Samantha Barendson’s My Lemon Tree inhabits that rare space where poetry and prose meet and blend to create a story that is raw, honest, and ultimately redemptive. Christine Chen and M Jaime Zuckerman’s English version is a triumph of translation. It captures the music and the drive of Barendson’s masterful work in language that is clear and compelling.
Pablo Medina, translator of
The Kingdom of This World by Alejo Carpentier
Samantha Barendson is a French, Italian and Argentinian poet. She was born in Spain and grew up in Mexico before settling in France. She is the author of the novels Mon citronnier and Virgule, forthcoming in 2023, and several poetry collections. She is a Laureate of the 2015 René Leynaud poetry prize for her poem “Emergence & resistance.” She received the Gina Chenouard creation grant in 2018 from the Société de gens de lettres, and a writing residency at the Villa Marguerite Yourcenar in 2019. As a poet and novelist, she enjoys working with other artists, poets, painters, photographers, and musicians. She is a member of Le syndicat des poètes qui vont mourir un jour (The union of poets who will die someday) whose purpose is to promote poetry for everyone everywhere. She is also a member of Le cercle de la maison close (The whorehouse society) that offers performances combining poetry, music, and visual arts. She is also a member of the European Versopolis project. Visit her at samantha-barendson.com
Christine H. Chen was born in Hong Kong and grew up in Madagascar before settling in Boston where she worked as a research chemist. Her fiction has been published in Pinch, CRAFT, Hobart, SmokeLong Quarterly, Atticus Review, Pithead Chapel, and other journals and anthologies. Her work was selected for Wigleaf Top 50, and has received Best of the Net, and Best Microfiction nominations. She is a recipient of the 2022 Mass Cultural Council Artist Fellowship and the co-translator from French of the novel My Lemon Tree. Her publications can be found at www.christinehchen.com
In addition to co-translating My Lemon Tree, M Jaime Zuckerman is the author of two poetry chapbooks, most recently Letters to Melville (Ghost Proposal, 2018). Her essays and poems appear in Houseguest, Grist, Fairy Tale Review, Hunger Mountain, Palette, Prairie Schooner, Southern Humanities Review, and other journals. She is the recipient of a 2020 St. Botolph Society Emerging Artist award and has had her work featured in Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. M Jaime grew up in the woods but now lives and teaches in Boston, MA.