Peter Theroux is the translator of a dozen books from the Arabic, all but one of which are novels. These include the first Nubian and Saudi novels translated from Arabic to English and two works by Egyptian Nobel Laureate Naguib Mahfouz. He has been awarded the Columbia Translation Prize and received an honorary doctorate from Mount St. Mary’s College for his language work. He was educated at Harvard and the American University in Cairo, Egypt. He lives in New York. You can contact him at

Keynote Speakers 2008
Keynote Speakers | Conference Programs

At the 2008 ALTA Annual Conference, the Plenary Lectures were given by Peter Theroux and Ester Allen. Both speakers gave inspiring speeches that were designed to encourage as well as inform.


Peter Theroux
“Arabic Translation in English: Be Careful What You Wish For”


Ester Allen
“Pastiche, Imposture, or Commentary? Thoughts on the Scholarly Status of Translation”

Ester Allen translates from Spanish and French, most recently a translation of Antonio Muñoz Molina’s brief novel In Her Absence (Other Press), which the Washington Post selected as one of the best books of 2007. In 2006, the French government named hr a Chevalier de l’ordre des arts er des letters. She is an Assitant Professor at Baruch College, CUNY, and the Executive Director of the Center for Literary Translation at Columbia University. She has directed the work of the PEN Translation Fund since its inception in 2003. You can reach her at