It’s a rare privilege to welcome Maureen Freely to the Trafika Europe advisory board. As the current president of English PEN, chair of the Faculty of Arts at Warwick University, and former chair of the Translator’s Association in the UK, she brings an unparalleled depth of experience to the table.
Born in the US, raised in Turkey, a graduate of Harvard and now a transplant to the UK, she’s been blessed with multiple cultural perspectives over her career. This is combined with unusually fine sensitivity as a literary translator and writer. She’s translated five of Nobel Laureate Orhan Pamuk’s novels from the Turkish, published seven novels of her own, three works of non-fiction, and contributes to numerous major journals, including The Guardian, The Observer, The Independent, The Sunday Times, The New York Review of Books, and so on.
For a taste of her literary translation, you can check out “The Bohça”, a short story by formative Turkish writer Sait Faik Abasıyanık, which we published in our recent Trafika Europe Corner monthly column on Ohio Edit, here. Her own fiction writing is described as “gripping”, “stunning”, “unique and haunting”, and she is also an articulate and impassioned spokesperson for the art and craft of translation – for a taste of this, you can read this article in The Guardian.
Thank you again to Ms. Freely for joining our conversation. As we seek widest possible depth and inclusion, in giving greater voice and forum for the many literary cultures across Europe in English translation, we couldn’t hope for a more suitable partner than this. We so look forward to availing of this wisdom over the coming months, as we continue to deepen our role in European letters.