Sabine Huynh

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Photo © Miriam Alster/Jerusalem Report

Sabine Huynh was born in 1972 in Saigon, Vietnam. In 1976, her family immigrated to France. She grew up in the lyonnaise suburbs, before leaving them for Lyon, then leaving France for England (London, Leicester, Cambridge). She also lived and worked in the United States (Boston), Israel (Jerusalem, 2001-2008), and Canada (Ottawa). She has been back in Israel since 2010, where she happily lives, in Tel Aviv, among all sorts of books and tea pots. She can be seen almost every week at Tel Aviv’s best alternative theater, Tmuna, on Soncino Street.

Diplomas and Training : University of Lyon : first degree in English, American, Canadian and Spanish language Literature, BA in English and American Literature and Teaching French as a Foreign Language, MA in Language Sciences and Teaching French as a Foreign Language, High School Teaching Certificate in English (CAPES) ; University of Cambridge/Homerton College : PGCE in French and Spanish ; Hebrew University of Jerusalem : Ph.D. in Linguistics (dir. : Prof. Cyril Aslanov) ; University of Ottawa : Postdoctorate in Sociolinguistics at the Ottawa Sociolinguistics Laboratory (dir. : Prof. Shana Poplack).

Professional Experience : she taught French, Spanish and English in schools (kindergarden, primary, secondary, high school) and in adult education centers (Alliance française, cultural centers), and French language and literature at the university (University of Leicester : grammar, civilization, media ;  Hebrew University of Jerusalem : writing, literary theory, narratology). She also worked as a cultural journalist, for the newspapers Jerusalem Post and Inferno magazine.

Writing and Literary Translation : since 2011 (her daughter’s year of birth), she devotes herself to writing, literary translation, working as a proofreader and copy-editor, teaching writing workshops, as well as literature and French, and working with literary journals as a reviewer and a translator (Terre à ciel, Terres de femmes, Recours au poème, Phoenix, Europe, La Nouvelle Quinzaine littéraire, Diacritik, Nunc, Catastrophes). She has been the co-founder and editor of the bilingual French-Hebrew literary translation magazine Peham since March 2019 (with Israeli writer Haggai Linik).

Awards and Affiliations : winner of the 2015 European Calliope literary prize (awarded to promising young Francophone authors by the Cénacle Européen francophone, which used to be the Association Léopold Sédar-Senghor), winner of France’s 2017 CoPo Poetry Prize for her collection Kvar lo, shortlisted for the 2014 Emmanuel-Roblès Prize and for the 2013 Chambery’s First Novel Festival Prize for her novel La mer et l’enfant, winner of the 2021 Claudine de Tencin’s International Poetry Translation Prize (Prix International de Traductrice & Éditrice de Poésie de l’Académie Claudine de Tencin), winner with Ilya Kaminsky of the 2022 Alain Bosquet Poetry Award for her French translation of Kaminsky’s collection Deaf Republic, winner of the 2023 Jean-Jacques Rousseau Award for her novel Elvis à la radio.

Member of: the French writers’ union SGDL (Société des Gens De Lettres), the French literary translators’ union ATLF (Association des Traducteurs Littéraires de France), the editing committee of modern poetry journal Terre à ciel (2012-2019), and Nunc Poetry Competition judge (2016-2018).

Read Bernard Dichek’s article in the Jerusalem Report: A Vietnamese Poet in Tel Aviv.

Bonus: In 2003, Sabine Huynh had a small role in Youkali, Israeli director Dana Goren’s short film (6:52 min.), presented at the Jerusalem International Film Festival in 2004, as part of the Hunger Project (curator: Naomi Aviv). She sang Kurt Weill song’s « Youkali », while playing the role of the Filipino helper.

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