Oxford Translation Day: Sophie Hughes Discusses the Novel Hurricane Season

In these recordings, Sophie Hughes talks about her translation of Fernanda Melchor's 2020 International Booker shortlisted novel Hurricane Season (Fitzcarraldo Editions). This online event begins with a reading, followed by a short talk on the challenges of translating the novel, described by the New York Times as "a narrative that not only decries an atrocity but embodies the beauty and vitality it perverts." Sophie also reflects on how we translate vernaculars, slang, idiolects and violent language before answering questions on these or other aspects of literary translation.

This event was proudly co-hosted with the Queen’s Translation Exchange.

Reading available here. Talk available here. Q&A available here. Please note that these recordings contain strong language and references to violence.


Sophie Hughes is a literary translator from Spanish, known for her translations of writers such as Alia Trabucco Zerán, Laia Jufresa, Rodrigo Hasbún and José Revueltas. She has been shortlisted twice for the International Booker Prize, most recently in 2020 for Fernanda Melchor's Hurricane Season (Fitzcarraldo Editions). Sophie is currently working with the Stephen Spender Trust promoting translation as a tool for foreign language and literacy learning in schools. She is the co-editor of the anthology Europa28: Writing by Women on the Future of Europe in association with Wom@rts, Hay Festival and Comma Press.