Suzanne Jill Levine

Suzanne Jill Levine
Emerita Professor of Latin American Literature and Translation Studies


Languages and Fields: Spanish, French Latin American Literature; Comparative Literature; Translation Studies


Ph.D. New York University, 1977.


Professor Levine is a leading scholar, critic and translator of twentieth century Latin American literature, whose publications include hundreds of contributions to major anthologies and journals including the New Yorker (July 2009) and over 20 book length volumes of translations of some of the most challenging and original writing to come out of Latin America. For her translations, she has receive many honors including the maximum, i.e. three National Endowment for the Arts fellowship grants, as well as a National Endowment for the Humanities Research Grant, the first PEN USA West Elinor D. Randall Prize for Literary Translation and the PEN American Center International Career Achievement award in Hispanic letters.For her literary biography of Manuel Puig, she was awarded a NEH fellowship, a Rockefeller scholar residency at the Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio, and a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1997).

Professor Levine has had full-time teaching positions at major research universities in the United States, and has lectured at many universities and institutions in the United States, Europe and Latin America; at UCSB she has developed a Ph.D. translation studies emphasis program which enhances the curriculum of several humanities and social science departments and programs.

A special feature of her career as a scholar and translator of Latin American literature has been her work with and personal access to writers she has studied and translated, a unique context which led her to the genre of literary biography; her scholarly research on Latin American literature is interdisciplinary and includes research in Comparative Literature, History and Politics, popular culture, gender studies and cinema studies; she has taught film as well as literary and translation studies in the departments of Comparative and College of Creative Studies as well as Spanish & Portuguese department.


Professor Levine's most recent translations are included in the upcoming five-volume Penguin Classics series of Jorge Luis Borges’s poetry and essays to be published in 2010: she is the general editor of this series as well as the editor of the volume On Writing. This project continues her work in the Non-Fictions of Jorge Luis Borges which received the National Book Circle Award for Criticism in 2000, the same year Farrar Straus Giroux published her much-praised and ambitious 450 page literary biography of Manuel Puig. She has also contributed essays in the Latin American literary field to the MLA scholarly series and the Cambridge Companion series, most recently “Borges on Translation.”

Professor Levine's earlier scholarly works include the following books: El espejo hablado (The Spoken Mirror, one of the first booklength studies of Nobel author Garcia Marquez), Guia de Bioy Casares, and The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fiction, a groundbreaking work in translation theory which Dalkey Archive Press has reissued in 2009; the same press is re-issuing her translations of the works of Manuel Puig.