Few figures have marked the English-language literature of our time as deeply as did Gregory Rabassa. Translator of Julio Cortázar’s Hopscotch (1966), Clarice Lispector’s The Apple in the Dark (1967), Gabriel García Márquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude (1970), Mario Vargas Llosa’s Conversation in the Cathedral (1974), Luis Rafael Sánchez’s Macho Camacho’s Beat (1980), Luisa Valenzuela’s The Lizard’s Tail (1983), José Lezama Lima’s Paradiso (2005), and more than fifty other works from Spanish and Portuguese—and himself the author of a number of books, including his prize-winning memoir If This Be Treason (2005)— Rabassa was a beloved professor and colleague at City University of New York, where he taught at the Graduate Center and Queens College for more than forty years.
Among the numerous honors Rabassa received were the National Book Award in Translation (1967), the Gregory Kolovakos Award for career achievement from PEN American Center (2001), the National Medal of Arts from the National Endowment for the Arts (2006), and the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir (2006). “We Spanish-language writers, especially of my generation, owe him enormous gratitude for the way he helped us plant roots in the English-speaking world,” wrote Mario Vargas Llosa earlier this year.
Speakers include Edith Grossman, Peter Constantine, Earl Fitz, Ezra Fitz, Esther Allen, Ilan Stavans, Mauricio Font, Elizabeth Lowe, Harry Morales, Daniel Shapiro, Nora Glickman, Declan Spring, Ammiel Alcalay, Stanley Barkan, Catarina Cordeiro, David Draper Clark, and Rabassa’s daughters Clara Rabassa and Kate Rabassa Wallen.
In addition, the 14 recipients of the 2016 PEN/Heim Translation Fund grants, who carry forward the tradition Rabassa did so much to consolidate, will be announced and honored.
A reception will follow.