Hopin': Nine Excerpts
In 2018, I asked the Swiss poet and author Pablo Haller to recommend “something wonderful and exciting by a contemporary Austrian author, preferably female, TCK (third culture kid), or from the LGBT community.” Haller, a member of the programming committees for woerdz – Das Spoken Word Festival and Solothurner Literaturtage in Switzerland, had recently attended BookBasel, where Puneh Ansari had read from her first book, Hoffnun’, published by mikrotext (Berlin). At his urging, I downloaded the digital version and after delving into its alternatively lyrical and staccato-paced texts, was so captivated by Ansari’s voice that I ordered several print copies, excited to share my discovery with friends.
The title of Ansari’s book is the German word for hope—Hoffnung—with the last letter dropped. With the intention of submitting excerpts to literary competitions and journals, I translated the first twenty pages of Hoffnun’ into English and contacted Ansari and her publisher, Nikola Richter of mikrotext, for permission to proceed. It was granted, and both women encouraged me to finish a translation of the entire book, whose English title would be Hopin’.
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