The translation of works of literature into different languages is one of many ways we can share knowledge and creativity across borders and promote cross-cultural understanding. Many Swedish novels have received critical and popular acclaim in Canada, and this relationship goes both ways.
Yet as much as translating a book into a new language can have a marvellous impact on the circulation of world literature, nothing compares to a visit by the authors themselves. The Canadian Embassy in Stockholm recently had the pleasure of hosting two different Canadian authors on their visits to Sweden.
Vietnamese-Canadian author Kim Thúy visited Sweden to visit the embassy and several Swedish media outlets in cooperation with Sekwa, her Swedish publisher. Ms. Thúy won the Governor-General’s award in 2010 for her book Ru, which recounts experiences and impressions of her journey with her family as a young refugee from Vietnam to settle in Granby, Quebec. Ms. Thúy delighted guests at the Canadian-owned Couture Art Gallery with a reading from Ru celebrating the launch of its Swedish translation.
Considering the great diversity in Canadian literature, it comes as no surprise that the other author to visit the Embassy showcased a different kind of style. To celebrate Canadian Francophone literature in Stockholm, the Embassy invited Montreal-based author Serge Lamothe to visit Sweden to present his work. Mr. Lamothe, a novelist, poet, dramatist and producer of opera, who also works with the Cirque du Soleil, presented and discussed his work in front of enthusiastic audiences, with focus on his book Les Baldwin. Lamonthe also read his work at Stockholm University and at Lund University.
The Canadian Embassy in Sweden is proving to be a hot spot for showcasing achievements of all kinds, making it the perfect place to share and celebrate the work of accomplished Canadian authors like Thuy and Lamonthe.