Synopses & Reviews
Luminous essays on translation and self-translation by the award-winning writer and literary translator
Translating Myself and Others is a collection of candid and disarmingly personal essays by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jhumpa Lahiri, who reflects on her emerging identity as a translator as well as a writer in two languages.
With subtlety and emotional immediacy, Lahiri draws on Ovid's myth of Echo and Narcissus to explore the distinction between writing and translating, and provides a close reading of passages from Aristotle's Poetics to talk more broadly about writing, desire, and freedom. She traces the theme of translation in Antonio Gramsci's Prison Notebooks and takes up the question of Italo Calvino's popularity as a translated author. Lahiri considers the unique challenge of translating her own work from Italian to English, the question "Why Italian?," and the singular pleasures of translating contemporary and ancient writers.
Featuring essays originally written in Italian and published in English for the first time, as well as essays written in English, Translating Myself and Others brings together Lahiri's most lyrical and eloquently observed meditations on the translator's art as a sublime act of both linguistic and personal metamorphosis.
“Lahiri explores her relationship with literature, translation, and the English and Italian languages in this exhilarating collection....Lucid and provocative, this is full of rewarding surprises.” — Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)
“The collection is singular for Lahiri's ability to integrate the personal and the theoretical, drawing her examples from literature and from life....Lahiri writes so beautifully that this collection will have broad appeal for anyone interested in literary essays.” — Library Journal
“A scrupulously honest and consistently thoughtful love letter to 'the most intense form of reading...there is.'” — Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
About the Author
Jhumpa Lahiri teaches creative writing and literary translation at Princeton University, where she is director of the Program in Creative Writing. A writer in both English and Italian, she is the author of Interpreter of Maladies, which won the Pulitzer Prize, and the editor of The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories. She has translated three novels by Domenico Starnone into English.