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.
About the Author
Jhumpa Lahiri teaches creative writing and literary translation at Princeton University, where she is director of the Program in Creative Writing. A writer in both English and Italian, she is the author of Interpreter of Maladies, which won the Pulitzer Prize, and the editor of The Penguin Book of Italian Short Stories. She has translated three novels by Domenico Starnone into English.