Esther Allen

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Esther Allen
Born (1962-06-29) June 29, 1962 (age 57)
Occupationwriter, translator

Esther Allen (born June 29, 1962) is a writer, professor, and translator of French-language and Spanish-language literature into English. She is on the faculties of Baruch College (Department of Modern Languages & Comparative Literature) and the Graduate Center, CUNY (Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Ph.D. Program; French Ph.D. Program).[1] Allen co-founded PEN World Voices: the New York Festival of International Literature (2004), and worked with PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grants from their inception in 2003 to 2010. Allen heads the Development Committee of the American Literary Translators Association,[2] and serves on the board of Writers Omi, part of Omi International Arts Center, on the Advisory Council to the Spanish-language program at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and on the Selection Committee for the French Voices translation subvention program of the Services culturels français.

Selected works[edit]

Selected translations[edit]

  • Zama, introduction and first English-language translation of 1956 Spanish-language novel by Antonio di Benedetto. Di Benedetto, Antonio (2016). Zama. Translated by Allen, Esther. New York City: New York Review Books. ISBN 9781590177174. [3][4][5]
  • José Martí Selected Writings (Penguin Classics), editor and translator. José Martí Selected Writings (Penguin Classics). Penguin Classics. ISBN 9780142437049.
  • Dancing with Cuba: A Memoir of the Revolution, English-language translation of Spanish-language manuscript by Alma Guillermoprieto. Dancing with Cuba: A Memoir of the Revolution. Vintage Books. 2005. ISBN 9780375725814. Guillermoprieto wrote in the book's Acknowledgements: Esther Allen "turned my stammering Spanish-language manuscript into an English text far more beautiful and assured than I could have written."
  • In Her Absence, English-language translation of 2001 Spanish-language novel by Antonio Muñoz Molina. Muñoz Molina, Antonio (2007). In Her Absence. Translated by Allen, Esther. New York City: Other Press. ISBN 9781590512531. Reviewer Michael Kern Johnson called the work "an assured translation from Esther Allen that captures beautifully the shifting subtleties of tone and mood... satirical, and even very funny ... touching and painful."[6]
  • Borges: Selected Non-Fictions (Penguin), English-language translation of Spanish-language works by Jorge Luis Borges. Edited by Eliot Weinberger and co-translated with Weinberger and Suzanne Jill Levine. Borges: Selected Non-Fictions. Penguin Classics. 2000. ISBN 9780140290110.
  • The Book of Lamentations (Classic, 20th-Century, Penguin), English-language translation of 1962 Spanish-language novel by Rosario Castellanos. Translation originally published 1996 by Marsilio Publishers. The Book of Lamentations. Penguin Classics. 1998. ISBN 9780141180038.
  • Dark Back of Time (Vintage International), English-language translation of Spanish-language novel by Javier Marías. Translation originally published 2001. Dark Back of Time. Vintage Books. 2013. ISBN 9780307950741.
  • The Tale of the Rose: The Love Story Behind The Little Prince, English-language translation of French-language memoir by Consuelo de Saint Exupéry published post-humously in France in 2000. The Tale of the Rose: The Love Story Behind The Little Prince. Random House. 2003. ISBN 9780812967173.

Selected other[edit]

Awards and fellowships[edit]


  1. ^ "Esther Allen - Department of Modern Languages and Comparative Literature - Weissman School of Arts and Sciences - Baruch College". Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  2. ^ "Standing Committees - The American Literary Translators Association". Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  3. ^ Coetzee, J. M. (5 November 2017). "A Great Writer We Should Know". Retrieved 5 November 2017. Zama remains the most attractive of Di Benedetto’s books, if only because of the crazy energy of Zama himself, which is vividly conveyed in Esther Allen’s excellent translation."
  4. ^ Kunkel, Benjamin (16 January 2017). "A Neglected South American Masterpiece". Retrieved 5 November 2017. The belated arrival of Zama in the United States raises an admittedly hyperbolic question: Can it be that the Great American Novel was written by an Argentinean? It’s hard, anyway, to think of a superior novel about the bloody life of the frontier.
  5. ^ Michael Wood (5 April 2018). "Vileness". London Review of Books.
  6. ^ Johnson, Michael Kern. "Antonio Muñoz Molina's "In Her Absence" - Words Without Borders". Wordswithoutborders.rg. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  7. ^ "John Simon Guggenheim Foundation - Esther Allen".
  8. ^ "NTA (National Translation Award) - The American Literary Translators Association". Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  9. ^ "Zama". New York Review Books. Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  10. ^ "NTA Winners - The American Literary Translators Association". Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  11. ^ "Former Biography Fellows". Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  12. ^ "CUNY Academy for the Humanities and Sciences". Retrieved 5 November 2017.
  13. ^ "Past Fellows 1999-2017". The New York Public Library. Retrieved 5 November 2017.

External links[edit]