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The Writing Life

Writing Life Daytime Talk: Translator as Critic, Translator as Agent with Leslie Camhi and Brian Robert Moore

Tuesday, December 19, 2023 - 3:30 PM | Whitridge Room | for members only | free of charge | registration required

The practice of literary translation is rarely carried out in isolation. Celebrated translators Leslie Camhi and Brian Robert Moore will speak to how their work as translators relates to other professional identities, including those of reader, writer and critic. At the same time, a translator can be an author’s best advocate, pitching their work to publishers and magazines, and assuming many of the essential practical functions of an agent. Leslie and Brian will also discuss how they got their start as translators and answer any questions relating to the ins and outs of the business and craft of literary translation.

Leslie Camhi’s first translation, from the French, of Violaine Huisman’s novel The Book of Mother (Scribner) was a New York Times Notable Book of 2022 and long-listed for the International Booker Prize, among other honors. Her essays on art, design, literature, and women’s lives, including her own life and travels, appear regularly in the New Yorker, the New York Times, Vogue, and other publications. A frequent contributor to art museum catalogs, she also holds a doctorate in Comparative Literature from Yale, and her scholarly work includes essays on kleptomania and 19th-century French medical photography.

Brian Robert Moore is a literary translator from New York. His translations from the Italian include the novels A Silence Shared by Lalla Romano, Meeting in Positano by Goliarda Sapienza, and Verdigris by Michele Mari, in addition to Mari’s short story collection You, Bleeding Childhood. His writing and his translations have appeared in The New Yorker, Lit Hub, McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern, n+1, The Nation, and other publications. He is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship for translation, the PEN Grant for the English Translation of Italian Literature, a Santa Maddalena Foundation Fellowship, and two PEN Translates Awards.

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