Translating Myself and Others Summary and Reviews

Translating Myself and Others

by Jhumpa Lahiri

Translating Myself and Others by Jhumpa Lahiri X
Translating Myself and Others by Jhumpa Lahiri
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  • Published May 2022
    208 pages
    Genre: Essays

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Book Summary

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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Pulitzer-winning novelist 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)

"Readers may...find themselves envious of the author's students of translation at Princeton, but this sharp collection will have to do. Two essays originally composed in Italian are printed in the original in an appendix. A scrupulously honest and consistently thoughtful love letter to 'the most intense form of reading…there is.'" - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Though the topic of translation studies might have a limited non-academic readership, Lahiri writes so beautifully that this collection will have broad appeal for anyone interested in literary essays." - Library Journal

"Jhumpa Lahiri is a marvel, a writer with the courage to renounce virtuosity for the sake of vulnerability, experiment, and growth, and it's been wonderful to watch her love affair with the Italian language unfold. In these essays, she delves deep into the fertile interstices of and between languages, giving us a book rich with insights and pleasures." - Susan Bernofsky, author of Clairvoyant of the Small: The Life of Robert Walser

"A remarkable account of Jhumpa Lahiri's journey from English to Italian and back. Her pages on the myth of Echo are the most poignant and eloquent account of the translator's art that I have ever read." - Michael F. Moore, translator of Alessandro Manzoni's The Betrothed

"With this collection of elegant essays, Jhumpa Lahiri makes her career as a writer of two languages and, increasingly, as a translator between them seem less an eccentric adventure than a necessary one. No man is an island―and no language, either." - David Bellos, author of Is That a Fish in Your Ear? Translation and the Meaning of Everything

This information about Translating Myself and Others was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Jhumpa Lahiri Author Biography

Photo Credit: Marion Ettlinger

Jhumpa Lahiri was born 1967 in London, England, and raised in Rhode Island. She is a graduate of Barnard College, where she received a B.A. in English literature, and of Boston University, where she received an M.A. in English, M.A. in Creative Writing and M.A. in Comparative Studies in Literature and the Arts, and a Ph.D. in Renaissance Studies. She has taught creative writing at Boston University and the Rhode Island School of Design.

Her debut collection, Interpreter of Maladies, won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. It was translated into twenty-nine languages and became a bestseller both in the United States and abroad. In addition to the Pulitzer, it received the PEN/Hemingway Award, the New Yorker Debut of the Year award, an American Academy of Arts and Letters Addison ...

... Full Biography
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Name Pronunciation
Jhumpa Lahiri: JHOOM-paah L-hee-ree

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