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A Translator Walks into a Bar with Jessica Cohen

  • Jewish Community Library 1835 Ellis Street San Francisco, CA, 94115 (map)

Free admission with free garage parking on Pierce Street between Ellis and Eddy streets.

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Translator Jessica Cohen will discuss the joys and challenges of rendering the work of some of the finest Israeli writers into English. Translators are bridge-builders between different languages and cultures, and the bridge between Hebrew and English can be particularly difficult. Cohen will consider different ways of contextualizing Israeli cultural references for English-language readers, and the particular difficulties posed by jokes and humor. She will focus especially on David Grossman’s award-winning A Horse Walks into a Bar, which employs humor (often of the dark variety) more to unsettle than to entertain.

Jessica Cohen is a freelance translator born in England, raised in Israel, and living in
Denver. She translates contemporary Israeli prose, poetry, and other creative work.
She won the Man Booker International Prize for her translation of David Grossman’s
A Horse Walks into a Bar (2017). Her translations include works by major Israeli writers
including Etgar Keret, Dorit Rabinyan, Ronit Matalon, Moshe Sakal, and Tom Segev,
as well as director Ari Folman (Waltz with Bashir).

Co-sponsored by the Center for the Art of Translation.
Co-presented by the Consulate General of Israel.

Program made possible, in part, by Jane and Michael Rice.