Gioia Guerzoni

Translating and scouting
literature from Asia

I live in Milan and I have been translating fiction, mainly from English into Italian, for the past twenty years. I worked on American and British contemporary authors - Ben Marcus, Teju Cole, Jonathan Lethem, Siri Hustvedt, Paula Fox, Colm Tóibín, Cynan Jones, Rachel Trezise - as well as on classics such as Iris Murdoch, Wilfred Thesiger and Saki. My longish stays in urban India led me to pitch and translate several local writers - Altaf Tyrewala, Tishani Doshi, Manjushree Thapa, Kiran Nagarkar and Amruta Patil. I keep visiting the subcontinent regularly and in the past three years I started to explore some ASEAN countries. Occasionally I write about South East Asian literatures and related subjects for Italian and Indian magazines. In 2008 I have edited and translated an anthology of fiction, non-fiction and graphic short stories by under 40 Indian writers (Tishani Doshi, Annie Zaidi, Palash K. Mehrotra, Sarnath Banerjee and many others) for ISBN publisher. Given the successful reviews, it has been reprinted in May 2013. In 2009 the anthology was published in India by Delhi-based Westland Books Ltd.

Besides translating, I work as a fiction scout for the Italian publishing house Il Saggiatore and as a free-lance consultant (SEA & Pacific) for the Barcelona based Pontas International Literary Agency, and the Asia Literary Review. Last year I was Chair of the Translation Committee of Asia Pacific Writers & Translators. I also enjoy leading or facilitating workshops on translation and publishing (recently for the Lontar Foundation in Jakarta with the support of Goethe Institute, at LUMS University in Lahore and at the Karachi Literature Festival. I often cooperate with literary festivals as a panelist and as an advisor to select the line-up. Recently I was invited as a panelist to Worlds Literature Festival, organized by Writers' Centre Norwich and BCLT, British Centre for Literary Translation.