conjures up a picture of fresh hell, and takes his lead character, Alfa Ndiaye - a Senegalese man fighting as an African legionnaire for the French - right into the heart of it. In today’s session Diop and Moschovakis discuss this indelible novel.

Benjamin Labatut & Adrian Nathan West with Jay G Ying - reading by Fiona Shaw
Thursday 20 May | 7.30pm BSTWatch live online here
Benjamin Labatut, born in the Netherlands and living in Chile, is an emerging superstar with an approach to writing that refuses to settle into a neatly-defined genre category: essay, memoir, conjecture and pure fiction – Labatut deploys them all. His third book, When We Cease To Understand the World, has been translated from the Spanish by writer and translator Adrian Nathan West, who used his prior knowledge of the Second World War and sought out original documents from scientific history to render this ‘nonfiction novel’ into English.
In gripping and dazzling text, Labatut and West have turned science into a series of imaginative extrapolations. According to the Evening Standard, ‘it may be possible to feel your brain getting bigger as you read.’ In today’s session Labatut and West discusses this majestic book with writer, critic and translator Jay G Ying.

Maria Stepanova & Sasha Dugdale with Allan Little - reading by Fiona Shaw
Tuesday 25 May | 7.30pm BST | Watch live online here
In an era when everything from photographs to credit cards and notes can all be preserved and stored on our personal devices, what is the impact on our own brain’s ability to store memories? Maria Stepanova’s astounding meta-memoir is a panoramic, absorbing reflection on the nature of memory, filtered through the lens of her own family’s history as Jewish people living in Soviet Russia. Superbly translated by poet, playwright and translator Sasha Dugdale, In Memory of Memory begins with Stepanova sorting through the possessions of her beloved aunt after her death, and piecing together a picture of life in Soviet Russia. Dugdale’s translation allows the book to expand seamlessly to a meditation on the nature of memory that sets her in a literary constellation including WG Sebald, Proust and Susan Sontag. In today’s (surely unforgettable) session Stepanova and Dugdale are joined by BBC journalist and writer Allan Little.

Éric Vuillard & Mark Polizzotti with Amelia Gentleman - reading by Ken Nwosu
Thursday 27 May | 7.30pm BST | Watch live online here
Writer and film-maker Éric Vuillard was catapulted to fame in his native France when he won the Prix Goncourt in 2017 for his novel The Order of the Day, set in Austria in the lead-up to the Second World War. This also began the working relationship between Vuillard and translator Mark Polizzotti, who join us this evening to discuss their latest collaboration, The War of the Poor. In this newest work, Vuillard goes further into history with a deeply-engaging account of the life of a radical preacher in 16th-century Germany. Thomas Müntzer’s astonishing life is much less distant from an 21st-century English-speaker’s perspective than it may at first sound – not least because Vuillard’s short novel is as entertaining as a thriller and rendered brilliantly into English by Polizzotti. In this evening’s event, Vuillard and Polizzotti discuss the novel with Amelia Gentleman, journalist and author of The Windrush Betrayal.


Southbank Centre - 2021 International Booker Prize  Shortlist Readings - Sunday 30 May 7.30pm BST

Meet the 2021 International Booker Prize shortlist in a virtual celebration, featuring readings from this year's selected authors and translators.  Join the shortlisted authors and translators for readings in both English and the books' original languages. The event is chaired by British writer, editor and podcaster Derek Owusu, whose 2019 debut novel That Reminds Me won the Desmond Elliott Prize.

Tickets and/or purchase confirmations are normally sent to the registered email address and/or telephone number within one hour of the payment transaction being approved and includes seven days access to the video.

Tickets available to buy here