Jhumpa Lahiri, On Translation @ MSU


PUBLIC LECTURE: Unbuilding Walls, Expanding Cultural Horizons: Jhumpa Lahiri on Translation

A conversation with Pulitzer-Prize-winning writer Jhumpa Lahiri
Moderated by Teresa Fiore (Inserra Chair, Montclair State University)
With opening remarks by Peter Kingstone (CHSS Dean)

Mon. Nov. 18, 2019 6:30-8:00 p.m. (Conference Center Ballroom, University Hall 7th Floor)
RSVP here by Thur. Nov. 14

In the past few years, Pulitzer-Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri has become a translator, a practice that carries intense personal and political meaning for her and about which she is theorizing in sophisticated and yet accessible ways. After learning Italian and living in Italy for a while, Lahiri has embraced translation as a main creative and intellectual activity in the footsteps of several canonical writers from around the world who believe/d that writing is about languages. A courageous choice for an acclaimed fiction writer like her, whose position in the Anglophone world has been established for a long time, translation allows her to rethink herself as a person and a writer at a time in which monolithic forms of cultural and linguistic belonging continue to persist, and are actually growing in extreme forms. Back in 2000, Lahiri published a short story penetratingly titled “Interpreter of Maladies” and pivoting around the individual and social implications of traveling between languages. Almost two decades later, she has worked on a ponderous book, in which she functioned as both editor and translator in part, The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories. In its introduction, she uncompromisingly states: “Only translations can expand the literary horizon, open doors, and knock down walls.” This powerful statement will be the starting point for a conversation about the crucial role of translation in today’s world as an art and a political tool, and even a revolutionary act, that speaks to (pun intended) all of us, regardless of our cultural backgrounds, socio-economic extraction, professional and student roles, and personal interests. Please join us for an evening which promises to be a fascinating journey across borders.

Event date: 
Monday, November 18, 2019 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm
Event address: 
Montclair State University Conference Center
University Hall, 7th Floor
Montclair, NJ 07042
The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories (A Penguin Classics Hardcover) Cover Image
By Jhumpa Lahiri (Editor), Jhumpa Lahiri (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9780241299838
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Penguin Classics - September 10th, 2019