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The International Library

The International Library: Jennifer Croft on The Extinction of Irena Ray with Julie Orringer

Wednesday, 1:00 pm EDT March 6, 2024

The Center for Fiction
& Livestreamed

The latest installment of The International Library series features Jennifer Croft’s debut novel The Extinction of Irena Ray, a hilarious and beguiling look at the art of translation. Croft, the International Booker Prize-winning translator of Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk, has crafted a page-turning story about eight translators from around the world who are tasked with translating the latest work of Irena Ray, a renowned Polish author. When Irena goes missing in a primeval Polish forest, the translators must put aside their differences to search for the author they admire. Croft’s work is a lively and metatextual exploration of the relationships between authors and translators that “could only be written by master of language, a tamer of different tongues” (Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Chain Gang All-Stars). Join Croft for a conversation with Julie Orringer, the New York Times bestselling author of The Invisible Bridge. Croft and Orringer will discuss the novel, the power of language, and what is at stake in the process of translation.


About the International Library

This event is part of The International Library, a series launched in collaboration with the American Library in Paris, Center for the Art of Translation, and the London Library which will offer conversations across time, place, and language. The International Library celebrates the live diffusion of in-person conversations in the hope of connecting new audiences across land and sea for a collective, intercultural experience. These conversations will broach deeper questions about writing and translation as we learn to think critically about how stories are told, investigating the points of view, the timing of the translations, and the intended or assumed audiences as well as inspiration, philosophy, and craft.

The Extinction of Irena Rey cover_high res Large

In Conversation

  • Jenny Croft Author Photo credit Nathan Jeffers

    Jennifer Croft

    Jennifer Croft

    Jennifer Croft won a Guggenheim Fellowship for this novel, the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing for her memoir Homesick, and the International Booker Prize for her translation of Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. She is the translator of Federico Falco’s A Perfect Cemetery, Romina Paula’s August, Pedro Mairal’s The Woman from Uruguay, and Olga Tokarczuk’s The Books of Jacob. She has also received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. She lives in Tulsa and Los Angeles.


    Photo Credit: Nathan Jeffers

  • LACOMBE_19008_JULIE_ORRINGER_Q9A2424_A. Large

    Julie Orringer

    Julie Orringer

    Julie Orringer is the author of three award-winning books: How to Breathe Underwater, The Invisible Bridge, and The Flight Portfolio, which was the basis for the 2023 Netflix series Transatlantic. She is the winner of the Paris Review’s Plimpton Prize and has received fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Cullman Center at the New York Public Library, the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard, and MacDowell. She teaches at New York University and Stanford University, and lives with her husband and children in Brooklyn, where she is at work on a new novel.


    Photo Credit: Brigitte Lacombe