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Translating Culture

Swedish Sámi author Moa Backe Åstot’s young adult novel Fire From the Sky, set in a Sámi community in northern Sweden, was recently named a Printz Honor Book by the American Library Association’s Printz Award Committee, one of the finest accomplishments a young adult book can achieve. It is only the second book in translation to have received this honor. Join Duluth author-translator Eva Apelqvist as she discusses her work translating Fire From the Sky, the book’s relevance for an American audience and the many interesting language challenges she ran into in the process. She will also talk about what it was like to navigate the author’s sometimes unfamiliar world, and how to tread lightly when entering a culture that is not your own. A short Q & A on the art of translation with Eva Apelqvist and Rachel Willson-Broyles, Swedish translator and ASI Swedish Instructor will follow the talk.

Eva Apelqvist is a Swedish immigrant and a Minnesota (Duluth) writer and translator. Her skateboard mystery, Mörker över skateparken, published in Sweden in 2022, was named best mystery for children and young adults by the Swedish Mystery Academy. Three of her young adult books have been published in the United States. Her most recent translation, The Lost Ones, the third installment in Johan Rundberg’s middle grade series about a plucky orphan in Stockholm in the 1880s, will be published in the United States in January 2025.