With their innovative new novels, Linnea Axelsson and Alexis Wright explore the legacy of colonialism across the globe. Axelsson’s Ædnan, translated by Saskia Vogel, is a multigenerational novel-in-verse about two Sámi families and their quest to stay together across a century of migration, violence, and colonial trauma. Weaving together the voices of half a dozen characters, Ædnan is a powerful reminder of how durable language can be, even when it is borrowed, especially when it has to hold what no longer remains. Wright’s Praiseworthy is a phantasmagorical epic following one family contending with interconnected crises amidst a mysterious cloud encroaching on their Northern Australian town, heralding both an ecological catastrophe and a gathering of the ancestors.
A cry of outrage against oppression and disadvantage and a fable for the end of days, Praiseworthy pushes allegory and language to its limit. Pulitzer finalist Tommy Orange (There There) will moderate a conversation between Axelsson, Wright, and Vogel about their novels; the past, present, and future of indigeneity and colonialism; and writing across time, place, and form.
This is a livestreamed event with an in-person audience at The Center for Fiction. Axelsson, Vogel, and Orange will be at The Center for the Art of Translation in San Francisco (1pm PT) with Wright joining remotely.