21. Lost in Translation
Publishing Professionals Event
Publishing Professionals Event
Translators connect new readers with important stories from other languages, but the process of translation can raise complex questions for authors from marginalized communities. As conversations about diversifying publishing continue to evolve, the issues affecting Canadian translation demand further attention as well. Who are the diverse writers currently being published in other languages, and who among them is being translated? Beyond that, with more diversity among authors seeing publication, what kind of support is needed to expand opportunities for translators from underrepresented communities?
Events scheduled for May 1-15 are available via an all-access festival pass. The festival pass costs $39 and gives you access to a virtual festival platform, which includes an auditorium hosting forty virtual events, an exhibit hall with a live chat feature for communicating with vendors, and a lounge for engaging in discussions before and after events with other festival-goers.
Passholders will have be able to compete in the space for incredible prizes and will have access to the platform and all of the recorded festival events, as well as bonus content, until May 30, 2021. If the cost of the pass is prohibitive, please fill out the Patron Pass form, and a pass will be made available.
Palestinian Quebecker Yara El-Ghadban is an anthropologist by training but has been writing since she was thirteen. She is the author of three novels, of which I Am Ariel Sharon is the first to be translated into English. She won the Canada Council of the Arts’ Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award in 2017, and in 2019 she was awarded the Blue Metropolis Literary Diversity Prize. She lives and writes in Montreal.
Bilal Hashmi is Executive Director and Publisher of Quattro Books. He teaches Urdu at the University of Toronto, where he obtained his BA and MA in English before pursuing advanced studies in comparative literature at New York University. He is the President of the Literary Translators’ Association of Canada and also serves as translators’ representative on the Public Lending Rights Commission of Canada. Since 2018, he has been involved with the bilingual literary translation magazine ellipse, as one of its editors. His annotated English translation of ‘Aziz Ahmad’s modernist Urdu novel Flight (Gurez; 1945) is forthcoming from McGill-Queen’s University Press.
Oonya Kempadoo resides in Canada and is a UK, Guyanese, Grenadian citizen. She is the author of three novels, two of which were nominated for the Dublin Impac Prize. Her latest novel is All Decent Animals. Her work, critically acclaimed on both sides of the Atlantic, has been long-listed for the Orange Prize, translated into six languages and on Oprah Winfrey’s Summer Reads. Winner of a Casa De Las Americas prize, she was named a “Great Talent for the 21st Century” by Orange Prize judges. Kempadoo is a Fulbright Scholar alumni, consultant/researcher with an interest in cross-disciplinary dialogue and is co-founder of the Grenada Community Library.
Editor, translator, and essayist Dimitri Nasrallah is the author of three novels, most recently 2018’s The Bleeds. He was born in Lebanon two years into the country’s 15-year civil war, and lived in Kuwait, Greece, and Dubai before moving to Canada in 1988. His first novel, 2005’s Blackbodying, won the Quebec’s McAuslan First Book Prize and was a finalist for the Grand Prix du Livre de Montréal. His second novel, 2011’s Niko, won the QWF Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction, and was nominated for CBC’s Canada Reads and the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. He is the fiction editor at Véhicule Press.
The FOLD is a remarkable and wonderful event for authors and attendees alike. What an amazing community, dedicated to the vital need for inclusive stories and the critical role they play in building a better world.
Field Guide to the North American Teenager is my first novel and FOLD was my first Canadian literary festival. While American and Canadian culture overlap quite a bit, especially when it comes to bookshelves, Canadian literature is unique and I was very heartened by to be embraced by that community I consider home despite residing in the US. It was a homecoming I didn’t know I needed!
The Festival of Literary Diversity was an absolute joy–the organizers thought of *everything* and by anticipating authors’ needs, they freed us to focus on connecting with the audience and each other. There was no pretension, no posturing–just very genuine conversations with invested writers and engaged readers.
I have been to a lot of writers festivals and the FOLD is definitely near the top of the list of those I want to be invited back to.
Being part of such a clearly diverse, inclusive and mutually respectful group was thrilling and inspiring: a glimpse of a better world.
Wherever I go in Canada and find another writer of colour, we eventually end up gushing about how great the FOLD is, how by normalizing diversity it liberates us to talk to audiences about craft. It’s hard to imagine the literary landscape returning to a prehistoric pre-FOLD era.
FOLD is a festival experience unlike any other I’ve had. The FOLD team strive to create a space that’s welcoming and engaging, while allowing for curiosity, ingenuity and the fostering of real community – and they succeed, every year.
The FOLD is one of the most important literary events on this continent. By focusing on diverse voices and giving authors space to share their stories and speak their truths, it is revolutionizing the writing and storytelling realm as we know it.
Being part of the FOLD community has provided me with a strong sense of belonging. Sharing diverse stories and listening to different voices that broaden my understanding of the world has impacted me as a person and motivated me as a writer.