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Bridging the Divide: Translation and the Art of Empathy

Thursday 30 July at 5 pm: A ground-breaking weekly podcast series kicks off, championing independent publishers committed to publishing writing in translation; their authors and translators; including a guest interview with the publisher behind Nordic Noir.

The podcast line-up features award-winning, bestselling authors from across Europe, including Lars Mytting, J.S. Margot, Tommy Wieringa and Tahar Ben Jelloun, as well as interviews with their publishers Christopher MacLehose, Adam Freudenheim and Philip Gwyn Jones.

Every day, translators breathe life into books from around the globe. Their words connect communities, families and educators across linguistic, cultural and geographical barriers.

In a Covid-19 world, as social distancing becomes the norm, and travel to faraway places is but a dream, books in translation are more important than ever, offering new and alternative ways of seeing and understanding each other over and beyond daily news broadcasts.

The Hosts

Bridging the Divide is hosted by editor, Georgia de Chamberet, and journalist, Lucy Popescu. The series introduces to readers a selection of new writing in translation by diverse authors, and flies in the face of the perceived view that literature is just for the highbrow.

Each episode features authors, translators, or publishers discussing a lead title in translation published this year, and talking about their own work. The themed conversations also show how world writing promotes empathy, connecting us to each other at a time of unprecedented crisis.

A review of the featured book is posted on The BookBlast® Diary to accompany the podcast.

The Programme

J.S. Margot, Flemish author of Mazel Tov (Pushkin Press),

discusses navigating clashing cultures with Georgia de Chamberet on 30 July, 5pm

followed by an interview with publisher, Adam Freudenheim

Book info

Robyn Marsack (translator) & Rose Rogerson (Eland Books),

discuss the late Swiss author, Nicolas Bouvier's So It Goes & his traveller's tales on 06 August, 5pm

Book info


Jamie Lee Searle (translator from the German) & Anne Meadows (Granta Books),

discuss Korean author, Anna Kim's The Great Homecoming and love, war & the riptide of history with Georgia de Chamberet on 13 August, 5pm

Book info


James Womack, translator of Spanish author Manuel Vilaa's Heaven (Carcanet),

discusses love & death under the sun with Georgia de Chamberet on 20 August, 5pm

followed by an interview with publisher, Michael Schmidt

Book info

Lulu Norman (translator) & journalist Lucy Popescu,

discuss the desert hell endured by Moroccan author Aziz BineBine, described in Tazmamart: 18 Years of Morocco’s Secret Prison (Haus) on 27 August, 5pm

Book info


Lars Mytting (author), Deborah Dawkin (translator) & Georgia de Chamberet,

discuss The Bell in the Lake (MacLehose Press) & tradition vs. modernity on 03 September, 5pm

followed by an interview with publisher, Christopher MacLehose

Book info

Tahar Ben Jelloun, Moroccan author of On Terrorism: Conversations with my Daughter,

discusses terror as a weapon with Georgia de Chamberet on 10 September, 5pm. Published by Small Axes

in French and English

Book info

Tommy Wieringa (Dutch author), Sam Garrett (translator) & Lucy Popescu,

discuss The Blessed Rita (Scribe) and voices from the margins on 17 September, 5pm

followed by an interview with publisher, Philip Gwyn Jones

Book info

Natasha Lehrer (translator) & Lucy Popescu,

discuss French author, Nathalie Léger’s The White Dress (Les Fugitives) and brides on tour on 24 September, 5pm

Book info


Goran Vojnovic (Slovenian author), Olivia Hellewell (translator) & Lucy Popescu,

discuss The Fig Tree (Istros Books) and the experiences of families living between empires on 20 October, 5pm

Book info


Beka Adamashvili, Georgian author of Bestseller (Dedalus Books) & Tamara Japaridze (translator),

wrap up the series with a discussion about how well bestsellers travel and all things Georgian, on 05 November, 5pm

Book info



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