In the vast world of literature, translation acts as a bridge that connects different cultures and allows stories to transcend geographical boundaries. It’s an art that not only carries the words but also the essence of a narrative into new realms.
At AUC Press, we’re excited to join the global celebration of Women in Translation Month, as we believe that diverse voices and perspectives deserve to be heard across languages and cultures. This year, we’ve reached out to three esteemed women writers—Omaima Al-Khamis, author of The Book Smuggler, Donia Kamal, author of Cigarette Number Seven, and Khadija Marouazi, author of Hoopoe fiction’s latest novel History of Ash—as well as the talented Kay Heikkinen, who translated Velvet and The Woman from Tantoura to get their reflections on the impact of translation.
“Bestowing wings upon a book, translation enables its pages to fly across the skies carrying their heavenly load and allowing them to sneak into that intimate space between a book and a reader’s nose. Everywhere it lands, the translated text delivers a culture with all its symbols and hidden meanings and shatters all misconceptions and illusions. I am thrilled to have my own space in the global blog to express myself and offer one road map in the labyrinth of the Tower of Babel.”—Omaima Al–Khamis, author of The Book Smuggler
“Reading your words in a different language is a transcending experience, but the real bonus is when the translation is as sensitive and accurate as your purpose with the actual words. This can easily be achieved when your translator is a woman. It is close, intimate, the solidarity of emotions is almost the same, and very little is lost in the translation.”—Donia Kamal, author of Cigarette Number Seven
“The more captivating the creative text, the more the reader wonders how the writer can harness such creativity. The same thing happens when the writer reads their text translated into another language; she wonders where the translator gets all of his patience. My thanks and gratitude to the critic and translator, Alex Elinson, who translated History of Ash. In doing so, he has brought it out from behind bars and made it available wherever readers might find it, taking it beyond the boundaries of language and geography.”
—Khadija Marouazi, author of History of Ash
“Readers have long found that women’s fiction can bring depth and dimension to their lives, and translated women’s fiction opens unexpected global perspectives for all of us. It allows us to make virtual friends from around the world, and to use their experiences to enrich our own understanding. The next book is always a new adventure.”—Kay Heikkinen, translator of Velvet and The Woman from Tantoura