Guest host Kate Burton presents three stories in translation that were featured on a program in collaboration with the international literary organization Words Without Borders. A wealthy woman winds up on the other side of the poverty line in Évelyne Trouillot’s “Detour,” performed by Rita Wolf and Arian Moayed. The story was introduced by Siri Hustvedt, who talks about how stories can enable readers to cross boundaries too. A civil servant becomes a soccer star in Reka Man-Varhegyi’s playful, but political, "Woman Striker Has Killer Left Foot,” performed by Adina Verson. Karan Mahajan introduces our final tale,“Muzaffer and Bananas” by Yalçın Tosun. He praises its sympathetic depiction of the friendship between two teenage misfits on their way to visit a chimp.The story was performed by Arian Moayed.
These stories were translated into English by Paul Curtis Daw ("Detour"), Owen Good ("Woman Striker Has Killer Left Foot"), and Abby Comstock-Gay ("Muzaffar and Bananas").
Artists and Writers:
Kate Burton was nominated for Tony Awards for her work in Hedda Gabler, The Elephant Man, and The Constant Wife. Additional Broadway credits include Spring Awakening, The Beauty Queen of Leenane, Jake’s Women, Company, Some Americans Abroad, and most recently, Present Laughter. Her film credits include Big Trouble in Little China, The Ice Storm, Unfaithful, 2 Days in New York, Liberal Arts, 127 Hours, and Where'd You Go, Bernadette starring Cate Blanchett. On television, she has appeared in multiple Law and Orders, Empire Falls, Rescue Me, Veep, Grimm, Modern Family, Supergirl, The Gifted, Strange Angel, Scandal, and Grey's Anatomy, for which she has received numerous Emmy nominations. Burton has directed at the LA Philharmonic and is a professor at the University of Southern California.
Siri Hustvedt is the author of a book of poems, four collections of essays, a work of nonfiction, and seven novels, the most recent of which, Memories of the Future, was published in March of 2019. In 2012 she was the recipient of the 2012 Gabarron International Award for Thought and Humanities. The Blazing World was long-listed for the 2014 Man Booker Prize and won the Los Angeles Book Prize for Fiction. She has also published numerous papers in scholarly and scientific journals on psychiatry, neuroscience, philosophy, and psychoanalysis. Hustvedt has a PhD in English literature from Columbia University and is a lecturer in Psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Karan Mahajan is the author of the novels Family Planning and The Association of Small Bombs, named a Best Book of 2016 by The New York Times and a finalist for the National Book Award. He has contributed to The New York Times, Vanity Fair, The New Republic, Granta, and The New Yorker Online, among other publications. Mahajan was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists in 2017. He is currently a fellow at the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, and is at work on his third novel.
Reka Man-Varhegyi spent her childhood in Târgu Mureș, Romania, and now lives in Budapest, working as an editor at a children’s book publisher. Her first collection of short stories, Boldogtalanság az Auróra-telepen (Unhappiness at the Aurora Housing Estate) was widely hailed as a debut volume. Additionally, Mán-Várhegyi has written five children’s books and a book for young adults. Her first novel, Magnetic Hill, was published in 2018.
Arian Moayed is the Co-Founder & Board Chair of Waterwell, a civic-minded and socially conscious theater and education company, as well as a partner at the for-profit Waterwell Films. Most recently with Waterwell, Moayed arranged the transcripts of a deportation proceeding called The Courtroom. Additional recent productions include a dual-language Hamlet, in which Moayed played the title role, and a remount of a forgotten war musical called Blueprint Specials. With Waterwell Films, Moayed wrote and directed the Emmy-nominated The Accidental Wolf, a streaming short form thriller starring Kelli O’Hara. Notable acting credits include The Humans, for which he won a Drama Desk Award, his Obie Award-winning role in Guards at the Taj, Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, and HBO’s Succession.
Yalçın Tosun teaches law at İstanbul Bilgi University. His story collections include Anne, Baba ve Diğer Ölümcül Şeyler (Mom, Dad and Other Fatal Things), which won the Notre Dame de Sion Prize for literature, Peruk Gibi Hüzünlü (Sad like a Wig), which was awarded the Sait Faik Prize in 2012, Dokunma Dersleri (Lessons in Touching), and Bir Nedene Sunuldum (I was Offered to a Cause), for which he won the Yunus Nadi Literature Prize in 2016. Tosun published his first book of poetry, Kendini Tutan Su (The Water Restraining Itself from Flowing), in 2016.
Évelyne Trouillot received the Prix de la romancière francophone du Club Soroptimist de Grenoble for her novel Rosalie l’infâme, in 2004. In 2005, her first piece for the theater, Le bleu de l’île, received the Beaumarchais award from ETC Caraïbe. Trouillot has also published poetry in French and in Creole. Additional novels include La mémoire aux abois and Absences sans frontières, which were both awarded Le prix Carbet de la Caraibe et du Tout-Monde. Her work has been translated into Spanish, Italian, German, and English. Trouillot teaches in the French department at the State University in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and her most recent works are the novel Le Rond-Point and the short story collection Je m’appelle Fridhomme.
Adina Verson was nominated for the Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical for her role in The Lucky Ones, following her Broadway debut in the Tony Award-winning play Indecent. Additional theater credits include The Servant of Two Masters at Theater for a New Audience, Seattle Rep, the Guthrie, and ArtsEmerson; As You Like It with the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington, DC; and Machine Makes Man, which she co-created with Michael McQuilken. Verson’s screen credits include The Strain, Mozart in the Jungle, Wormwood, The Kitchen, and the short film To Walk or Run. Her most recent stage appearances include Radio Island at New York Stage and Film, Collective Rage… at the MCC Theater, Eddie and Dave at the Atlantic Theatre Company, and Wives at Playwrights Horizons.
Rita Wolf was seen off-Broadway last year at The New York Theatre Workshop in the premiere of Hammaad Chaudhury's debut play An Ordinary Muslim and at The Flea Theatre in Emma and Max, written and directed by Todd Solondz. She was nominated for a Drama Desk Award for her role in David Greig’s The American Pilot at the Manhattan Theatre Club. Additional New York theater credits include the premiere of Tony Kushner's Homebody/Kabul at New York Theatre Workshop and later at BAM. Film credits include Stephen Frears' My Beautiful Laundrette and Spike Lee's Girl 6. Wolf is featured in the Audible recording of Evil Eye, a noir drama written by Madhuri Shekar, and will appear in Richard Nelson’s The Michaels at the Public Theater in October.