RSL Events

Sep 2013
  1. Fully Booked

Found in translation

Julian Barnes, Ali Smith, Sandra Smith

Adam Thirlwell

LSE, 7pm


Of the thousands of books published in Britain each year, only a handful are translated from foreign languages. Given the dominance of English as the international language of business and politics, perhaps our literary chauvinism is inevitable. Does this narrowing of our reading world matter? Are we in danger of missing out on today's Tolstoy or tomorrow's Murakami? Novelist Adam Thirlwell has recently masterminded Multiples, a globe-trotting collection of 12 stories, translated in and out of English and 17 other languages by 61 authors. He chairs a conversation between three champions of translated literature - the writer and francophile Julian Barnes, the novelist Ali Smith, and Irène Némirovsky's translator, Sandra Smith - as they discuss the challenges of Anglocentricity, the relationship between authors and their translators, and the role of translators in shaping our cultural imagination and inheritance.

We are grateful to Portobello Books for sponsoring this event, and to the TLS for supporting it.

Photograph of Julian Barnes taken by Alan Edwards

Booking Information


RSL Members and Fellows may book one seat for this event for free.

Seats for guests (one per meeting, £5) must be booked and paid for in advance. This can be done through the RSL website as part of the usual booking process.

The RSL takes bookings from the public in advance of each event. We are able to take payment for bookings over the phone, but, as we do not have a box office, we ask that the public book online.

Tickets will be sold on a first come, first served basis, for £8 (£5 for students). Students will be asked to present a valid student identification card on the night of the event.

Read our Terms and Conditions for ticket purchases here.



London School of Economics and Political Science, The Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3LJ

RSL Events

Portobello Books

Portobello Books

Image of Found in translation

Feb 2015

Reflections on war

Edna O’Brien, Andrew O’Hagan, Kate Tempest

Feb 2015

Feb 2015

An eye for life

Ali Smith, Marion Coutts

Mar 2015

Tales of two cities

Mark Doty, Ruth Padel

Apr 2015

Consider the seahorse

Andrew Motion

May 2015

Amnesia and other stories

Peter Carey in conversation with Hermione Lee

Jun 2015

Finding Wonderland

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst

Jul 2015

New stories for old

Natalie Haynes, Helen Oyeyemi, Dubravka Ugresic


Mailinglist Subscribe


Mind Unit - websites, content management and email marketing for the arts