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Edith Grossman (born March 22, 1936) is an American Spanish-to-English literary translator. She is one of the most important translators of Latin American fiction in the past century, translating the works of Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa, Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, Mayra Montero, Augusto Monterroso, Jaime Manrique, Julián Ríos and of Álvaro Mutis.
Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Grossman now lives in New York City. She received a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, did graduate work at UC Berkeley, and received a Ph.D. from New York University. Her career in translation began when in 1972 a friend, Jo-Anne Engelbert, asked her to translate a story for her collection of short works by an early, fairly obscure, Argentine avant-garde writer, Macedonio Fernández.  That experience marked the change in Grossman's professional trajectory, from one of scholarship and criticism to that of translator.
In a speech delivered at the 2003 PEN Tribute to Gabriel García Márquez, in 2003, she explained her method:
|“||Fidelity is surely our highest aim, but a translation is not made with tracing paper. It is an act of critical interpretation. Let me insist on the obvious: Languages trail immense, individual histories behind them, and no two languages, with all their accretions of tradition and culture, ever dovetail perfectly. They can be linked by translation, as a photograph can link movement and stasis, but it is disingenuous to assume that either translation or photography, or acting for that matter, are representational in any narrow sense of the term. Fidelity is our noble purpose, but it does not have much, if anything, to do with what is called literal meaning. A translation can be faithful to tone and intention, to meaning. It can rarely be faithful to words or syntax, for these are peculiar to specific languages and are not transferable.||”|
Grossman's translation of Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote, published in 2003, is considered one of the finest English-language translations of the Spanish novel, praised by such authors/critics as Carlos Fuentes and Harold Bloom.
She received the PEN/Ralph Manheim Medal for Translation in 2006. In 2010, Edith Grossman was awarded the Queen Sofia Spanish Institute Translation Prize for her 2008 translation of Antonio Muñoz Molina's A Manuscript of Ashes.
|Library resources about
|By Edith Grossman|
- Don Quixote, Ecco/Harper Collins, 2003. "In the meantime, the powerful boar was lain across a mule, . . ." (P. 685) Correct "lain" to "laid"?
- Love in the Time of Cholera, Knopf, 1988.
- The General in His Labyrinth, Penguin, 1991.
- Strange Pilgrims: Stories, Alfred A. Knopf, 1993.
- Of Love and Other Demons, Knopf, 1995.
- News of a Kidnapping, Alfred A. Knopf, 1997.
- Living to Tell the Tale, Jonathan Cape, 2003.
- Memories of My Melancholy Whores, Vintage, 2005.
- Death in the Andes, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1996.
- The Notebooks of Don Rigoberto, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1998.
- The Feast of the Goat, Picador, 2001.
- The Bad Girl, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.
- In Praise of Reading and Fiction: The Nobel Lecture, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2011.
- Dream of the Celt, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012.
- The Discreet Hero, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015.
- Last Waltz in Santiago and Other Poems of Exile and Disappearance, Penguin, 1988.
- In Case of Fire in a Foreign Land: New and Collected Poems from Two Languages, Duke University Press, 2002
- In the Palm of Darkness, HarperCollins, 1997.
- The Messenger: A Novel, Harper Perennial, 2000.
- The Last Night I Spent With You, HarperCollins, 2000.
- The Red of His Shadow, HarperCollins, 2001.
- Dancing to "Almendra": A Novel, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007.
- Captain of the Sleepers: A Novel, Picador, 2007.
- The Adventures of Maqroll: Three Novellas, HarperCollins, 1992.
- The Adventures of Maqroll: Four Novellas, HarperCollins, 1995.
- The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll, NYRB Classics, 2002.
- José Luis Llovio-Menéndez, Insider My Hidden Life as a Revolutionary in Cuba, Bantam Books, 1988.
- Augusto Monterroso, Complete Works & Other Stories, University of Texas Press, 1995.
- Julián Ríos, Loves That Bind, Knopf, 1998.
- Eliseo Alberto, Caracol Beach: A Novel, Vintage, 2001.
- Julián Ríos, Monstruary, Knopf, 2001.
- Pablo Bachelet, Gustavo Cisneros: The Pioneer, Planeta, 2004.
- Carmen Laforet, Nada: A Novel, The Modern Library, 2007.
- The Golden Age: Poems of the Spanish Renaissance, W.W. Norton, 2007.
- Antonio Muñoz Molina, A Manuscript of Ashes, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2008.
- Why Translation Matters, Yale University Press, 2010.
- Luis de Góngora, The Solitudes, Penguin, 2011.
- Carlos Rojas, The Ingenious Gentleman and Poet Federico Garcia Lorca Ascends to Hell, Yale University Press, 2013.
- Interview in Guernica Magazine about "Don Quixote"
- Edith Grossman's lecture, "Translating Cervantes," delivered at the IDB Cultural Center in Washington, D.C.
- PEN audio interview with Gregory Rabassa and Edith Grossman[dead link]
- Podcast Interview with Paula Shackleton BookBuffet.com
- "Gabriel García-Márquez's Translator Speaks Up for Translations," Huff Post Books, March 15 2010, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/03/15/gabriel-garcia-marquezs-t_n_499693.html, accessed 19 April 2014.
- Grossman, Edith. "Narrative Transmutations". PEN American Centre. Retrieved 26 April 2014.
- By Carlos Fuentes. "Tilt" New York Times 2 November 2003. Accessed 2010-08-04
- Padgett, Tim (October 8, 1990), "Battling over Bolívar's Soul", Newsweek 116 (15): 70, retrieved 2008-03-17.