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A COLLECTIVE UPDATE

November 2023


We’re happy to say the collective’s been busy writing. Participating in self-marketing your own writing & translation projects isn’t high on the list of why writers | translators get into this work, but we did want to reflect on some recent publication news as a way to celebrate this past year.

It was a year in which we launched the first issue of Turkoslavia Journal, in collaboration with Exchanges at the University of Iowa. As we finalize the second issue, here are the books and shorter pieces we’ve recently been honored to find homes for in English translation:


BOOKS


All three members of Turkoslavia have their first full-length publications appearing in the next six months!


Sabrina Jaszi and Roman Ivashkiv’s translation of The Tears and Smiles of Things by Andriy Sodomora is forthcoming with Academic Studies Press. The project was awarded a grant from the Ukrainian Books Institute’s Translate Ukraine Programme.


Mirgul Kali’s translation of To Hell with Poets, a short story collection by Baqytgul Sarmekova, is forthcoming with Tilted Axis Press. It received English PEN’s PEN Translates award and the 2022 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant.


Ena Selimović’s translation of Underground Barbie by Maša Kolanović is forthcoming with Sandorf Passage. It marks the end of a five-year-long journey to find the novel a home in English. Her translation of Nebojša Lujanović's novel Cloud the Color Skin is forthcoming with Fraktura.


SHORTS


Mirgul, Ena, and Sabrina’s collective translation from Kazakh of the 1879 poem “Youth” by Shakarim Qudaiberdyuly is forthcoming this January in issue 12 of The Dial.


Sabrina’s translation from Russian of How to be a Good Soldier's Wife by Darya Kucherenko and Rita Loginova appeared in issue 10 of The Dial.


For more than a year, Russian women have been receiving instruction in how to be “proper” soldiers’ wives. They’ve been doing so with the help of officials, public figures, online support groups, life coaches, NGOs, and TV programs. They have been taught that the ideal soldier’s wife takes care of the home and children, and tends to the family hearth. She never cries, complains, or questions her husband’s decision to go to war, and she puts up with his bad behavior. In return, she is granted the title of “hero’s wife.”


Mirgul Kali’s translation of the short story My Skin Drifts Away, written in Kazakh by Merey Kossyn, appeared in Apofenie.


Under the bleak sky, along the city’s dust-covered streets, people walked with their heads lowered. They were in a hurry. Neat as usual, his footprints made their way along the city’s dusty paths. They led toward the building that soared toward the sky. The whir of the presses and the clatter of keyboards blended to play the familiar eerie, discordant tune.


Ena Selimović’s essay on the language memoirs of Jhumpa Lahiri and Dubravka Ugrešić—Balkan, Creole, Other: Dislocating Contemporary Multilingualisms—appeared in the Journal of Literature Multilingualism.


The texts under analysis in this article attend to languages which often fall under the rubric of “other languages” and underexamined contact zones to reveal the need to elaborate the concept of multilingualism through multiscalar reading practices that show the inter-imperial history of contemporary multilingualism. Placing the work of Lahiri and Ugrešić in relation reflects how southeast European and South Asian languages, located in inter-imperial zones with their own specific histories and traveling diasporically across empires, reveal enduring linguistic hierarchies that serve as processes of racialization. Within these hierarchies, BCMS (Bosnian, Croatian, Montenegrin, and Serbian) and Bengali are positioned as more minor than Italian and more minor still than English. In its neglect of minoritized languages, the critical field of literary multilingualism risks perpetuating these hierarchies.

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