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Languages Inheritance: Roundtable

Title: Languages Inheritance: Author and Translator Roundtable

Chair: Catherine Boyle, King's College London

This roundtable brought together international authors Mireille Gansel and Faïza Guène with literary translators Ros Schwartz and Sarah Ardizzone to discuss languages inheritance and languages memory, across the writing and translation process.


Mireille Gansel, who taught German at the University of Lyon, has published translations of a number of distinguished poets including Nelly Sachs, Peter Huchel and Reiner Kunze, as well as letters by Paul Celan. After living for a time in Hanoi in the seventies, she published a volume of classical Vietnamese poetry translated into French.

Ros Schwartz is the award-winning translator from French of more than 80 works of fiction and nonfiction, including the 2010 edition of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince. Her translations include works by Ousmane Sembène, Sébastien Japrisot, Jacqueline Harpman, Yasmina Khadra, Aziz Chouaki, and Dominique Eddé, and she is currently translating a number of Maigret titles for Penguin Classics’ Simenon project.
In 2009 she was made a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres. Winner of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting’s 2017 John Sykes Award for Excellence, she is currently co-chair of English PEN’s Writers in Translation committee. With Amanda Hopkinson she cofounded the Translate in the City summer school in London and she regularly publishes articles on literary translation, including a chapter in The Translator as Writer, (Eds. Susan Bassnett and Peter Bush), published by Continuum.

Faïza Guène is a French writer and director. Born in Bobigny, France, in 1985 to parents of Algerian origin she is best known for her two novels, Kiffe kiffe demain and Du rêve pour les oufs. She has also directed several short films, including Rien que des mots (2004).

Sarah Ardizzone has translated some 40 titles by writers such as Daniel Pennac, Yasmina Reza and Alexandre Dumas. She specialises in translating sharp dialogue, urban and migrant slang – ‘a world literature in French'. Sarah also curates educational programmes – including Translation Nation, Translators in Schools and the Spectacular Translation Machine – and is a patron of children's world literature charity Outside In World.