City Lights celebrates Seagull Books on it 40th anniversary
with Seagull Founder Naveen Kishore joined by Nancy Naomi Carlson, Alain Mabanckou, and Khal Torabully
Hosted by Peter Maravelis and Paul Yamazaki of City Lights
Seagull Books publishes world literature in English translation, serious non-fiction, culture studies, performance studies, art and cinema, with attention to exquisite design and world-class production.
Seagull Books was founded by Naveen Kishore in 1982 as an independent Indian publishing house specializing in serious books on art, theatre and cinema. It published plays by major Indian playwrights, monographs and essays by leading Indian artists, filmscripts from the best-known Indian and European filmmakers, along with academic titles on culture, society and the various arts.
Since 2005, Seagull Books London Limited has ventured into newer fields of publishing, including English translations of fiction and non-fiction by major African, European, Asian and Latin American writers. It now boasts of a backlist of over 500 titles, featuring canonical authors such as Guillaume Apollinaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, Roland Barthes, Jorge Luis Borges, Theodor W. Adorno, Aimé Césaire, Thomas Bernhard, Edward Said, André Gorz, Satyajit Ray, Peter Weiss and Max Frisch. Seagull Books also represents major contemporary writers such as Yves Bonnefoy, Philippe Jaccottet, Hans Magnus Enzensberger, Mahasweta Devi, Peter Handke, Pascal Quignard, Hélène Cixous, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Sibylle Lewitscharoff, Marc Augé and many more.
The hallmark ‘Africa List’ presents writers such as Ngugi wa Thiong’o, Maryse Condé, Ivan Vladislavić, William Kentridge, Kossi Efoui and Abdourrahman A. Waberi. European writers lesser known to the English-speaking world are also showcased by Seagull—Ralf Rothmann, Tilman Rammstedt, Inka Parei, Dorothee Elmiger, Tomas Espedal. The list expands daily . . .
In 2012, Seagull author Mo Yan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature while in 2015, Laszlo Krasznahorkai, another Seagull author, received the prestigious Man Booker International Prize. Maryse Condé, whose three volumes Seagull has published in English translation, won the alternative Nobel Prize in 2018.
To learn more about Seagull Books visit: https://www.seagullbooks.org/
About the participants
Nancy Naomi Carlson is a poet, translator and editor based in Maryland. She received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to translate Abdourahman A. Waberi’s The Nomads, My Brothers, Go Out to Drink from the Big Dipper, which, published by Seagull Books, was a finalist for the Best Translated Book Award USA (2016). She is the author of the poetry collection An Infusion of Violets, also available from Seagull Books.
Naveen Kishore is the founder and director of the Seagull Foundation for the Arts, a not for profit charitable trust which administers Seagull Books, Peaceworks, Seagull School of Publishing, and the Seagull Arts and Media Resource Centre. The Resource Centre possesses vast arts, film, and music libraries and engages in a wide array of activities that include theater, dance, recitals, photography exhibitions, and workshops. Mr. Kishore has a background in theater and is an acclaimed photographer. He was recently awarded the Ottoway Prize for the Promotion of Translated Literature.
Alain Mabanckou is considered one of francophone Africa’s most prolific contemporary writers. Born in what is now called Congo-Brazzaville, Mabanckou has won several awards, including the prestigious Grand Prix de la Littérature from the Académie Française. Twice a finalist for the Man Booker International Prize, he is a professor at the University of California–Los Angeles. Seagull Books has published his poetry collection As Long As Trees Take Root In The Earth.
Khal Torabully, from Mauritius, is a prize winning poet, essayist, film director and semiologist who has authored over twenty-five books. Aimé Césaire, the great poet from Martinique, praised Torabully’s work for ‘containing all of my humanity’. Seagull Books recently published Khal Torabully’s Cargo Hold of Stars: Coolitude.
Sponsored by the City Lights Foundation