Following up on her many successes as a poet, translator, editor, and musician, Fiona Sze-Lorrain has released her debut novel, Dear Chrysanthemums. The novel takes the form of subtly interconnected stories that span across decades and continents. Each story follows a different woman or group of women as they grapple with generational trauma and memory. Taken together, these women’s stories converge to offer a mosaic of Chinese history and diasporic experience from the mid-twentieth-century through to the recent past. Join Sze-Lorrain as she takes us through the many eras and movements of modern Chinese history, guiding us to a position of informed reflection upon the prismatic present. The conversation will be moderated by Biswamit Dwibedy.
About the speakers:
Fiona Sze-Lorrain writes and translates in English, French, and Chinese. She is the author of a new “novel in stories,” Dear Chrysanthemums (Scribner, 2023); five poetry collections, most recently Rain in Plural (Princeton, 2020) and The Ruined Elegance (Princeton, 2016); and fifteen books of translation. A finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Best Translated Book Award, she was also a 2019–20 Abigail R. Cohen Fellow at the Columbia Institute for Ideas and Imagination and the inaugural writer-in-residence at the Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires. She lives in Paris and has performed worldwide as a zheng harpist.
Biswamit Dwibedy was born in Odisha, India, and has an MFA from Bard College, New York. He is currently an assistant professor at the American University of Paris. He is the author of six collections of poetry, published in India and the United States. In 2012, he edited a dossier of Indian poetry in translation from seven different regional languages for Aufgabe, a literary journal published by Litmus Press, New York, and in 2015, he was a judge for the Best Translated Book Award conferred by Open Letter Books at the University of Rochester. He is also the founder and editor of Anew Print, a small press that publishes limited-edition chapbooks from writers in India and abroad. A memoir, Hundred Greatest Love Songs, is forthcoming from Penguin Random House in 2024.