Esther Allen, an assistant professor in the Department of Modern Languages & Comparative Literature at Baruch College, has been awarded a 2009-2010 Fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library (NYPL). She is the first Baruch faculty member, and among more than a dozen people this year, to be appointed as a Cullman Fellow.
Her project, which she has already begun, is the English translation of a Spanish book called “Borges,” by Adolfo Bioy Casares. Originally published in 2006 and more than 1,500 pages long, the book is an in-depth diary that Casares kept about his best friend, Jorge Luis Borges, who has been hailed as one of Argentina’s great literary heroes.
Allen’s work on the book will involve restructuring and re-annotating the text. Her fellowship allows her full access to the NYPL’s Humanities and Social Sciences Library, which holds a vast collection of rare documents, pamphlets, books and other items that came out of the longtime collaboration between Casares and Borges.
Cullman Fellows get a stipend of $65,000, an office, a computer and full access to the library’s physical and electronic resources. The term runs from September through May during which time Fellows work at the center.
Among Allen’s other upcoming projects is the publication, this month, of a novel called, “Rex,” written by her friend Jose Manuel Prieto, and translated by Allen. On April 28, she will moderate a panel titled “Resonances: Contemporary Writers on the Great Works,” an event that is part of the PEN World Voices festival being held in New York City. Distinguished writers from around the world, including Prieto, will talk about how books from Baruch’s Great Works Program resonate within their own life and work. One of the books to be discussed is Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness.” For more information on this event, visit: www.pen.org/festival.