The International Writing Program and La.Lit’s Translation Workshops

La.Lit | December 9, 2014

As part of Silk Routes: Heritage, Trade, and Practice a project managed by the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa, La.Lit is happy to announce a call for applications for writers and translators in Nepal who can work from Nepali or other regional languages into English or vice-versa. Interested writers and translators are requested to fill out the Application Form. A short sample demonstrating their translation skills is also requested, for which the following two extracts have been selected. Participants need only translate into the language they are most comfortable, unless he or she wishes to translate from both languages.

A maximum of eight writers and translators will be selected to take part in a translation workshop. The workshop participants will be supported by La.Lit to translate an extract or a whole body of work by a writer of their choice over the next six months. Participants will meet periodically to share their progress and will be able to learn from each other’s processes. These translations may be published online or in print in La.Lit or the IWP’s website.


Extracted from: The Keeper of Conscience by Smriti F. Mallapaty.

An engineer at heart, Baidya has a fundamental faith in technical solutions to solve human problems. Even in recounting the moment of his wife’s death, he appears to blame a defective washing machine and the fact that he couldn’t fix it in time.

“She died in this house,” he recalls. “We had a washing machine. I was in the courtyard when my wife cried, ‘Come up, the machine is wrong.’ I said, ‘I will come and look at it – don’t cry, don’t shout.’ But then I heard her shout, ‘Call my second son!’ In our culture, the younger son is closer to the mother. When I went back up she fell from the chair she was sitting on. I took her on my lap. She cried out, ‘Where is Bijaya? Where is Bijaya?’ and collapsed.”

“What happened? Did the machine do something to her?” I ask.

“The inner part of the washing machine that mixes the water was missing. It was not working. The machine is still on my rooftop.”

“But what happened to her? Did she have a heart attack?”

He pauses, perhaps grasping for an alternative history, the possibility that she might have lived had he fixed the washing machine. “Yes, a heart attack. The doctor had told her not to work. But the pressure from the machine was stronger than her heart could withstand, and she died.”

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Extracted from: Mero Naam by Amar Nyaupane.

यी हिरोइनले छुँदा मलाई देवीले छोएजस्तो हुनुपर्ने ठाउँमा किन पीडा भइरहेछ?

उनले मेरो कैयौं दिनदेखि काइँयोको मुख नदेखेको, लट्टा परेको कपाल मुसार्दा मलाई घाउमा छोए जस्तो हुन्छ। धेरै भएको थियो थियो आमाले जुम्रा टिपिदिएकी थिइनन्। टिप्न खोज्दा मैले दिएकी थिइनँ।

सबैभन्दा लाज र डर मेरो मैलो उनको सुकिलो हातमा सर्छ भनेर लाग्छ। मेरो मैलो उनको हातमा सरेजस्तै उनको सुकिलो मेरो शरीरमा सरिदिए हुन्थ्यो नि।

ती हिरोइनको उमेर तीस वर्षजति भयो अरे। मेरी आमा पनि तीस वर्षकी भइन्। तर, मेरी आमा उनको अगाडि धेरै बूढी देखिन्छिन्। उनले त मेरी आमालाई आमा भने पनि सुहाउँछ। यसरी ढिलो बूढी हुनेहरु मर्न पनि ढिलो मर्छन् होला। सहरमा बूढी नहुने औषधि पाइन्छ कि? सुनकेस्रे रानीले त्यही बूढी नहुने औषधि खाएकी होलिन्। अनुहारमा लगाएकी पनि होलिन्।

उनले मेरो फोटो पनि खिचिन्। आँधी आएको बेला बिजुली चम्केजस्तै भयो। म पनि फिलिममा आउँछु कि जस्तो लाग्यो। तर, सोध्न सकिनँ। क्यामेराका आँखाले हेर्दा पनि मलाई खुब लाज लाग्यो।

मेरा साथीहरुले भने  –  अब तिमी फिलिममा आउँछ्यौ।

लाग्यो, फिलिममा आएँ भने म पनि यी सुनकस्रे रानीजस्तै हुन्छु होला। धामीले हेराउँदा म धेरै भाग्यमानी छु भनेका थिए अरे। म त्यही भाग्य कुरिरहेकी छु।

अहिले ती सुनकेस्रे रानीले नाम सोध्दैछिन्। म खुट्टाको बूढी औंलाले भुइँ कोट्याइरहेछु। जति सोध्छिन् उति मेरा खाली खुट्टा माटोमा धसिएजस्तो लाग्छ।

उनले धेरैपटक सोधेपछि मैले उसरी नै भुइँ कोट्याउँदै भन्छु  –  रुप्सी …

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