Behind the ScenesAnton Hur on the intricacy—and inequality—of literary translation.

Behind the ScenesAnton Hur on the intricacy—and inequality—of literary translation.

  • Words Okechukwu Nzelu
  • Photograph Jae-An Lee. Location: Kinfolk Dosan, Seoul

Without translators, global readers would have missed out on wildly successful contemporary works like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and the Neapolitan Novels, as well as classics by writers such as Frantz Fanon and Gabriel García Márquez. Despite this, translators are often unrecognized, sometimes barely credited. Anton Hur, who translates between Korean and English, is one of the most respected literary translators working today. In 2022, two of his translations were longlisted for the International Booker Prize: Love in the Big City by Sang Young Park and Cursed Bunny by Bora Chung. But he is unusual in more ways than this: He is a successful literary translator of color.

Okechukwu Nzelu: How did you get started as a translator?

Anton Hur: My first job was interpreting for my m...

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