October 02, 2018
Lynn Palermo, associate professor of French at Susquehanna University, was awarded a $12,500 Literature Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
Palermo's fellowship will support her English translation of the French historical novel Humus by Fabienne Kanor.
Humus was inspired by an incident recounted briefly in an 18th-century French slave ship captain's report, in which 14 captive women escaped from the hold and leaped overboard together rather than be sold into slavery. It explores the brutalizing effects of slavery, not only on the victim but also on the dominator; and slavery's heritage, centuries later.
Humus is the first of Kanor's novels to be translated into English.
Palermo's translations have appeared in journals such as the Kenyon Review Online, Exchanges Literary Journal and World Literature Today. In 2016, Palermo received a French Voices Award for her co-translation of Cyrille Fleischman's Destiny's Repairman.