This panel presents a moderated conversation between three distinguished women in the literary field, Ebru Ojen, Yu Miri, and Marit Kapla, as they discuss what goes into writing the experiences of women and what it’s like to have those experiences be translated into different languages. This conversation will dive into the author’s own works, as well as the biases and obstacles in the realm of translation—a space where only 30% of books translated into English are by women.
You can purchase your own copy of these authors’ works at City of Asylum Bookstore.
About the Panelists:
Ebru Ojen (she/hers) was born in 1981 to Kurdish parents in Malatya, Turkey. In 1984, the family moved further east to Van, when her schoolteacher father was relocated by the state. After Ojen finished high school in Van, she moved to Izmir, completing her university education at Dokuz Eylul University’s Opera and Acting program. In 2014, Ojen published her striking debut novel, Aşı (Vaccine), about a state-sponsored vaccine campaign in an imaginary Kurdish village. That same year, Ojen was recognized among the ten most important emerging voices in Turkish literature. Her next novel, Let the Carnivores Kill Each Other appeared in 2017, followed by Lojman, in 2020, which City Lights published in English in August of 2023. She currently resides in Istanbul, Turkey.
Yu Miri (she/her) is a Korean author writing in Japanese with over twenty books to her name. She received Japan’s most prestigious literary award, the Akutagawa Prize, and her novel Tokyo Ueno Station won the 2020 National Book Award for Translated Literature. After the earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, she relocated there and has opened a bookstore and theater space. Her most recent release is The End of August, an epic multi-generational novel about a Korean family living under Japanese occupation.
Marit Kapla (she/her) is a Swedish author and journalist. She was born in 1970 and grew up in the small village of Osebol in the mid-western parts of Sweden. She served as Artistic Director of Göteborg Film Festival 2007–2014 and as Founder and Program Director of the festival’s digital streaming platform Draken Film 2014–2015. During 2016–2020 she was one of two editors-in-chief of cultural journal Ord&Bild. She is a member of the board of PEN Sweden. In April 2019, she debuted with the book Osebol, a lyrical account based upon interviews with the residents of her home village. Osebol has been translated into English, Norwegian, Dutch, and Spanish. It has received the 2019 August Prize for best fictional book, the Publicistklubben Prize Guldpennan 2019, the Studieförbundet Vuxenskolans författarpris 2019, Borås Tidning’s Debutant Prize 2020, Göran Palm-stipendiet 2021 as well as the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation 2022 and a shortlist placement for the British Academy Book Prize for Global Cultural Understanding 2022. Marit Kapla’s latest book, Kärlek På Svenska (Love in Swedish) was published in the fall of 2022 and was shortlisted for the European Union Prize for Literature 2023. It is based on interviews with people all over Sweden about love and is written in the same lyrical style as Osebol. The interviews were made by documentary filmmaker Staffan Julén for his film with the same title.
About the Moderator:
Mallory Truckenmiller Saylor is an editor of Eulalia Books and assistant professor of English at Saint Vincent College. She is a graduate of the MFA in literary translation program at the University of Iowa where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. Specializing in gender, women, and sexuality studies, Mallory primarily translates Latin American and Iberian women writers with a focus on the role of gender in literature and translation. Her writing and translations have appeared in Latin American Literature Today, Asymptote, and The Scores.
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