Laila Riazi

Discipline/Field: Translation

Based in: Berkeley, CA

About: Laila Riazi is an interdisciplinary writer, teacher, and translator, living in California. She earned her B.A. in Comparative Literature and French and Francophone Studies at UCLA and is a doctoral student at University of California, Berkeley, working in French, English, Arabic, and Persian traditions. 

Project Title: As the first winner of the LA Review of Books + Yefe Nof Translation Residency, Ms. Riazi has chosen to translate l’Oeil Noir, a little-known novella by the Lebanese-American artist and writer, Etel Adnan. Published in 1973, l’Oeil Noir takes place that same year, in Beirut, during a defining moment in Levantine geopolitics. It charts the narrator’s conversations with a mysterious Palestinian emigré, and, in turn, his unsettling friendship with a renowned Israeli general.

At Yefe Nof, Ms. Riazi plans to continue research on the historical and literary context in which Adnan wrote l’Oeil Noir. She will spend some time fine-tuning her translations of dialogue and description. Ms. Riazi’s translation will be published in The LARB Quarterly Fire issue and in LARB online.

Relevant links: UC Berkeley Department of Comparative Literature