Angela Rodel & Claire Messud at Porter Square Books
May 26 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Please join us at Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA) for an evening of conversation between Angela Rodel, translator of Wolf Hunt by Ivailo Petrov, and Claire Messud, author of The Emperor’s Children.
Published in 1986, three years before the fall of the Berlin Wall, Wolf Hunt was the first novel to portray the human cost of Communist policies on Bulgarian villagers, forced by the government to abandon their land and traditional way of life. Darkly comic and tragic, the novel centers on an ill-fated winter hunting expedition of six neighbors whose long and interwoven shared history comes to light in a voyage of shifting perspectives. Petrov’s narrative technique is reminiscent of Faulkner and Kurosawa’s Roshomon, giving the reader access to the inner lives of the six main characters as they are inextricably pulled into further conflict with each other. Enveloping the individual conflicts between the characters is the conflict between two forces: traditional agrarian values and the atheistic and supposedly egalitarian values of Soviet communism. The eponymous wolf hunt is supposed to heal long-standing grudges between the characters, but in the end, it only serves as an opportunity to exact revenge. One of the foremost works of Bulgarian literature of the past century, Wolf Hunt places the calamitous history of twentieth-century Bulgaria into a human context of helplessness and desperation.
Angela Rodel is a literary translator. In 1996 she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to study Bulgarian at Sofia University. She returned to Bulgaria on a Fulbright-Hays Fellowship in 2004 and now lives in Sofia. In 2010, she received a translation grant from the American PEN for Holy Light, a collection of stories by Georgi Tenev.
Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children was a New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and Washington Post Best Book of the Year. Her first novel, When the World Was Steady, and her book of novellas, The Hunters, were both finalists for the PEN/Faulkner Award; and her second novel, The Last Life, was a Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and Editor’s Choice at The Village Voice. All four books were named New York Times Notable Books of the Year. Messud has been awarded Guggenheim and Radcliffe Fellowships and the Strauss Living Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.