A 2021 Guggenheim fellow, Edward Gauvin has translated in various fields from film to fiction, with a personal focus on contemporary comics (BD) and post-Surrealist literatures of the fantastic. His work has appeared in The New York Times, Harper’s, The Guardian, and World Literature Today, and twice placed in the British Comparative Literature Association’s John Dryden Translation Competition. It has also been shortlisted for several major awards—the Oxford Weidenfeld Translation Prize, the Albertine Prize, the Best Translated Book Award, the National Translation Award—and twice nominated for French-American Foundation Translation Prize. He has received fellowships from the NEA, PEN America, the Fulbright program, and the Centre National du Livre, as well as residencies from Ledig House, the Lannan Foundation, the Banff Centre, and the Belgian government. A multiple grantee of the French Voices program from the French Embassy, he is a frequent contributor to their cultural initiatives. As a translation advocate, he has written widely, spoken at universities and festivals, and taught at the Bread Loaf Translation Conference. The translator of over 400 graphic novels, he is a contributing editor for comics at Words Without Borders.
Project Description: The intellectual autobiography of a pen name, or: what happens when the “model” minority meets the “invisible” profession? It situates itself in a contemporary discussion of Asian American identity that includes acts of imposture like Michael Derrick Hudson’s and recent hybrids of memoir and nonfiction (Cathy Park Hong’s Minor Feelings, Jay Caspian Kang’s The Loneliest Americans). In the tradition of translator’s accounts reflecting on the paradoxes of career and calling, it discusses translation as a creative act, but in the context of a modern moment when the natures of authorship and creativity are being redefined with relation to legal and commercial ideas of “content” (Alice Kaplan’s French Lessons, Polly Barton’s Fifty Sounds, Mary Ann Caws’ Surprised in Translation).