Translating Myself and Others

Luminous essays on translation and self-translation by an award-winning writer and literary translator


May 17, 2022
5.5 x 8.5 in.
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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.

Jhumpa Lahiri: Where I find myself

Awards and Recognition

  • Finalist for the PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay
  • One of Lit Hub's Most Anticipated Books of the Year
  • One of VULTURE'S 49 Books We Can't Wait to Read
  • One of Literary Hub's Best Reviewed Nonfiction Books of the Year
  • One of Literary Hub's Best Reviewed Essay Collections of the Year
  • A Literary Hub Best Essay Collection of 2022
  • A Choice Outstanding Academic Title of the Year