Jill! A (Virtual) Women+ in Translation Reading Series
Engage a translator or publisher in conversation for any length of time about the state of translated literature, and they'll more than likely reach for the figure 3%. Three percent of the books published in the US, on average in any given year, are translations. Think about that for a moment: that tiny sliver represents the entire world, some 6900 languages, their words and myths and fictions and nonfictions, their memories and hopes and dreams and the poetry of their thought. Now take that tiny 3% sliver and shave off roughly seventy percent of it. The minuscule shard you're left with is the percentage of books in translation whose original authors identify as women.
The good news is that a wealth of initiatives have taken shape in recent years to respond to this staggering imbalance by amplifying women's voices in translation. One of these is Jill! A Women+ in Translation Reading Series. Originally an in-person event based in New York, the series has, like so much of our lives these days, gone virtual. I'm proud to have contributed a video excerpt of my translation-in-progress of Állex Leilla's Springtime in the Bones, marking this author's English-language debut. Check out the Jill! YouTube channel and find your next woman-authored read!
Text and translation © Amanda Sarasien 2020