English PEN ‘Translated Literature Book Club’ Launches with Nihad Sirees’s ‘The Silence at the Roar’

The times are a’changing, English PEN writes in a news release — publishers are becoming more and more interested in translated literature:

The US and UK jackets.
The US and UK jackets.

For that reason:

…this makes it an ideal time to launch the English PEN Translated Literature Book Club, a journey of literary discovery in the company of similarly enthusiastic biblionauts. There will be a rolling itinerary, taking us around the world, so that even the most well-read members will encounter books from countries whose literature is entirely new to them.

This will be an in-person book club, hosted on Mondays at London’s Free Word Centre. The first three dates are August 10, September 14, and October 19. However, those who aren’t able to attend are free to chime in on Facebook  or Twitter. According to the site:

In August, we’ll be discussing The Silence and the Roar by exiled Syrian writer Nihad Sirees, translated from Arabic by Max Weiss.

September’s book will be The Vegetarian by South Korean writer Han Kang and we’ll be joined for the discussion by Han Kang’s English translator Deborah Smith.

October’s destination will be Iceland and this will be the first meeting featuring a book chosen by Book Club members.

Meetings will be run by bookseller and PEN Writers-in-Translation committee member Jonathan Ruppin, and those who’d like to join should email englishpenbookclub@gmail.com.

The Book Club will be limited to 25 places, allocated on a first-come, first-served basis.

Before the book club begins


On the Other Press website


Nihad Sirees’s ‘The Silence and the Roar’ One of PW’s Top 10 Books of 2013

Nihad Sirees Wins Germany’s ‘Coburg Rückert’ Prize


‘The Silence and the Roar’: On Life as a Silenced Writer

Not a Universal Story, a Flexible One


‘Let Me Call It Disorder’: Syrian Novelist Nihad Sirees on Writing in Berlin, Imagining Syria

‘We Are Fighting the Formal History of a Regime’

‘Creative Writing is Stalled Today’

Nihad Sirees on Writers in Syria: ‘What Should We Talk About?’

On Literature’s Honest Surrender