Meet the ’18 Travel Fellows: Mariam Rahmani

ALTA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2018 ALTA Travel Fellowships, including the third annual Peter K. Jansen Memorial Travel Fellowship! Each year, ALTA provides four to six $1,000 fellowships to emerging translators to attend the annual ALTA conference. This year’s winners were selected by Marguerite Feitlowitz, Margarit T. Ordukhanyan, Emma Ramadan, and Haider Shahbaz. Congratulations to this year’s Jansen Fellow, Mariam Rahmani:

Mariam Rahmani PicMariam Rahmani is a writer, translator and emerging scholar. Her current projects include a novel-in-progress and a translation from Persian into English of Mahsa Mohebali’s Don’t Worry (2008), for which she was recently awarded a 2018 PEN/Heim translation grant. Mariam served as one of five inaugural writers in residence with The Mastheads in Pittsfield, MA, in 2017, for her novel and has participated in VONA/Voices, a workshop dedicated to writers of color, as well as the Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference. Her articles have appeared in The Rumpus, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and BOMB Magazine. She graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a BA in Comparative Literature, earned an MSt in Islamic Art with distinction from the University of Oxford, and completed a Fulbright research grant in the UAE. Currently, she is a candidate for the PhD in Comparative Literature at UCLA, writing a dissertation on gender in translation and the violence of subject-formation.

Serving as Mariam’s first book-length translation project, Don’t Worry by Mahsa Mohebali follows Shadi, a rich, disillusioned junkie, on an apocalyptic day of earthquakes as she roams through a quickly crumbling Tehran in search of her next fix. This tightly crafted, arguably queer, narrative eloquently interweaves a gritty vernacular with poetic prose, moving between dialogue that is almost cinematic in its naturalism and the narrator’s lyrical first-person reflections. The novel has been widely celebrated in Iran, winning the Golshiri prize (the equivalent of a Pulitzer), among other accolades. It has already been published in Italian and Swedish translation.


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