Meet The Translator: Shelley Fairweather-Vega

Thu, Aug 20th 2020 at 6:00 PM PDT · By Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum
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Thu, Aug 20th 2020 at 6:00 PM PDT
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Thu, Aug 20th 2020 at 8:00 PM PDT
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Translators of international literature serve to dissolve stereotypes and open our eyes to the common humanity between people of varying nationalities, cultures and backgrounds. 

Join us in celebrating the gift translators have to offer, and expand your view of universal literature with a series of monthly presentations featuring local translators and their books.

In the first event the series Shelley Fairweather-Vega presents Of Strangers and Bees. Translated from Uzbek and Russian. To purchase a copy of the book online visit Tilted Axis Press.

Following the award-winning The Devils' Dance, Hamid Ismailov has crafted another masterpiece, combining traditional oral storytelling with contemporary global fiction to create a modern Sufi parable about the search for truth and wisdom. 

Waking from a portentous dream, Uzbek writer Sheikhov is convinced that the medieval polymath Avicenna lives on, condemned to roam the world. The novel follows Avicenna in various incarnations across the ages from Ottoman Turkey to medieval Germany and Renaissance Italy. Sheikhov plies the same route, though his troubles are distinctly modern as he endures the petty humiliations of exile.

About the Translator and Author

Shelley Fairweather-Vega is a professional translator from Russian and Uzbek to English, with a special focus on the literature of Central Asia. Her translations of poetry and prose have been published by presses ranging from Routledge to Tilted Axis, as well as in Translation Review, Words Without Borders, story and poetry anthologies, and more. Shelley is currently the president of the Northwest Translators and Interpreters Society.


Hamid Ismailov, regarded as a man of "unacceptably democratic tendencies" in Uzbekistan, was forced to flee his homeland, and so came to London in 1992. He was recruited by the BBC World Service to set up its Central Asia Service. Ismailov has published dozens of books in Uzbek, Russian, French, German, Turkish and other languages. He won the EBRD Literature Prize for his novel The Devil's Dance in 2019.


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