collage of some of Andrea's book covers

Spanish to English literary translation
by Andrea Labinger

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Deseos/Longings/J’Aimerais Tant

Deseos/Longings/J’Aimerais Tant

“. . . con ecos de Mistral, Vallejo y Neruda, Gustavo Gac-Artigas, poeta y escritor chileno, nos entrega esta colección trilingüe de veintinueve poemas.” – David Unger

Translation of poetry by Gustavo Gac-Artigas in collaboration with Priscilla Gac-Artigas and Ada Mondès

Ediciones Nuevo Espacio, 2020

To order click here.

The Clerk

The Clerk

“To what depths is a man willing to go to hold on to a dream?”

Translation of Guillermo Saccomanno’s El oficinista

Open Letter, 2020

Andrea interviews author Guillermo Saccomanno in Southwest Review of his newest English-language translation, The Clerk.

To read more about The Clerk, or to purchase, please click here.

Featured in SouthWest Magazine as One of the 10 Must-Read Books of 2020!

Daughter

Daughter

“Daughter is, without a doubt, one of the best novels by the best contemporary Argentine writers.”

Translation of Ana María Shua’s Hija

(Literal Press, 2020)

Read a review of Ana María Shua’s Daughter in Andrea’s English translation.

About

A Bit of Background

You might be wondering who I am, how I became involved in literary translation, and why I think it’s one of the most satisfying and rewarding forms of creative expression imaginable. 

Although I’ve been actively translating since 1998, the roots of my story grow much deeper than that. The story of my love for the Spanish language and my journey to bilingualism is rooted in my childhood, as are so many of our adult passions.

I’m a native of New York City, born in the Bronx and raised in Yonkers, New York. For years my grandparents had a small  store – popularly known as a “candy store,” although this peculiarly urban type of establishment has absolutely nothing to do with See’s or Whitman’s chocolates, as any New Yorker of a certain vintage can tell you – in a predominantly Puerto Rican and Dominican section of Harlem, between Upper Broadway and Riverside Drive. Think West Side Story, and you’ll have some idea of the ambience in which I grew up. It was there, nearly every weekend of my formative years, that I first heard and fell in love with spoken Spanish, in this case the rapid-fire, staccato, Caribbean variety spoken by my grandparents’ neighbors. Everything that emanated from those neighbors’ apartments still pervades my memory: the pungent aroma of sofrito, the cadences of salsas, plenas, and boleros, the panorama of people in the streets, speaking words I couldn’t understand.

Whether or not there’s a direct connection between that first, preliminary exposure to Latino culture and my current work as a translator I can’t honestly say. I began studying Spanish formally at the age of eleven and eventually went on to earn a Ph.D. in Latin American literature from Harvard – worlds away from the little candy store on West 135th Street. I became a professor of Spanish and have had many glorious opportunities to travel throughout Latin America and Spain. I’ve met and befriended most of the prominent writers whose work I am privileged to translate. But the kid who sat on a milk crate behind the counter, ruining her teeth with candy, reading piles of comics and eavesdropping on her grandparents’ customers still lurks behind every translation I do. For what is translation after all but a kind of eavesdropping, a surreptitious slippage into someone else’s skin, into other people’s lives?

We translators always have our ears wide open, and we zealously aspire to share what we’ve learned with our readers, who might otherwise have no access to the many worlds we inhabit. Today, with multiple published book-length translations and numerous short-story translations in journals and anthologies to my credit, I’m still listening.

  

Andrea G. Labinger

Andrea's headshot

Andrea G. Labinger

Education

  • [Ph.D. in Spanish and Latin American Literature, Harvard University
  • [M.A. in Spanish, Harvard University
  • [B.A. in Spanish, magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Hunter College

Translation Services

Please Note: Fees for translation services depend on the length and difficulty of each job and are calculated individually.

  • [Full-Length Book
  • [Journal and Anthology
  • [Creative Non-Fiction
  • [Commercial

Ten Rules for Literary Translators
Ever wonder what guidelines literary translators follow? Click here to read Andrea’s “rules”

Awards and Recognitions

Andrea Labinger is a winner of the PEN/Heim Translation Award for Guillermo Saccomanno’s noir novel Cámara Gesell and a finalist for The Millions magazine’s 2020 Best Translated Book Award for his novel 77.

People Are Saying  . . .

Proceed with Caution
Beautifully translated by Andrea G. Labinger, Patricia Ratto’s thrillingly claustrophobic stories in Proceed With Caution are told ‘in a pure present that sooner or later will also be devoured’ – by delighted readers.

TERESE SVOBODA
Author of Great American Desert

The Clerk
All in all, Labinger’s translation of The Clerk is a welcome addition to the growing collection of Saccomanno novels now available in English. Let us hope, then, that Open Letter brings us other titles in Labinger’s translations.

GEORGE HANSON
Middlebury Institute of International Studies

Gesell Dome
(…)Labinger’s translation pulls no punches in its sharp yet eloquent take.

PEN America

Contact

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