This year, the Czech Literary Centre, a section of the Moravian Library, is focusing on the support of literary translations (you can find out more about the centre’s activities here). One of this year’s key projects is a group residency for translators from Czech, which is being organized by the Czech Literary Centre for the very first time. Five established translators, who have focused on the work of Jáchym Topol over a long period, will attend the residency. During their stay, each of them will translate an extract from Topol’s forthcoming novel, Hořící kůlna (Burning Shed), into their native language.
The output from this residency will thus consist of translations into five languages (English, German, Dutch, Spanish and Swedish). These excerpts will then help to promote the novel abroad. The Czech Literary Centre will also publish them on its CzechLit website, where they will be available to interested parties from international publishing houses.
The group residency will run from the 19th to the 30th of September in Komařice close to České Budějovice. The invitations have been accepted by the following translators:
Edgar de Bruin has translated 50 books into Dutch and has introduced writers into Dutch-speaking areas (the Netherlands and the Flemish part of Belgium) such as Jáchym Topol, Patrik Ouředník, Marek Šindelka and Egon Hostovský. He is in charge of the Moldaviet (Vltavín) edition of Voetnoot publishers, which focuses on short Czech prose. He is a recipient of the Aleida Schot Award (2007) and the Dutch Literary Fund award (Letterenfonds Vertaalprijs 2017) for translation; the Czech literary prize Premia Bohemica (2008), and the Jiří Theiner Award for his promotion of Czech literature (2017). Together with his wife, Magda de Bruin Hüblová, he has been running the Pluh literary agency since 2003. During this period the agency has helped to publish several hundred Czech books across the world.
Tora Hedin is an associate professor of Slavonic languages at Stockholm University, a linguist, translator from Czech to Swedish and a promoter of Czech culture in Sweden. She has been involved in Czech literature and the teaching of Czech over a long period in Sweden. Her love of Czech literature led her to establish the publishing house Aspekt. She has translated several works of Czech literature into Swedish, including books by Michal Ajvaz, Jáchym Topol and Květa Legátová. She collaborates with Czech studies specialists across the world and also lectures, teaches and organizes conferences and seminars on language, translation and literature. In 2021, she was awarded the Gratias Agit prize in recognition of her activities.
Eva Profousová emigrated to Germany in 1983 and studied Eastern European history and Slavonic Studies in Hamburg and Glasgow. As a literary translator she focuses on contemporary fiction, plays and essays: Radka Denemarková, Jaroslav Rudiš, Martin Šmaus, Jáchym Topol, Kateřina Tučková, Michal Viewegh and Petr Zelenka. She is actively involved in the presentation of literary translations. Her activities include conference presentations, literary recitals and reviews of contemporary Czech literary events.
Kepa Uharte is a translator from Czech, writer and activist in the fight against the sexual abuse of children in Spain. He graduated in Arabic and Slavonic studies from the University of Barcelona. From 1999–2001 he established and headed the university journal BOCTOK-L’EST, focusing on Slavonic cultures. His Czech prose translations include works by Ivan Klíma, Patrik Ouředník, Jachým Topol (Nightwork, 2006) and Markéta Pilátová. He translates into Spanish and Catalonian and lives in Barcelona. In 2010 the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs awarded him for promoting the good name of the Czech Republic in Spain.
Alex Zucker has translated novels by J. R. Pick, Petra Hůlová, Jáchym Topol, Magdaléna Platzová, Tomáš Zmeškal, Josef Jedlička, Heda Margolius Kovály, Patrik Ouředník, and Miloslava Holubová. He has also Englished stories, plays, essays, young adult and children’s books, subtitles, song lyrics, reportages, poems, and an opera libretto. His translations Three Plastic Rooms, by Petra Hůlová, and The Devil’s Workshop, by Jáchym Topol, received Writing in Translation awards from English PEN, and he won the ALTA National Translation Award in 2010 for his translation of Petra Hůlová’s fiction debut, All This Belongs to Me. In addition to translating, Alex works in editing and communications. He lives in Brooklyn. More at www.alexjzucker.com.