Writers & Translators

Writers & Translators
  • Author, Finnish
    Juhani Aho (originally Johannes Brofeldt) (1861–1921) was a Finnish author and journalist. Aho’s literary output was wide-ranging. He started as a realist and his first novel Rautatie (Railroad), which is considered one of his main works, is from this period. Aho was also one of the founders of Päivälehti, the predecessor of the biggest newspaper in Finland today, Helsingin Sanomat.
  • Author, German
    Henning Abrens, an experienced novelist, poet, and translator in Peine, Germany, is the author of six books. The winner of numerous prizes, his poems are full of "Sprachfreude Sinnlichkeit und Ironie" (the joy of language, sensuality, and irony).
  • Author, Danish
    Naja Marie Aidt was born in Greenland and raised in Copenhagen. She is the author of seven collections of poetry and five short story collections, including Baboon, which won the 2008 Nordic Council Literature Prize.
  • Author, Spanish
    César Aira was born in Coronel Pringles, Argentina, in 1949, and has lived in Buenos Aires since 1967. Perhaps one of the most prolific writers in Argentina, and certainly one of the most talked about in Latin America, Aira has published more than eighty books to date in Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, Chile, and Spain, which have been translated for France, Great Britain, Italy, Brazil, Portugal, Greece, Austria, Romania, Russia, and the United States.
  • Translator, Danish
    Martin Aitken is a widely published translator of Danish literature. He received the American-Scandinavian Foundation’s Nadia Christensen Translation Prize in 2012. He has translated numerous books, including Dorthe Nors’ Karate Chop, and he co-translated volume 6 of Karl Ove Knausgaard’s My Struggle with Don Bartlett.
  • Translator, Turkish
    Aron Aji is a native of Turkey. He received an NEA Translation Fellowship and then the PEN Translation Prize for his translation of Bilge Karasu’s Long Day’s Evening (City Lights, 2012). A member of the American Literary Translators Association and PEN, Aji is the Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at St. Ambrose University, and an affiliate faculty member at University of Iowa’s MFA in Translation program.
  • Author, Bengali
    Shaheen Akhtar has written five novels and four story collections. Shokhi Rongomala is her third novel. Her writing gives voice to those who historically have had none, while making those voices nuanced, far-reaching, and human in ways that defy stereotypes or mere victimhood.
  • Author
    Gülten Akın (1933 – 2015) was a Turkish poet deeply inspired by folklore. The recipient of numerous awards, her poems have been translated into many languages, and more than 40 of her poems have been composed into songs.
  • Author, Japanese
    Ryūnosuke Akutagawa (1892–1927), born in Tokyo, Japan, was the author of more than three-hundred fifty works of fiction and nonfiction. Japan's premier literary award for emerging writers, the Akutagawa Prize, is named after him.
  • Author, Arabic
    Born in 1975, Bahraini poet Ali Al Jallawi began writing poetry at the age of fourteen. His early work was characterized by revolutionary and political ideas, and he was imprisoned for three months at the age of seventeen after writing a poem in which he criticized the Bahraini regime. He was arrested again in 1995, during the uprising in Bahrain, and imprisoned until 1998, the period covered in his memoir, God After Ten O’Clock. His collections of poetry include Al Madina Al Akhira, Dilmuniyat I, Dilmuniyat II, and Tashta’il karazat nahd. During the crackdown against the pro-democracy protests in Bahrain earlier this year, Ali Al Jallawi fled the country and is now in exile in Europe.
  • Author, Arabic
    Taleb Al Refai (fiction writer; Kuwait) has published seven collections of short stories, a play, a number of critical works, and four novels, including the controversial The Shadow of the Sun in 1998. His 2002 The Scent of the Sea won the Kuwait National Award for Arts & Literature. Trained as an engineer, Al-Refai has since joined the staff of the National Council for Culture, Art, and Literature, where he manages the Culture and Arts Department. His articles appear regularly in the Al-Hayat and Al-Jarida Kuwaiti newspapers; in 2009 he chaired the Arabic Booker Prize for Fiction. He participates courtesy of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State.
  • Author, Arabic
    Fadhil al-Azzawi was born in Kirkuk, northern Iraq, in 1940. He has a BA in English literature from Baghdad University and a PhD in journalism from Leipzig University. He edited literary magazines and newspapers in Iraq and abroad and has been publishing his poetry since the 1960s. He left Iraq in 1977 and settled in Germany. He has published numerous volumes of poetry, six novels, one collection of short stories, two works of criticism, and many translations from English and German into Arabic. He is a contributing editor of Banipal magazine.
  • Translator, Arabic
    Moneera Al-Ghadeer is the author of Desert Voices: Bedouin Women’s Poetry in Saudi Arabia (I.B. Tauris, 2009) as well as many articles, book chapters, and translations. She received her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, and went on to become a tenured professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Additionally, she was a visiting professor of comparative literature in the Department of Middle Eastern, South Asian, and African Studies at Columbia University and a Shawwaf Visiting Professor at Harvard University.  
  • Author, Arabic
    Jokha al-Harthi is an academic and a novelist from Oman. An assistant professor at Sultan Qaboos University, she has published ten books including collections of short stories, novels, and children’s books. Her recent novel Narinjah (Bitter Orange) won the Sultan Qaboos Award for Culture, Arts, and Literature in 2016.
  • Author, Uyghur
    Mahmud al-Kashgari was an eleventh-century Uyghur scholar and lexicographer of the Turkic languages from Kashgar. He composed the first comprehensive dictionary of Turkic languages.
  • Author, Arabic
    Ibrahim Al-Koni is a Libyan writer and one of the most prolific Arabic novelists. Born in 1948 in the Fezzan Region, Ibrahim al-Koni was brought up on the tradition of the Tuareg, popularly known as “the veiled men” or “the blue men.” By 2007, al-Koni had published more than eighty books and received numerous awards. All written in Arabic, his books have been translated into thirty-five languages. His novel Gold Dust appeared in English in 2008. In 2015, Al-Koni was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize.
  • Author, Arabic
    Riyad al-Salih al-Hussein (1954-1982) suffered throughout his short life from deafness, kidney failure, and diabetes. He scrounged a meager living working various menial jobs. He channeled his ailments, loves, and politics into unrhymed free verse that is at once simple and disarming. His poetry somehow foresees the devastation in Syria today.  
  • Author, Arabic
    Ghadah al-Shafi’i is a Palestinian poet, born in 1977 in Acre. She studied Philosophy and Comparative Literature at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and has published work in the journals al-Masharif and al-Karmil.
  • Author, Arabic
    Hala al-Shrouf was born in Libya and lives in Ramallah, Palestine. Her first book of poetry was published in 2004. She has worked as a teacher for the deaf and as an English teacher. Her work has been translated into English, French, Spanish, and Swedish.
  • Author, Arabic
    Nabilah al-Zubair is a poet, short story writer, and novelist from Yemen. She began writing in the early 1980s, and her first poetry collections were published in the 1990s. Her first novel, My Body, published in 2000, won the Naguib Mahzouf prize for fiction. She is also a prolific journalist and campaigner for social change in Sana’a.