Not lost in translation
October 05th, 2015
Ronald Wright of Saltspring Island will appear at the Vancouver International Writers Festival, October 21-23
Ronald Wright’s considerable research into the conquests of the Americas has resulted in The Gold Eaters (Hamish Hamilton 2015), a novel following the life and times of an Inca boy during the Spanish invasion of the Inca empire in the 1530s. This fictional character from what is now Peru is forced to serve as Francisco Pizarro’s translator to survive, hoping to be re-united with his childhood sweetheart and his family. Not unlike the infamous, real-life translator Malinche who assisted Cortez conquer the Axtecs of Mexico, Wright’s translator must somehow maintain integrity while witnessing slaughterous triumphs to which he has unwillingly been a party. Wright named his protagonist Waman in honour of Felipe Waman Puma, “the indigenous writer and artist whose work so brilliantly illuminates the Peruvian experience of those tragic times.”
Born in England to a Canadian father and an English mother, Wright studied archaeology at Cambridge University and the University of Calgary. A documentarian for radio and television, he contributes to the Times Literary Supplement and presented Canada’s Massey Lectures in 2004, published as A Short History of Progress.
Having moved to Saltspring Island from Alberta, Ronald Wright was one of four nominees for the first $25,000 British Columbia Award for Canadian Non-Fiction in 2005. His first novel, A Scientific Romance, won Britain’s David Higham Prize for Fiction. He has been published in more than fifteen language and more than forty countries.
The Gold Eaters (Hamish Hamilton 2015) $32 978-0-670-06826-5
[Home page photo of Ronald Wright by Satva Hall]