UCL European Institute


The infinite conversation: the craft of translating

31 March 2022, 6:00 pm–7:30 pm


Join us for an in-person event co-organised with the Institut Ramon Llull as part of this year's Spotlights Programme on Catalan literature of the London Book Fair.

Event Information

Open to





Uta Staiger


North West Wing, Lecture Theatre G22
Gower Street

Join us for a lively conversation and Q&A seeking to deep dive into the craft and complexities, joys and challenges of literary translation. Esther Tallada, translator of English into Catalan, and Mara Faye Lethem, translator of Catalan into English, will be discussing their practice with Uta Staiger, director of the UCL European Institute. We will likely be touching on questions of voice, register and literary time capsules; on autonomy and fidelity in translation; on reinventing canons and solving linguistic puzzles; and on navigating today’s editorial world.

Organised in collaboration with the Catalan cultural institute, the Institut Ramon Llull. The event is part of this year's Spotlight programme on Catalan literature at the London Book Fair.

institut Ramon Llull Spotlight

About the Speakers

Mara Faye Lethem

Mara Faye Lethem is a translator of contemporary Catalan and Spanish prose, and the author of A Person’s A Person, No Matter How Small. Her translations have been recognized with two English PEN Awards, three International Dublin Literary Award nominations, a Warwick Prize nomination, a National Translation Award nomination, and a residency at Art OMI’s Translation Lab. Recent translations include books by Patricio Pron, Max Besora, Javier Calvo, Jordi Nopca, Marta Orriols, Toni Sala, Alicia Kopf, and Irene Solà. She is currently translating the collected short stories of Pere Calders as part of her PhD at the University of St Andrews.

Esther Tallada Seco

Esther Tallada Seco has translated into and taught Catalan for 25 years. She translates above all American and British prose, including George Orwell, Sherman Alexie, Elizabeth Strout, Marilynne Robinson, Angela Readman, William Faulkner and Daniel Defoe. In 2019, she received the Crítica Serra d’Or prize for her translation of Faulkner’s Light in August. She also works on art and history books, exhibition catalogues and installation projects. She has taught Catalan language, history and culture at the University of Glasgow, the Universitat Pompeu Fabra, and the International University of Barcelona.