When you read a translated work, are you reading the book as the author intended? Can translators ever be invisible as they try to balance fidelity to the author’s vision with ensuring that the translated text engages the reader? Join this panel of authors, translators and publishers – including Penny Hueston, Stephanie Smee and Karen Viggers – as they discuss the subtle art of translation with Suzanne Leal.

Presented with the State Library of New South Wales.

Penny Hueston (Australian)

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Penny Hueston’s translations have helped establish Australian publishers Text Publishing Company as a world centre for publishing significant contemporary French literature in translation. Penny has tackled writers of international standing including Nobel Laureate Patrick Modiano, Sarah Cohen-Scali and Marie Darrieussecq.

Karen Viggers (Australian)

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Karen Viggers is a wildlife veterinarian who has worked with native animals in many remote parts of Australia, from the Kimberley to Antarctica. She is the award-winning, internationally bestselling author of The Stranding, The Lightkeeper’s Wife, The Grass Castle and The Orchardist’s Daughter. Her work has been translated into several languages, and has been highly successful in France.

Stephanie Smee (Australian)

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Stephanie Smee is a literary translator who left a career in law to work with the languages she loves. Stephanie translates mostly from French. Her translations include Françoise Frenkel’s WWII memoir, No Place to Lay One’s Head and the first new translation in over a century of Jules Verne’s Mikhail Strogoff. She loved bringing the Countess de Ségur’s iconic children’s works - Sophie’s Misfortunes and others - to a new audience. And it was a treat to work with her Swedish mother on Gösta Knutsson’s beloved Pelle No-Tail series. Her next translation from French is a gripping work of crime.

Suzanne Leal (Australian)

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Suzanne Leal is the author of The Teacher’s Secret and Border Street. A regular interviewer at literary events and festivals, Suzanne is the senior judge for the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards and a board member of BAD: Sydney Crime Writers Festival. A lawyer experienced in child protection, criminal law and refugee law, she is also a book reviewer for The Australian. Her new novel will be published by Allen & Unwin in 2020.