Helen Vassallo


Helen has translated Darina Al Joundi’s The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing together with its sequel Marseillaise My Way. They are powerful and uplifting monologues and were each sensationally received when first performed as one-woman plays by Al Joundi herself.

As well as the two plays by Darina Al Joundi, Helen is translating her novel Prisoner of the Levant, a fictional biography of May Ziadeh, to be published by Liverpool University Press. Helen is also currently working on a translation of selected non-fiction by Prix Goncourt-winning author Leïla Slimani, provisionally titled The Devil is in the Detail and other stories, forthcoming with Liverpool University Press in 2023.

Helen is the founder of Translating Women, a research project that bridges academic and industry contexts, and aims to assess and challenge the barriers faced by women’s writing in translation. She writes regular reviews and opinion pieces for the Translating Women blog, as well as freelance pieces elsewhere, and tweets about books at @translatewomen. Helen works part-time at the University of Exeter, where she teaches French and translation, and offers courses on women’s writing in translation and literary translation and the publishing industry. She is currently writing a book on activism in the UK publishing industry, under contract with Routledge.

The Day Nina Simone Stopped Singing by Darina Al Joundi (Naked Eye Publishing, 2022).
Marseillaise My Way by Darina Al Joundi (Naked Eye Publishing, 2022).
The Devil is in the Detail and other stories by Leïla Slimani (Liverpool University Press, 2023).
Prisoner of the Levant by Darina Al Joundi (Liverpool University Press, forthcoming).
Books (selected)
Intersectional Activism and the UK Publishing Industry: Towards a Feminist Translator Studies (Routledge, 2022).
Translating Women: Activism in Action. Special issue of the Institute of Translators and Interpreters Research e-book, co-edited with Olga Castro (2020).
The Body Besieged: The Embodiment of Historical Memory in Nina Bouraoui and Leïla Sebbar (Lexington, 2012)

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