Alison Strayer on the Oeuvre of Annie Ernaux and Translating Her Legacy
From The History of Literature Podcast with Jacke Wilson
For tens of thousands of years, human beings have been using fictional devices to shape their worlds and communicate with one another. Four thousand years ago they began writing down these stories, and a great flourishing of human achievement began. We know it today as literature, a term broad enough to encompass everything from ancient epic poetry to contemporary novels. How did literature develop? What forms has it taken? And what can we learn from engaging with these works today?
Hosted by Jacke Wilson, an amateur scholar with a lifelong passion for literature, The History of Literature takes a fresh look at some of the most compelling examples of creative genius the world has ever known.
Jacke talks to Alison Strayer, translator of several books by French author Annie Ernaux, who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2022. Plus he talks to author and Chekhov expert Bob Blaisdell about his choice for the last book he will ever read.
Annie Ernaux has written some twenty works of fiction and memoir, including Getting Lost and The Years. She is considered by many to be France’s most important writer. Alison Strayer is a Canadian writer and translator. She won the Warwick Prize for Women in Translation, and her work has been shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Literature and for Translation, the Grand Pix du live de Montreal, the Prix littéraire France-Québec, and the Man Booker International Prize. Bob Blaisdell, author of Chekhov Becomes Chekhov, is Professor of English at the City University of New York’s Kingsborough College and the author of Creating Anna Karenina.
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