Todd Hasak-Lowy and Jennifer Cohen
Evanston Writer Todd Hasak-Lowy Discusses His New Translation from the Hebrew, “Aquarium”
On Wednesday, April 28th at 6:30 PM, The Book Stall welcomes Evanston-based writer, translator, and creative writing professor Todd Hasak-Lowy for a virtual event. He will be discussing his new translation of Aquarium, originally published in Hebrew in 2016 by Israeli novelist Yaara Shehori. She won the Bernstein Prize for the best original Hebrew-language work of fiction for Aquarium in 2017. Leading Hebrew-to-English translator Jessica Cohen will join Mr. Hasak-Lowy to talk about the novel, as well as the perils and joys of translation. This program is free and open to the public. The purchase of Aquarium from The Book Stall helps keep our independent bookstore running and ensures an array of fascinating programming to come.
About the Book: Sisters Lili and Dori Ackerman are deaf. Their parents–beautiful, despondent Anna; fearsome and admired Alex–are deaf, too. Alex, a scrap metal collector and sometime prophet, opposes any attempt to integrate with the hearing world; to escape their destructive influence, the girls are educated at home. Deafness is no disability, their father says, but an alternative way of life, preferable by far to that of the strident, hypocritical hearing.
Living in a universe of their own creation, feared by and disdainful of the other children on their block, Lili and Dori grow up semi-feral. Lili writes down everything that happens–just the facts. And Dori, the reader, follows her older sister wherever she goes. United against a hostile and alien world, the girls and their parents watch the hearing like they would fish in an aquarium. But when the hearing world intrudes, and a devastating secret is revealed, the cracks that begin to form in the sisters’ world will have consequences that span the rest of their lives.
Todd Hasak-Lowy is an American writer, translator, and professor of creative writing and literature at the School of the Arts Institute of Chicago. He is the author of The Task of This Translator, a short-story collection; Captives, a novel; a narrative memoir for young adults, Somewhere There Is Still a Sun, cowritten with the Holocaust survivor Michael Gruenbaum; and several books for younger readers. Hasak-Lowy lives in Evanston, Illinois, with his wife and two daughters.
Jessica Cohen’s first book-length translation was published in 2003, and she’s worked with some of Israel’s finest writers, including David Grossman, Amos Oz, and Etgar Keret, among many others, as well as with prominent screenwriters such as Ari Folman and Ron Leshem. Her translations have been published in English by leading U.S. publishers. Visit her website for more information.