Canada Reads 2019

Rhonda Mullins

Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator living in Montreal.
Rhonda Mullins is an award-winning translator based in Montreal. (Owen Egan)

Rhonda Mullins is the translator of Suzanne by Anaïs Barbeau-Lavalette, which appears on the Canada Reads 2019 longlist. The final five books and the panellists defending them will be revealed on Jan. 31, 2019. The 2019 debates are happening March 25-28, 2019 and will be hosted by Ali Hassan

About Rhonda Mullins 

Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator living in Montreal. She won the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award for French-to-English translation for Jocelyne Saucier's Twenty-One CardinalsAnd the Birds Rained Down — her translation of Saucier's Il pleuvait des oiseaux — was defended on Canada Reads 2015 by Martha Wainwright and was shortlisted for a Governor General's Literary Award, as were Mullins's translations of Louis Carmain's Guano, Élise Turcotte's Guyana, Hervé Fischer's The Decline of the Hollywood Empire and Julie Demers's Little Beast.

On the subtleties of literary translation

"I'm lucky enough to work with authors who are generous with their time or enthusiastic about translation... But I do go through an entire draft where I'm just working with the text itself. And you get worried about whether you're missing humour or irony, or inserting those things where they don't exist. So it is about a very close reading of the book, which comes very naturally because I read books for pleasure, obviously.

You get worried about whether you're missing humour or irony, or inserting those things where they don't exist. So it's about a very close reading of the book... and you start to inhabit the author's world a little bit. - Rhonda Mullins

"But when you translate, you're pulling apart sentences and putting them back together so it becomes this very intimate reading [and] that's a challenge, but you start to inhabit the author's world a little bit. And then of course I have access to them to clarify whenever I need to." 

Listen to Rhonda Mullins's full interview with CBC Radio's Mainstreet

Books translated by Rhonda Mullins

Interviews with Rhonda Mullins 

Rhonda Mullins is a writer and translator.She received the 2015 Governor General's Literary Award. Karen Mair recently spoke with her. 5:43

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