Speaking in Tongues
While writers living in exile have much to say, they often lack a space to be heard. Speaking in Tongues offers the personal reflections of writers in exile — many now living in Canada — as they engage with and interrogate the act of translation.
As one writer living in exile has said, “Crossing borders, one after another, is a bloody devastating experience, but an experience done and over. Translating the self into another self through another vocabulary is what we face, right after we have finished the crossing. It is the last border, and it is invisible. And it is there during the ‘translation’ period that we slip away.
This anthology of exilic writing addresses the experiences and challenges of exiled writers — many working in a second language — and they move to “carry over” their lives from one context to another. The editor of Speaking in Tongues, Maggie Helwig, sits on the PEN Canada Board of Directors. PEN Canada works within Canada and internationally to promote freedom of expression and aid writers persecuted for the peaceful expression of their ideas. PEN Canada is working to establish partnerships to assist writers whose professional and cultural contributions have been imperiled by the need to leave their countries of origin.
Contributors: Zdenka Acin, Reza Baraheni, Andrea Hila, Martha Kumsa, Fereshteh Molavi, Faruk Myrtaj, Senthilnathan Ratnasabapathy, Benjamin Santamaria Ochoa, George Seremba, Goran Simic, and Mehri Yelfani.