Acclaimed US author Bryan Washington discusses the unique translation process for his polyphonic first book Lot, in which the diverse voices have been brought to life by 13 Dutch translators.
CROSSING BORDER ANTWERP 4 + 6 NOV 2022
Raoul de Jong
Crossing Border is delighted to welcome acclaimed US author Bryan Washington, a National Book Award nominee whose most recent novel Memorial (2020) ended up on ‘book of the year’ lists of many prestigious publications.
He has enthralled critics with his frank yet tender explorations of race and sexuality in America today and will be joining us for a unique event to discuss the translation process for his first book, Lot, a series of interconnected short stories in which we dive into multicultural Texas. We meet a boy of mixed race who discovers he is attracted to men, survivors of a hurricane, young hustlers, and a dealer with a heart in a book full of energy, humour, and power.
The polyphonic nature of Lot makes it ideally suited for translation by a collection of diverse voices, and this is exactly what its Dutch publisher Nijgh & Van Ditmar has done. In collaboration with Het Nederlands Letterenfonds and the Expertisecentrum Literair Vertalen, 13 up-and-coming Dutch translators set to work on making the pages of Lot come alive in the Dutch language.
This process raised many questions: How do you translate a collection with such a strong sense of place? What do you do with local slang? To what extent does it help if a translator has a personal affinity with the context of a novel? And what does the translation process teach the writer about their own work? Bryan Washington will be discussing this fascinating process alongside a number of his book’s translators.
The Dutch translators are: Janne Van Beek, Stokely Dichtman, Carmen Felix, Reshma Jagernath, Parel Joy, Joost Jung-shik Vormeer, Mijke Hadewey van Leersum, Laila de Miranda, Euphemia Ophelders, Lot Louis Veelenturf , Leen Vertessen, Diahann van van de Vijver and Adiëlle Westercappel.