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Women in Translation: The Book Of Anna

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This month Lighthouse' Women In Translation bookclub read The Book Of Anna, by Carmen Boullosa, translated by Samantha Schnee

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The Lighthouse Women In Translation reading group provides a free, friendly and gentle environment in which opinions are shared and new appreciations can be discovered.

It's a place for curious minds and relaxed conversation hosted by poet and translator Annie Rutherford. Come and join our warm bookish group – all are welcome!

This month we read The Book of Anna by Mexican novelist Carmen Boullosa, translated by Samantha Schnee. She tells a polyphonic and subversive tale of the Russian revolution through the lens of Tolstoy's most beloved work.

Saint Petersburg, 1905. Behind the gates of the Karenin Palace, Sergei, son of Anna Karenina, meets Tolstoy in his dreams and finds reminders of his mother everywhere: the vivid portrait that the tsar intends to acquire and the opium-infused manuscripts Anna wrote just before her death, which open a trapdoor to a wild feminist fairy tale. Across the city, Clementine, an anarchist seamstress, and Father Gapon, the charismatic leader of the proletariat, plan protests that embroil the downstairs members of the Karenin household in their plots and tip the country ever closer to revolution.

Carmen Boullosa is one of Mexico's leading novelists, poets, and playwrights. She has published over a dozen novels, two of which were designated the Best Novel Published in Mexico by the prestigious magazine Reforma—her second novel, Before, also won the renowned Xavier Villaurrutia Prize for Best Mexican Novel; and her novel La otra mano de Lepanto was also selected as one of the Top 100 Novels Published in Spanish in the past 25 years. Her most recent novel, Texas: The Great Theft won the 2014 Typographical Era Translation Award, was shortlisted for the 2015 PEN Translation Award, and has been nominated for the 2015 International Dublin Literary Award. Boullosa has received numerous prizes and honors, including a Guggenheim fellowship. Also a poet, playwright, essayist, and cultural critic, Boullosa is a Distinguished Lecturer at City College of New York, and her books have been translated into Italian, Dutch, German, French, Portuguese, Chinese, and Russian.

Samantha Schnee’s translation of Carmen Boullosa's Texas: The Great Theft (Deep Vellum, 2014) was longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award, shortlisted for the PEN America Translation Prize, and won the Typographical Era Translation Award. She won the 2015 Gulf Coast Prize in Translation for her excerpt of Carmen Boullosa’s The Conspiracy of the Romantics, and her translation of Boullosa’s latest novel, The Book of Anna, will be published by Coffee House Press in 2019. She is the founding editor of Words Without Borders and currently serves as secretary of the American Literary Translators Association. She also chairs the PEN America’s Heim Translation Grants jury and is a trustee of English PEN.

During the pandemic we are meeting online, and on the afternoon of book club we'll send everyone the link to join the chat.

Please order your copy of The Book of Anna from the bookshop (get a 10% discount with the code 'WomenInTranslation') - this supports the bookshop and helps us cover the cost of running bookclub & offering it for free.

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