Upcoming Event

Jennifer Croft at Harvard Book Store

presenting

The Extinction of Irena Rey

in conversation with HANNA HALPERIN

Date

Mar
8
Friday
March 8, 2024
7:00 PM ET

Location

Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

Tickets

This event is free; no tickets are required.

Harvard Book Store welcomes JENNIFER CROFT—International Booker prize-winning translator of Olga Tokarczuk's Flights and The Books of Jacob—for a discussion of her new novel The Extinction of Irena Rey. She will be joined in conversation by HANNA HALPERIN—award-winning author of Something Wild and I Could Live Here Forever.

About The Extinction of Irena Rey

Eight translators arrive at a house in a primeval Polish forest on the border of Belarus. It belongs to the world-renowned author Irena Rey, and they are there to translate her magnum opus, Gray Eminence. But within days of their arrival, Irena disappears without a trace.

The translators, who hail from eight different countries but share the same reverence for their beloved author, begin to investigate where she may have gone while proceeding with work on her masterpiece. They explore this ancient wooded refuge with its intoxicating slime molds and lichens and study her exotic belongings and layered texts for clues. But doing so reveals secrets—and deceptions—of Irena Rey's that they are utterly unprepared for. Forced to face their differences as they grow increasingly paranoid in this fever dream of isolation and obsession, soon the translators are tangled up in a web of rivalries and desire, threatening not only their work but the fate of their beloved author herself.

This hilarious, thought-provoking debut by award-winning translator and author Jennifer Croft is a brilliant examination of art, celebrity, the natural world, and the power of language. It is an unforgettable, unputdownable adventure with a small but global cast of characters shaken by the shocks of love, destruction, and creation in one of Europe’s last great wildernesses.

Praise for The Extinction of Irena Rey

"The Extinction of Irena Rey could only be written by master of language, a tamer of different tongues. It is brilliant, fun and absolutely alive." —Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah, author of Chain Gang All-Stars

"A wild and wonderfully unruly novel about translation and transmission, The Extinction of Irena Rey is a showcase for Jennifer Croft’s acrobatic intellect, delicious humor and voluptuous prose." —Katie Kitamura, author of Intimacies

"An exquisite pleasure. Croft unearths the interconnection between land and communities, revealing the collaborative networks of forests as clearly and incisively as she does that of the literary world. In this exquisite pleasure of a novel, in which I luxuriated on every page, Croft mines the vicissitudes of the translation world to reveal quite plainly that everything is connected, and translators deserve more." —Chelsea T. Hicks, author of A Calm & Normal Heart

Masking Policy

Masks are encouraged but not required for this event.

Hanna Halperin
Hanna Halperin

Hanna Halperin

Hanna Halperin is the author of Something Wild, which won the 2021 Edward Lewis Wallant Award and was a finalist for the 2021 National Jewish Book Award for Debut Fiction. Her stories have been published in The Kenyon Review, n+1, New Ohio Review, and Joyland. She has taught fiction workshops at GrubStreet in Boston and worked as a domestic violence counselor.

Jennifer Croft
Jennifer Croft

Jennifer Croft

Jennifer Croft won a Guggenheim Fellowship for The Extinction of Irena Rey, the William Saroyan International Prize for Writing for her memoir Homesick, and the International Booker Prize for her translation of Nobel laureate Olga Tokarczuk’s Flights. She is the translator of Federico Falco’s A Perfect Cemetery, Romina Paula’s August, Pedro Mairal’s The Woman from Uruguay, and Olga Tokarczuk’s The Books of Jacob. She has also received the American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. She lives in Tulsa and Los Angeles.

Photo Credit: Nathan Jeffers

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1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138

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