Edinburgh's Radical Bookshop

How We Are Translated


Featured Speakers

Jessica Gaitán Johannesson & Jules Danskin


It was an honour to launch one of the most exciting debuts of 2021!

How We Are Translated gets at the heart of how language holds us, tears at us, and can bring us close in spite of, or because of, its inevitable imperfections. Author Jessica Gaitán Johannesson will be discussing this gorgeous novel with one of Scotland literary lights, the terrific Jules Danskin - so it promises to be quite the night!

The Book: People say ‘I’m sorry’ all the time when it can mean both ‘I’m sorry I hurt you’ and ‘I’m sorry someone else did something I have nothing to do with’. It’s like the English language gave up on trying to find a word for sympathy which wasn’t also the word for guilt. Swedish immigrant Kristin won’t talk about the Project growing inside her. Her Brazilian-born Scottish boyfriend Ciaran won’t speak English at all; he is trying to immerse himself in a Swedish språkbad / language bath, to prepare for their future, whatever the fick that means. Their Edinburgh flat is starting to feel very small. As this young couple is forced to confront the thing that they are both avoiding, they must reckon with the bigger questions of the world outside, and their places in it.

Our Speaker: Jessica Gaitán Johannesson grew up speaking Spanish and Swedish and currently lives primarily in English. She’s an activist working for climate justice and lives in Bath, England. How We Are Translated is her first novel.

Our Host: Jules Danskin is a freelance book publicist working with independent publishers. Jules has published poetry in 404 Ink, book reviews in Gutter and The Bookseller and short fiction in an anthology by Listen Softly.

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